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I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk made.

Posted by jon_z6b (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 8, 12 at 13:02

..on my tomato plants. Sort of knew I had a nutrient deficiency because I had sort of sickly light green foliage on most of my tomato plants. I'm not a big believer in fertilizer besides what the soil can provide but I did try a light dilution of miracle grow a few times with no effect. Well I had a big bag of powdered evaporated milk that I decided to sprinkle around my tomato plants- I wasn't real sure if it was going to kill them or what. I watered it in and I saw an immediate difference overnight. Now, three days later, I can't get over what a lush dark green it has made my tomato plants- such a huge difference from before. It is now my newest, most favorite, soil amendment- and probably cheaper than bone meal. I think it has better more immediate results as well. Has anyone ever tried this? It does sort of stink though, at least for the first day or two.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

I think you have what is called a coincidence. There is no way IMO that the plant would have used up any nutrients in the milk overnight. You may have some nice cheese in about a week though.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Yeah, I should have took before and after pictures- but I didn't think of it.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Well, here's what's in milk (scroll down):
http://www.dairycouncilofca.org/Milk-Dairy/Nutrients-in-Milk.aspx

There's a little iron and quite a bit of potassium and phosphorus. It doesn't mention nitrogen; I've no idea to what extent milk would be a source of nitrogen (one of the things I think of when dark green leaves are mentioned).

I don't know enough to comment further.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Maybe the magnesium since epsom salts often produces similar results and they are well-documented unlike the milk. Unless you also left some control plants, some untreated in the same conditions, to compare with the treated ones there is no way credit it to anything other than coincidence since there are so many other variables that could just as easily have led to the change.

Dave


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Protein is 16% N. There's a bunch of protein(36%) in powdered milk, so about 5.7%N. It's a high N relative to P and K. I don't know what caused the improved appearance of the roses.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Oops! Meant tomatoes. Just came form the roses forum.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Oops! Meant tomatoes. Just came form the roses forum.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 4:07

If you used Miracle Grow in light dilution that is why it did not work.

Maybe the left over MG in the soil reacted with the milk powder and gave you a power shake.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 12:54

Maybe the Miracle Grow did help, but it took time, because you used too little, which is better then using to much.
I have all I need in my coffee waste compost, but here is a recipe for tomato plants.
1 part bone meal
1 part corn meal
1/2 part powdered milk
1/4 part Epson salt
This is placed in the hole 1-2 inches below the plant, so it will not touch the plant.
I have these in my coffee waste compost.
3.46% N
C:N of 14.50
phosphorus 0.135%
potassium 2.199%
calcium 0.30%
magnesium 0.41%
sulfur 0.28%
zinc 20 ppm
copper 56 ppm
manganese 63 ppm
Iron 1315 ppm
Organic Matter 90.02 %
I do have a pound of bone meal, but have never open it.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Either way, I am glad to hear your plants perked up so nicely. A bit of a mystery but a good one.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Your soil may be too acid for tomatoes and the CALCIUM helped neutralize it. A temporary fix, true, but I used powered milk & epsom salt to halt blossom end rot on my tomatoes after I discovered my soil was too acid.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 13:27

but I used powered milk & epsom salt to halt blossom end rot

Sorry but there is no correlation between the two, Coincidence in timing only.

Dave


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Whenever I see something that got watered in and then overnight success, I always wonder if they really needed more water. :)


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Dave, sorry to disagree, but there is a correlation here. Blossom end rot is caused by inadequate uptake of calcium. In my case, my soil was to blame because it was way too acid, which interferes with calcium absorption. A dose of powered milk (& epsom salts for good measure) has raised the pH to a more tomato-friendly 6.0pH. I removed all end-rot tomatoes and the new ones are just beautiful. I intend to continue my powdered milk/epsom salt cocktail until I can amend the soil in a more permanent way with lime/egg shells.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Sue_zt - that made me laugh! Similar to the harder I work, the luckier I get!


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 17, 14 at 22:23

Brewermom feel free to continue as you wish but there is plenty of testing that shows that tomatoes with BER actually do have ample calcium in their tissues and that uptake of that calcium is not the issue.. Nor is insufficient calcium in the soil - the old stand-by claim. Several studies are linked in the many previous discussions here about this issue.

