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  • Author or Editor: D.H. Picha x
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‘Healani’, ‘Homestead-24’, ‘Walter’, and ‘Flora-Dade’ tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were grown with 0, 93, 186, 372, or 744 kg K/ha during spring and fall to determine the influence of K rate, cultivar, and season on the separate fruit disorders of graywall (GW) and blotchy ripening (BR). Susceptibility to GW was determined by inoculating a GW-inducing type of bacteria, Erwinia herbicola (Dye), into the outer pericarp of immature green fruit. All 4 cultivars developed more GW without added K than with it during the spring season. In both field and greenhouse conditions, ‘Flora-Dade’ and ‘Homestead-24’ were more resistant to GW than ‘Healani’ and ‘Walter’. Natural GW, contrasted to bacterially induced GW, occurred in ‘Healani’ and ‘Homestead-24’ fruit grown with low K concentrations in a sand culture experiment. Both cultivars were free of natural GW with the high-K treatment. ‘Flora-Dade’ was resistant to natural GW under all K treatments. Fruit from all cultivars had significantly less BR with K fertilization in both seasons. External blotchy ripening (EBR) and internal blotchy ripening (IBR) were more severe in the spring than in the fall. ‘Healani’ showed resistance to yellow shoulder, the primary EBR symptom, which was severe during the spring in all other culti vars. ‘Healani’ was generally the most BR-resistant cultivar and ‘Flora-Dade’ the most BR-susceptible. Pericarp K concentration increased with K rate in all cultivars during both seasons, but differences in susceptibility to BR between cultivars were not associated with differences in pericarp K, Ca, Mg, or P content.

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