So I added calcium to the soil, I used fish emulsion fertilizer and I
sprayed the leaves with calcium water. And BER set in anyway. No water
stress such as dry roots. I water every day as it is quite warm and the
pots dry fast. This is maddening because I lost so many tomatoes last year
to BER. Just how much more can one do?
I don't think this is the right fertilizer for tomatoes (although it is
what I in my ignorance used), it has too much nitrogen. It's something
I found this:
So, the fish fert may not be your cause, but it does not help and may
Although some people believe foliar sprays can correct Ca deficiency in
developing fruits, research is very inconclusive on this issue. What is
well known is that Ca only moves in the plant via the xylem and moves
with the transpirational water flow from the roots, up the plant and
into developing leaves. Calcium has no ability to flow from the leaves
via the phloem to the developing fruit. In addition, once fruit has
grown to golf ball size, the waxy outer layer has developed and is
believed to be quite impermeable to water. Therefore, it is recommended
that all Ca supplied to fruiting vegetables be applied via the
irrigation water so as to maximize uptake by roots
And BER set in anyway. No
Sigh. I was using the fish emulsion as it was recommended. I posted
earlier about using the foliar spray as irrigation water and was told it was
less effective that way. So what the heck, I will add it to the irrigation
water. I try to keep the soil from drying out. My pots get a gallon of
water a day and if I do not water in the morning I get a little wilt by
afternoon. This whole uniform water has me puzzled. I mean those plants do
grow in the wild and surely a consistently moist soil is not something they
enjoy. I can see BER is more of a challenge in container gardening.
Not so sure about that. The wild tomato is a completely different
vegetable than what we grow.
and surely a consistently moist soil is not something they
I don't know that much about container gardening. I have noticed that
being in a container loses the moisture tempering of being in ground.
I've seen both standing water in containers and containers that were
completely dry, even though it had been raining for days not long
before. Soil and drainage is much more critical in containers, it is
also much easier to control.
To make the whole BER thing more complex, it appears that calcium can
be displaced by other ions or cations that may be in your soil. So, you
may not have good tomato soil without ever knowing it.
Well I'd guess that the calcium tablets about 6 oz. might cost close
to 25 lb. of dolomite and the lime won't go bad.
Growing with containers looks like small mistakes in the garden are
focused or easier to make. I try to get stuff out of pots and into the
ground then back into a pot if it is a houseplant late fall.
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
Was this dirt, shoveled into pots, or did you use potting soil? If it
was potting soil, that won't be the problem. If it was dirt, then call
the local Master Gardener, or the UC Ag Extension near you, and ask
about local soil.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
I water daily because the plants suck up all the water during the day. They
are not overwatered. I water just until I see a little seapage from the
bottom of the pots. Big plants, warm and breezy days mean a lot of
You are using pots and you admit that these dry out daily. Either take on
board the message the BER comes as a result of inconsistent watering, which
is what you are doing by using pots, or start planting your toms in the
ground where they might have a fighting chance to avoid BER.
I have grown tomatoes (all sorts, hybrids, heirlooms, full size and
cherries) in pots for over 20 years. The seasons and my watering
habits and capabilities/attentions have varied greatly over that time,
and I have had seasons of great bounty and seasons of minimal harvest
due to yield or predation of various sorts.
Nevertheless, I have never, ever had BER, so don't go thinking it is
inevitable for pots or variable watering. T'aint so.
And yes, I have tomatoes growing in the ground, too, so it isn't too
difficult to draw comparisons. I never had BER there, either.
I have many thing successfully growing in pots this year:
lots more, too...I'll remember later on.
I create the quality soil that goes into the pots and tubs I use. I
start with plain old "dirt" or sometimes with top or potting soil,
depending on what is handy, then add compost, Epsom salt, peat, manure
and anything else that the particular plant I am growing might
It is rather easy to "make" good soil for pots that way and one can
tailor it to whatever one grows. I make it by the garbage-can full.
The next season, the pots' contents are screened, re-amended and
re-used, assuming no veggie-pest or contagion has hit it, in which
case, it get placed in flower beds.
I have also taken two backyards and made vegetable gardens in them by
soil amending over the years. It isn't something that can be done in
one season, but it can be done. All it takes is time and some money.
Then again, I am in NJ and they don't call it The Garden State for
nothing, although it should be said that in the central part of the
state, when my father in law, from whom I learned a lot, practiced
his master gardening, the soil was brick red clay.
And where did I say that planting in pots IS the cause of BER?
So why can't you identify the difference between what you are doing and what
the OP has said?
If you actually bothered to read what I wrote, to spend a nanosecond
thinking about it, you might be able to figure out what you have sorted out
and what the OP has NOT done despite him having been told a number of times
in the thread what the likely problem is. Hint: it is not pots, it is how
he looks after the pots and what may (repeat; may) be easier for him to
control if he plants in soil.
Right up above you implied it:
I can easily identify that. Your comments, on the other hand, were
leading him down the primrose path.
There is no reason to re-read what you said, as your posting was
simplistic and misleading. It is not irregular watering of the plants
in pots that necessarily caused BER, nor would transferring them to
the ground necessarily prevent it.
End of story, bub.
Don't be ridiculous.
I can't be responsible for you inferring something that was not implied. I
emphasised watering. Pots only got a mention because that is where the OP
is growing the toms and where he has had repeated problems.
LOL. If you can identify it, then perhaps you should say something useful
about it? Your silence on the subject says you identify .............
Your comments, on the other hand, were
So why the silence on a cause?
At least I am making comments that suggests a possible cure in future. You
mentioned nothing useful or a possible cause. I mentioned THE most likely
cause given what we've been told over the course of this thread about
inconsistent watering (depite the OPs current reversal of previous posts).
And that response from you is simplistic and misleading.
IF you had reread the thread, you may have noticed that the OP confesses
that 'the whole uniform water has me puzzled', that he waters daily, that he
doesn't water daily, that his 22 inch pots get a gallon a day, that his
plants wilt in the afternoon, that his plants have only ever wilted twice.
IF you had bothered to reread you may then have noticed that my post was
Also IF you had bothered to reread, you may have noticed that even the OP
says; 'I can see BER is more of a challenge in container gardening.'
Incorrect watering is certainly not the only cause of BER BUT, the OP is a
relative newbie, has stated that he doesn't unserstand consistency with
watering (and his story), has had this problem before when planting in pots
and is choosing to take the scattergun approach and race all over the place
doing everthing but take on board one thing at a time and to try to remedy
and therefore deal with the MOST likely cause.
You haven't given any story. You've just blathered on as a result of
You posted giving a possible cause and possible cure of BER, each
relating to growing methodology in pots or removing to the ground. I
countered that neither was necessarily a cause nor cure of or for BER.
I stand by that.
If you can't take the heat, get out of the garden. You asked. I gave
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