Eggshells in Garden/What about Tums for Blossom End Rot?

We are having a lot of trouble with Blossom End Rot on our Peppers this year, probably all 10-12 plants have it. No good peppers yet and they were planted in the bring albeit we got a late start. Tomatoes not having it this year. I only saw one tomato from the last harvest that had it on there. ? That seems strange. I used the same fertilizers on both, I even put some Jobes Tomato Spikes in both the Tomatos and Peppers. Rain has been nonexistent until the last few weeks and now we are getting some pretty good rains. 2 1/2 in. this week near Gilmer. Blossom end rot is suppose to show up after a lot of rain, but it seems like the Peppers have been like this all along. I wonder if this is something that happens pretty quick, say within one day of the rain? Anyway...
If you are going to crunch up eggshells and throw them down at the base of the plant, is there any harm in NOT rinsing them first? My Dad leaves some of the goop in them when he saves them for me. He maintains the garden for us since he is retired. What about Tums? My Dad had the idea to throw them down near the base of each plant last year and we did not seem to have as much trouble. Can Tomatos and Peppers absorb the Calcium in Tums? We have 1500+ sq. ft garden in E.Texas Zone 7a or 8b
Thanks, Rita
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GarlandGrower wrote:

I bet they can. Do you own a blender? I think I would put a small hand full of Tums in the blender with water. Then pour the result around the base of only 2 or 3 plants so see what happens. If you treat all the pepper plants and the problem goes away, you will have no way to know if the Tums worked or if weather conditions improved the situation. Oh, I wouldn't worry about the egg shells. I would think the remaining goop would decompose quickly.
Steve in the Adirondacks
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I'd just go get some bone meal...... It's not expensive, and it sure seems to help my blooms! :-)
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It would be quicker and cheaper to get a bag of powdered lime from your CO-OP and put it down. That is what I did in Arkansas for my watermelons.
Leave the goop on the egg shells. It draws little bugs to them that enjoy eating the eggs of the bad nematodes in your garden. I read that in a tomato growing book.
Dwayne

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Most BER is supposedly water related, not actual calcium deficiency, but without good soil testing it is hard to know for sure. The fact that the peppers are suffering but tomatoes aren't is probably a key symptom--something is affecting one and not the other. Any differences in position of the peppers, near a rock/house wall (greater heat), overhang of house, trees shading tomatoes more? Was the tomato soil given any more preparation or used in previous years? Three of my peppers, all in one bed are doing really badly, still only 6-7 inches tall. The others out back also seem to have another problem-looks like black spot that I see on roses. Nearby tomatoes are doing great. It is just a bad, bad year for peppers for me.
No harm leaving the egg goop, except perhaps smell. I collect the eggshells, especially during winter. I microwave them dry, toss in a metal can and shake to break em up. I toss them in the holes I dig for tomatoes and peppers. I should proably do it for eggplants too... same family, although I've never heard of BER mentioned with eggplants.
I don't know how quickly the shells will break down-they may not affect this season. My thought is I'm at least replenishing what they are taking out. Also commercial eggs probably have less calcium than small farm/organic. My friend in Jersey has chickens and I noticed her eggs have much thicker shells(and BRIGHT orange yokes) than commercial ones. You can buy a BER foliar spray, so the nutrients get quickly absorbed by the leafs.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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Thanks for all the great answers.
wrote:

The tomato soil may have had more fertilizer in it, but all planting holes were prepared the same with manure, Tomato Fertilizer from Gardens alive and later (Jobes Spikes were pounded in all), Water Crystals, I mean I put everything but the kitchen sink in there. I prepped all the holes before my seedlings went in. Soil test the second year indicated P and K were extremely high, but N was somewhat low. The soil our there is inherently low in N and high in Iron and minerals. We have NOT sidedressed much this year. We had the foliar spray, but Dad forgot to use it after the rains. We used it last weekend, but I've since found out what some of the posts indicate, the sprays will not help. The problem is with the fluctuation of water and the rains and even if the calcium is in the soil and/or in the plant, it does not get to the fruit correctly. The foliar sprays do not work on the fruit, because the fruit can not absorb the spray like the leaves can.

I've not seen it on either of my two White Eggplants they are producing abundantly We had it on two or three Watermelons, all of the Peppers and a few tomatos.

Yes, the eggshells are a "long term" kind of ammendment.

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as others have said, you have much better choices than Tums or eggshells. I use wood ash, which is 50% Ca. Lime, manure, bone meal, or compost tea would also be better.
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make sure your watering shedule doesn't vary..... blossom end rot is usually a watering issue than a calcium uptake. mulch and water systematically

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