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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Bestofour on June 01, 2006 05:42 AM
My husband has a client that already has blossom end rot on their tomatoes. He called me and asked what they should do and I told them they need calcium. Hope I'm correct. He went to Home Depot and bought a bag of garden lime that has calcium in it. Is this going to work? One time we had the same problem but I bought calcium in a spray bottle and had to spray each blossom. It was a lot of work. This will be easier if it will work.

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by obywan59 on June 01, 2006 08:10 AM
It should work, although it would have been better to have added calium before planting. Tell them to scratch the lime into the soil well.

Another idea is to spray the plants with milk, or do what I do and sprinkle powdered milk around the base of the plant. I use 2 tbsp. every 2 weeks around each plant. When it rains, the milk will soak into the soil, or water for faster results.

I also mix 1/4 cup each powdered milk, powdered eggshells, and epsom salts into the planting soil with some compost before planting.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Longy on June 01, 2006 08:43 AM
I think the garden lime is too late. it can take months to have an effect on soil Ph and , i imagine, to supply calcium.
Ensure the bed is getting enough water as there may be enough calcium in the soil already but if the plants aren't getting enough to drink and take it to the fruit, then the symptom can be BER. Mulching will help retain moisture in the soil if the weather is extremely hot.

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The secret is the soil.
by Bestofour on June 01, 2006 10:53 AM
I'll tell Johnny to tell them all this stuff. Hope something works for them. It has been stifling hot and I don't know if they mulch, water or what. I don't even know these people. The powdered milk sounds like a smart idea. Did you think of it on your own?

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by peppereater on June 01, 2006 01:13 PM
The major cause of BER is watering stress, that is, too little water followed by too much, but any underwatering or overwatering can contribute. Too much water transports all the available calcium to the leaves rather than the fruit. Calcium deficiency can cause BER, but it's mostly a factor of water uptake.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by peppereater on June 01, 2006 01:31 PM
quote:
Originally posted by peppereater:
The major cause of BER is watering stress, that is, too little water followed by too much, but any underwatering or overwatering can contribute. Too much water transports all the available calcium to the leaves rather than the fruit. Calcium deficiency can cause BER, but it's mostly a factor of water uptake.
Edit: Longy's right, consistent soil moiture is key. Too much water can be as bad as too little, and rainy weather can be as much a cause as anything. Some people report using Epsom Salts, and that it has helped them, but it seems there's little documentation of this. I've been reading up on this issue, as I always have some fruit loss due to BER.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by weezie13 on June 01, 2006 02:59 PM
Yeah, I was going to say go with
some Epsom Salts scratched into the surface..
Can't hurt...

And I have alot of problems with my soil,
and I do add the Epsoms' and that is one thing
I DON"T GET is the BER, I think... because of the salts..

The watering is tricky sometimes..
Hot, you should water, but they call for rain, so you hold back, and it doesn't rain so, it's been dry for 3 days, so you water, and next thing you know it's pourin' out....
Crazy...

I always thought the Epsom helped regulate it a bit at least...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by obywan59 on June 01, 2006 07:13 PM
No, Bestofour, I have a book from Rodale Press called Great Garden Formulas.

The recipe is called The Mighty-Milk Tomato Blight Cure.

1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. powdered nonfat milk, divided
1/4 c. epsom salts
1 shovelful compost

Mix, in the hole before planting, sprinkling the 2 tbsp. on the surface around the plant after it is planted.

To this, recipe, I now also add 1/4 c. powdered egg shells.

Since I've been using this, I have had zero BER. I also mulch with leaves which gives more consistent soil moisture.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Sorellina on June 02, 2006 09:55 AM
Ciao all,

I think a lot of people make too much of a big deal regarding blossom end rot. This kind of thing usually takes care of itself once the plants get a really good root system. Some varieties are more prone to this than others, but usually the condition doesn't last throughout the entire growing season. Seems to me, it's usually a bigger deal earlier on, before the plants' roots are deep enough that they can tap into the water table. I'm not convinced adding epsom salts or eggshells does much good, but some people seem to feel the need to do "something" and it doesn't hurt as long as you don't overdo it.

Cheers,
Julianna

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by peppereater on June 02, 2006 11:15 AM
Julianna, we ahve a very different situation in Oklahoma. One year will see wet spring, another dry. Sometimes 2 or 3 weeks of rain in May or June followed by drought. Water stress is always a factor, every year, especially when it's a rare summer when it never hits 100 F. I sometimes get BER both early and late, but I'm also working with very poor, sandy soil, and working like the dickens to improve it. One more reason to grow multiple varieties! I grow organic, and I'm convinced that good soil is the best defense against everything.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Bestofour on June 02, 2006 01:17 PM
So much information. I'm gonna tell Johnny to tell his customer to join the Forum and read it all themselves. [Big Grin]

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by Sorellina on June 03, 2006 10:38 AM
Ciao Dave,

Rightie right, amend amend amend your soil and mulch mulch mulch. That's the best defence against this annoying but preventable condition.

Hey, btw, how are your tomato and pepper babies doing?

Cheers,
Julianna

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by peppereater on June 03, 2006 02:25 PM
Julianna, so far so good. Your seeds were planted later than my earlies, earlier than some I bought late. Black Plum and Plum Lemon doing well, not huge, but showing first signs of blossoms lately. Green Zebra struggling some, neighbor's dog stepped on the best of the batch and broke off the stem. All survivors healthy and growing bigger every day. [thumb]
Peppers coming along, I should have started seed earlier, but they'll love the heat this summer.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Sorellina on June 04, 2006 11:21 AM
Ciao Dave,

Sorry to hear about Green Zebra. Dogs can cause a lot of damage, guess that's a reason I've never had one. This may not help your situation now, but you can root a tomato plant by sticking the top part of the plant that broke off into a cup of water and little roots will sprout from it. Then you can stick it back into the ground on a cool morning and it'll grow.

Buona fortuna,
Julianna

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