The weight got to the stalks. I thought I had them secured but two major
branches with a lot of my best fruit bent over and are broken but not broken
through. I tied them up and straightened them out as the leaves looked
pretty perky still. Any chance they'll make it or should I just cut them
off? I lost 8 good sized fruit from another branch that was hanging only
by a thread. Can they be made to ripen possibly?
I sure beat the BER problem. It just took way more calcium than I ever
thought necessary. In the last 2 weeks I only lost 3 to BER after heavy
Most tomatoes, except for the "patio" tomatoes that have a fairly
thrifty habit and can even be pruned to grow as a standard, require some
sort of support. You can influence the directions of growth and, some
say, the number of fruit by early pruning but, as a rule, I don't bother
with it. I just cage the plants in fence wire and let them rip. Small
fruit can be a sign of over-bearing, commonplace for tomatoes and in
which case the fruit may be thinned very early in its development (if
you wait too late, say until they're "frying" size, the remaining fruit
isn't likely to get any bigger), and/or of root crowding, which is
particularly troublesome for container-grown plants.
Limestone may not be your best source of calcium because of its
effect on pH. Gypsum adds calcium without raising pH. Unless you have
serious nutrient imbalances to correct you can eliminate or, at the very
least, seriously mitigate future calcium deficiencies by incorporating
bone meal, a slow-release source of phosphate and calcium, into your
admixture in whatever quantity is required to provide sufficient
phosphate. Excesses of certain micro-nutrients -- magnesium, for example
-- can interfere with plants' ability to acquire and/or to transport Ca.
USDA zone 9b, peninsular Florida, U.S.A.
I used cages and trained the vines as best I could. But I did not tie off
the heavy clusters and they broke higher up the vine. All the break points
were my biggest clusters. Next time I'll tie off each cluster individually.
I may just get rid of the smallest ones at this point and let the plant put
its energy into the largest fruit.
Very interesting. Since my tomatoes are next to my peppers I was watering
them with the same magnesium rich fertilizer I used for the peppers. I did
stop doing this and switched the tomatoes to fish emulsion only about the
time the BER showed signs of abating. You may have found the missing link.
Last I looked farmers never tied up tomato plants. They were hand
picked every day till exhausted but then a machine came and the plant
was taken whole. Those truck farms are now homes after first growing
soybeans in a transition time.
Guess if you want to tie or support plants the vineyards could offer a
template but they deal with hardwood.
So my question is what is wrong with losing some tomatoes to a turtle
or some other varmint. Esthetics in the garden I appreciate but I have
to look at the energy required. Perhaps younger folks in small area
like to garden for different reasons ?
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
I am doing it for the shear beauty of all those plants bearing brilliantly
colored fruits. I also love the plethora of insects that it attracts such
as bees, June bugs, dragon flies, butterflies, praying mantii etc. My cats
love the foliage and like to lie beside the pots under the shade.
It's just a pleasant hobby that I get to enjoy on several levels.
Well, I guess too much of a good thing really _can_ be "too much",
eh? LOL! Tying up individual "hands" of tomatoes for support is
something we forgot to mention. I don't mean to come across like an
"old fogey" but with a little experience, you'll get the hang of how
much space to allow for individual plants. Remember that tomato vines do
not have grow vertically and you can save considerable space by dressing
them horizontally around the circumference of your cages; did you do
that? Also, as the plant progresses and you harvest the older fruit from
the botton, you may untie the vines and lower them so that the older
canes coil up on themselves. If you do this, be sure to remove leaves to
allow for airflow to help prevent fungus.
Well, you'd probably have to test a few thousand times to imply a
causal link but I did learn the hard way about planting heavy nitrogen
feeders too close to light nitrogen feeders.
Somewhat off the subject: If no one has mentioned the importance of
keeping a garden journal or diary, then, I'm mentioning it ;-). Down the
road, the information and impressions that you record can prove
A bit OT:
Note the bit about calcium and growing region, which is related to the
The interaction between nutrient mobility in the plant, and plant growth
rate can be a major factor influencing the type and location of
deficiency symptoms that develop. For very mobile nutrients such as
nitrogen and potassium, deficiency symptoms develop predominantly in the
older and mature leaves. This is a result of these nutrients being
preferentially mobilized during times of nutrient stress from the older
leaves to the newer leaves near the growing regions of the plant.
Additionally, mobile nutrients newly acquired by the roots are also
preferentially translocated to new leaves and the growing regions. Thus
old and mature leaves are depleted of mobile nutrients during times of
stress while the new leaves are maintained at a more favorable nutrient
The typical localization of deficiency symptoms of very weakly mobile
nutrients such as calcium, boron, and iron is the opposite to that of
the mobile nutrients; these deficiency symptoms are first displayed in
the growing regions and new leaves while the old leaves remain in a
favorable nutrient status. (This assumes that these plants started with
sufficient nutrient, but ran out of nutrient as they developed). In
plants growing very slowly for reasons other than nutrition (such as low
light) a normally limiting supply of a nutrient could, under these
conditions, be sufficient for the plant to slowly develop, maybe even
without symptoms. This type of development is likely to occur in the
case of weakly mobile nutrients because excess nutrients in the older
leaves will eventually be mobilized to supply newly developing tissues.
In contrast, a plant with a similar supply that is growing rapidly will
develop severe deficiencies in the actively growing tissue such as leaf
edges and the growing region of the plant. A classic example of this is
calcium deficiency in vegetables such as lettuce where symptoms develop
on the leaf margins (tip burn) and the growing region near the
meristems. The maximal growth rate of lettuce is often limited by the
internal translocation rate of calcium to the growing tissue rather than
from a limited nutrient supply in the soil.
When moderately mobile nutrients such as sulfur and magnesium are the
limiting nutrients of the system, deficiency symptoms are normally seen
over the entire plant. However the growth rate and rate of nutrient
availability can make a considerable difference on the locations at
which the symptoms develop. If the nutrient supply is marginal compared
to the growth rate, symptoms will appear on the older tissue, but if the
nutrient supply is very low compared to the growth rate, or the nutrient
is totally depleted, the younger tissue will become deficient first.
I'll have to reread this later, it certainly explains a lot to me.
Perhaps excess mobility in some nutrients inhibits slow moving nutrients
like calcium. Just speculating...
You are such an idiot.
I don't doubt that this is what happened. The plant in its vigorous
vegetative stage was unable to take-up the calcium that it needed due to
dry roots, nutrients being flushed away, or high temps which simply
required water for evaporative cooling with no Ca transport. So the
above is a very good answer to a question that I didn't ask ;O)
My question was to the Balvenieman, who wrote on Thu, 15 Jul 2010
14:02:52 that "Excesses of certain micro-nutrients -- magnesium, for
example -- can interfere with plants' ability to acquire and/or to
I was just wondering if he had a citation for it because I had always
heard that a deficiency of Mg would affect Ca transport, as a result,
some would use epsom salts in a foliar spray on their plants to try to
alleviate this condition, but I have never heard of an excess of
magnesium as being a problem. It is true that an excess of boron or NO3
can hamper Ca transport, but that wasn't the question.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
You've cited one of my most valuable resources. The information
there can go a long way in helping one correct nutrient deficiencies
early by noting where they manifest. Just the same for determining
earliest on whether corrective action is working. In my view, the whole
document is worth understanding, even if parts of it must be taken in
small bits. LOL The photoillustrations are sterling, IMO, although they
depict advanced stages. I'd like to find photodocumention of early
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