It is the maldistribution of that available calcium due to inconsistent soil moisture levels that causes BER. It is a watering issue primarily that is exacerbated by the young plant's rapidly developing root system and the cooler weather and slow growth of early spring. As the plant's root matures and the soil warms, with no intervention at all, the BER disappears all on its own. The coincidentally applied milk or TUMS or egg shells, or aspirin or whatever that some swear by is just that, coincidence.

There are many different forms of calcium and they each have varying levels of bioavailability. Plants use calcium carbonate. Egg shells contain it but they require time and acidic intervention to make it available to the plants. Milk is calcium phosphate. TUMS are calcium lactate

But such interventions do make the gardener feel better.

Dave


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Got to go with Dave here. In fact, he is pretty much always right. He is truly a fountain of knowledge. I have watched his posts for quite a while and he has never steered anyone wrong. Thanks to you Dave.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Correlation is not causation.

As scientific teachers like to repeat again and again to their students.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

I also say that the reason for your plants growth is/was just a coincidence in timing. Probably it took a while for the roots to get established and uptake the MG and what was already in the soil. It is possible for protein to produce Nitrogen. They have bone meal, Blood Meal which are animal base.

About BER: I have to agree. It is not Ca deficiency alone to cause it. We know for sure that some varieties of tomato are prone to BER. So here your growing two or more varieties in the same soil, side by side. One gets BER the other does not.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

I think the powdered milk acted as a fertilizer and that it did work. Overnight may be hard to believe but fertilizer can work quickly. I don't think the Miracle Grow magically kicked in after you added the milk. Miracle Grow also works quickly if you use it properly. Maybe you shouldn't be so afraid of fertilizer.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Seysonn, agree about the BER. My Gypsy tomatoes had it, but the neighboring red cherry, heirlooms, and pear tomatoes are fine.

Dave, I have over 30 years of organic gardening under my belt and I was hoping for a spirited exchange of gardening ideas here. You probably are quite knowledgeable and could teach me a thing or two, but your condescending, smug replies have left me hesitant to post. Thank you for your permission "feel free to continue as you wish" (even though it is pointless) because "such interventions make the gardener feel better". I obviously have different gardening experiences than you, but that doesn't make them any less valid, or my garden any less bountiful and beautiful.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 21:26

but your condescending, smug replies have left me hesitant to post.

I'm sorry you interpret it that way. Aside from the fact that this is an issue researched and discussed ad infinitum so is beating a dead horse, the facts still exist about the actual causes of BER and what forms of calcium supplements work or don't work and why and we can all learn from them.

It has nothing to do with organic gardening. I too am one and have been for even more decades. But being an organic gardener does not in any way correlate with the use of milk as a preventative for BER. You make it sound as if being organic means milk is the only option and that simply isn't true.

When one's soil is proven to be low in calcium there are far more effective organic Ca supplements available than milk - lime, bone meal, gypsum, fish bone meal, oyster shell lime, etc. But claiming milk (or Tums or egg shells or any of the many other claims made) is a cure or a preventative for BER only misleads the uninformed who read it.

Dave


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

I been gardening for about 45 years and I'm still learning new tricks, I always say if it works for you then do it, No 2 gardeners do it the same way, 3 Years ago my neighbor who is Amish told me about liquid calcium that he uses on tomatoes for BER, So I tried it and believe it or not but I haven't had any since.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

jimmy56,

what is liquid calcium ? where do you get it from?


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Fresh milk is slightly acidic.
its possible the soil was too alkaline and the milk corrected it.
for anything else, the proteins would have to get broken down by the soil micro organisms, and that takes time...
same with the Ca and Mg
so, IMHO, its either coincidence, and maybe the roots have grown out a bit, and are now able to access pasrts of the soil that had nutrients -miracle-gro , or, maybe it was change in PH and was just enough to allow uptake on NUTES.

did you get milk on the leaves ?
also could have worked as a foliar.
also could have killed a pathogen the plant was fighting...
lots of variables...


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

seysonn, I got mine at a local feed store in PA, After doing a google search you can find it easy, It isn't real cheap but it goes a long ways, All you do is mix it with water and spray on plants so it feeds much faster.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Thanks Jimmy.

I know how to brew "Calcium acetate (?)". I have leaned it in Hot Peppers Forum. It is very simple:

--- add vinegar to dolomitic lime. There is a formula/proportions. But if you have more lime than needed, it will be just fine. Excess lime will be settled at the bottom. But you don't want unused vinegar in there.

