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Avatar for Jared91
Jun 9, 2020 4:48 PM CST

Ive grown tomatoes once before but ended up with blossom end rot i guess its because lack of calcium? Just wondering what i should use for fertilizer to prevent that from happening again. ive been using alaska fish fertilizer for all my vegatables once per week. Im growing lettuce, carrots, roma tomatoes, broccoli and cucumbers
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Jun 10, 2020 8:12 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
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. Thumbs up

Best wishes and maybe somebody more knowledgeable than me will give you some input, too!!!
Ed
Avatar for Jared91
Jun 10, 2020 9:09 AM CST

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. Thumbs up

Best wishes and maybe somebody more knowledgeable than me will give you some input, too!!!
Ed




Im growing in 5 gallon buckets how many times per week should i be fertilizing you think?
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Jun 10, 2020 10:03 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
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.
Avatar for Jared91
Jun 14, 2020 6:02 AM CST

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.


Southern maine
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Jun 14, 2020 7:19 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
You're probably in a better climate in regards to disease than I am. There are calcium mixes that you can spray on the plants, too. From what I understand tomato plants readily absorb nutrients to the foliage...quickly.

The "Cal Mag Plus" has been mentioned in the forum on several occasions... Calcium Sprays on Amazon
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Jun 14, 2020 8:38 AM CST
Name: Hepcat
Metter, Georgia (Zone 8b)
I used to live in Kittery Point when a child. I am now in Ga. I envy your summer weather. I am not sure if this helps, but I rinse out my milk cartons and water with the milk rinse. I have never had a problem with BER. Maybe just coincidence. I hope you get it under control.
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Jun 14, 2020 10:28 AM CST

It really depends.
Some tomato cultivars like the Italian San Marzano and its many hybrids (like Roma) and the Cornue des Andes are extremely susceptibles to it. I've had a ton of issues with the latter especially, to the point I won't even consider it anymore.

While Blosson End Rot (BER) is caused by calcium deficiency alright you need to see why your tomatoes haven't got enough calcium available. The most likely cause is usually uneven watering. I discovered this while investigating why I was losing so many San Marzano's: uneven watering will wreck havoc with some cultivars' ability to absorb calcium from the ground, leading to blossom end root. San Marzano tomatoes were originally selected in an area with very favorable weather for tomato cultivation, meaning the plants get watered on a tight schedule allowing the soil to retain optimal levels of misture.
Another possible cause are low night temperatures: if soil temperature drops too much, it will seriously limit the tomat plants' ability to absorb nutrients.
No chance of that in many areas, but these problems can be solved with mulching. Since I am not a big fan of it (apart from the lawn) I have simply switched to BER resistant cultivars and to err on the safe side I add a couple buckets of slacked slime in the Winter when working manure into the ground.
The Saviour.
Last edited by ElPolloDiablo Jun 14, 2020 12:56 PM Icon for preview
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