Fast help for blossom end rot

uglytomatoesAugust 4, 2011

Just want to pass this along to anyone dealing with BER because it worked for me. I'm growing six tomato plants and one bell pepper in self-watering containers and I was getting BER with all. I didn't bother with the foliar calcium sprays because everyone seems to say that they don't work. Instead, I got some liquid lime (to make up for the lack of powdered lime that I should have worked into the soil before planting). Aggrand is the brand I used. Raingrow also makes a liquid lime. After a few applications, the new fruits are mostly BER-free. I just followed the directions for container plants (mixing 2-3 tablespoons per gallon of water). I poured most of it at the base of the plants, to drain it through the soil. The rest I poured directly into the reservoirs. At the same time, I did three applications of a water soluble fertilizer high in phosphorus (to promote new blossoms/fruit) once a week for three weeks. This combination has brought on a surge of new fruits forming. I plan to keep using the liquid lime weekly to prevent another bout of BER. The varieties I'm growing are: 2 brandywine reds, 2 german johnsons, 1 early girl, 1 celebrity, and 1 bell pepper.

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Is adding lime better than adding a soil amendment like Tomato Tone?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:38AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Interesting but unfortunately not new. Did you keep at least one control plant? One that was only supplied the water without the liquid lime or the supplemental fertilizer? If not, then the only conclusion that can be drawn is one of coincidence/timing/plant maturity.

Given all the scientific inconclusive testing that has been done by the commercial industry on lime supplements it is difficult to claim that supplemental lime cures the problem. First because most container potting mixes already contain lime and second because testing shows that even tomatoes with BER still have adequate Ca++ in them. It is just not properly distributed due to inconsistent soil moisture levels.

While it never hurts to add a small amount of additional lime to potting mixes, it is very easy to over-do it and create a whole set of new problems by skewing the soil pH.

That brings us back to the root cause of BER - inconsistent soil moisture levels and immature plants. Your BER was most likely eliminated by the water additions and the maturing of the plants rather than the lime but with out control plants for comparison there is no way to support any claims made. Still it makes us as gardeners feel better to try. :)


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:54PM
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