Intheswamp said:Yes, calcium deficiency is a major cause of BER. People have different ways of dealing with it. Look for some fertilizer listed as "Tomato" fertilizer then look in the ingredients and see whether they're including a form of calcium in the mix. Some people will save eggshells, crush them, and add them to the planting hole...but it will take time to for the egg shells to break down and be usable by the plants.
Espoma Tomato-tone is a good fertilizer that includes 8% calcium. Lots of people use this one. It *does* have a smell to it, but it goes away shortly after using it.
Are you planting inground or in containers? Container gardening usually requires more frequent fertilizer applications.
In an inground garden situation it may pay to get a soil test done (your county extension office is a source for this). Then you can determine whether you should add garden lime (or an acid) to your entire garden. pH is important to many plants other plants in addition to tomatoes.
If you're planting in containers then the soil test really isn't a big need...the potting soil should have a roughly neutral pH. There are other specific calcium amendments but the simplest thing is to get a good fertilizer with calcium included in it. Some egg shells in the bottom of the planting hole won't hurt anything. A small handful of lime in the planting hole/container might be all you need. Or, something like water soluble calcium nitrate might work for you. It depends on how indepth you want to go with it.
BER can really be a pain but the good thing is that it can be corrected with the addition of a calcium supplement. It is best to start the plants off with what they need, though, rather than trying to fix the problem after the fact.
Best wishes and maybe somebody more knowledgeable than me will give you some input, too!!!
Intheswamp said:Probably every two weeks would be good. Follow the directions on amounts...too much can be as bad as not enough. You can also use things like TUMS anti-acid tablets for the calcium...crush them up good, dissolve in water and then give to your plants.
Growing in buckets can be challenging but is definitely doable...people do it all the time. You *have* to check the moisture content regularly...every other day or so. Hotter weather will call for more water. Just be sure you have drain holes in the bucket.
Where are you located? Area of a state is close enough, just curious as to what type of climate your growing them in.