I do think that even if a lab analysis shows plenty of Calcium in the soil, it does not necessarily mean that it is in a form available to the plant. For calcium to become available has to be in ionic form (Ca++). So this tells me that liquid calcium supplement is the best,


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

i might not be an expert gardener, but i have studied nutrition , vitamins, herbs for many years and most people are not deficient in calcium, but they are deficient in Vitamin D, and also Magnesium.
Ca needs Vit-D and Mg to work properly.
So, people thinking they are low in Ca, take calcium pills and often do themselves much more harm than good, because too much calcium in the blood causes kidney stones, arthritis, atherosclerosis and a host of problems...
And, all they needed was some sunshine (vitamin D)
and/or magnesium

Same with plants from what i can tell.
calcium and magnesium have a balance point
and even though (from what i read) calcium is very rarely deficient in soils,
at least in average and alkaline soils
Magnesium can be what i would call...
"lower than optimal for some plants"
obviously, depending on the soil
and a soil test is the best answer.
-

and is the reason EPSOM salts often works
Epsom is Magnesium sulfate
i use it as a foliar, but also add a very small amount
to the water once a month or so.
with great success (for my soil anyway)

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/pubs/A2523.pdf


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Congrats Jon to learning a secret to your garden:)


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Dave, how can you claim you are an organic gardner, when you use Daconil? Is its use registered as organic?
Also, for 100 years, gardeners and scientists told us that BER was a calcium deficiency or at least an imbalance of Ca and Mg. And now we are to believe that Ca has nothing to do with BER, but rather it is only due to uneven watering. I will wait for another 100 years and see what the "experts" claim then.
When I use liquid calcium I don't get BER and when I do not, I do.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 18:28

Dave, how can you claim you are an organic gardner, when you use Daconil? Is its use registered as organic?

The personal family gardens are fully organic and have been for over 55 years.

But even an organic gardener can recognize when something synthetic works better and many organic gardeners will incorporate a synthetic on a restricted use basis when nothing else works. Especially when they have a basis for comparison side by side.

Daconil is only used on my commercial fields, the crops grown for market sales, as there is far too much crop loss otherwise. And it is the only exception and no, because of its use I don't advertise as selling organic.

And now we are to believe that Ca has nothing to do with BER, but rather it is only due to uneven watering.

Neither I nor anyone else said that. Ca obviously plays a role. What is debated is the nature of the role it plays and how its effects can be modified.

Some liquid calcium carbonate supplements, applied at the proper time and in the proper manner are well researched and proven to work. The relationship between root development and the plants ability toe absorb nutrients and distribute them effectively throughout the plant is also well researched and documented The relationship between Mg and Ca is also well documented as is the role of pH when it comes to nutrient uptake or any nutrient.

But none of that in any way supports the claim that milk prevents BER.

Claiming that I fed my tomato plants milk and I had no BER so the calcium in milk must prevent BER is no more valid than saying I withheld milk from my tomato plants and I didn't have any BER so milk must cause BER.

But to each his own. Feed them ketchup or honey or pickled pigs feet if you wish. Just don't claim you have cured anything by doing so.

Dave


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

On a Similar Note:

Any organic animal part/origin ( fish head, fresh blood, milk ..) has to be composted to become available to plants. I don't know how long it will take, but it won't happen overnight.
Correct me if I am wrong !


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Agree with Dave, I try to be all organic also but there is times when I just have to use something synthetic or lose some crops, Especially with vine crops.


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

ON SALE...

Cal_Mag Zinc

http://www.supplementwarehouse.com/viewitem.asp?idproduct=195995

$0.99 16oz
excellent for foliar, and add to water.
also made for internal use ( i have some)
past the due date, but perfectly fine to take
as far as i can tell.
(seems good to me, no bad effects)

theres lots of cheap stuff on there.
i buy 3-4 times a year from them - go to "sales and closeouts"
several cheap supplements.
watch shipping, but you can get a price in advance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cal_Mag Zinc supplementwarehouse


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RE: I can't believe what a difference powdered evaporated milk ma

Someday researchers will say, "Wait ! We were wrong ! New developments show..." and everyone stocks up on TUMS.. All I know is that once I poked a few TUMS into my pots I never get BER.


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