Too Much Fertilizer?

by Billy Dunn
(Millbrook, Alabama)

My tomatoes are wilting early in the morning before the sun hits them, they also have small green tomatoes on them and the bottom of them are turning black.


I used triple 13 fertilizer (a common blend with 13% Nitrogen, 13% Phosphorous, and 13% Potassium) on the ground before I planted them. Could that possibly be the cause? I need help.

Thanks.

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Apr 26, 2011
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Soluble Salts Injury
by: Clark

Billy,

Too much fertilizer can definitely cause the problems you're describing. The symptoms sound like root burn which can reduce the uptake of water and nutrients leading to wilting plants.

Many county agricultural extension offices can offer soil testing to identify if you have excess salts buildup and offer solutions.

According to a good Mississippi State University article I read about this problem, water can actually flow out of the roots!

Soils with high amounts of soluble salts can decrease calcium uptake. The lack of calcium for the rapidly maturing fruit causes tissues to break down and turn black. This condition is called blossom-end rot and is unfortunately very common.

You can try to remove excess fertilizer, flush the soil with water and replace some of the soil. Best of luck!

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