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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

BER anyone?

I know it's not transferable but still it's about that time for this to show up.

I saw some on Grandpa Charlie and Grandpa Willie as well as another I can't remember. I hope this is not going to be a garden killing thing. I have been having a great year than all of the sudden things went from great to horrible. I have tons of tomatoes but if they all rot what does that mean. I am trying to deal with it as best as possible. So let's hope this is a short term thing.

Good luck to all of you. I have been a victim of virus and now this. I guess this is just like every other year. plant and hope for the best.

Praying for a good harvest I have put a lot into this. I don't like to loose. >:(


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Senior Member
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 9:37 pm
Location: Delaware

I've had problems in the past, yes. Four years ago, I lost probably 60% of my tomatoes to BER. It's gotten much better since I started using Azomite and liquid kelp, 2 years ago. It must be that, because I haven't really changed anything else. Last year, I think I had 3-4 tomatoes that developed it.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Sorry to hear about the BER. Don't forget the [url=]Sticky on Blossom End Rot[/url], just in case there are some things you can do that you haven't thought of yet.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

here's what has encapsulated into my tomato head over the decades with regard to BER:

(a) it is not a disease / fungus
(b) it happens at the 'instant' the blossom is pollinated
(c) generally thought to be a lack of calcium however comma
(c1) ambient / soil temp at pollination
(c2) moisture levels at pollination
seem to be contributing / associated / required linked factors.

(d) it's not so much the lack of calcium in the dirt, it's more a question of whether the plant can "get / utilize" the calcium at that specific time aka 'when it needs it most'

I've done the match head stuff,
the Tums route,
the ground up egg shell thing.

sometimes you get hit, sometimes you don't.
"overall weather" seems to play a role.

the bit I don't quite grasp in the above - - - -
if I get BER, it's usually the first couple tomatoes on a plant.
it does not continue on and on throughout the season.

I've never lost 60% of a crop - unless one is measuring on just the first 3 or 4 tomatoes of the season....

I've never ripped out a plant because one or more tomatoes showed BER.
actually, as soon as I 'see' it I whack off the offending fruit to save the plant energy.

the same plant that produced one or more BER fruits will go on to produce lots and lots of tomatoes throughout the season....

Green Thumb
Posts: 357
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:07 pm
Location: San Diego, CA !! Z10/SS24

Sorry to hear of your BER troubles Dono.
I've been plagued w/ BER before, and I realized that the inconsistent moisture level at juvenile state caused high ph may have influenced it, but seems the calcium got locked up.
Prior years I didn't water enough, and caused a dry period and wet period. This year I've been on somewhat of a schedule. Watering every 4 days or so-(weather/temp dependent), seems to give me less problems. Though the marine layer I get throws me a curve often.
I realize that our environment is totally different, but IMO that stage prior to blooming is the crucial moment.
San Diego / Z10

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

I'm feeling lucky (knock on wood) that I haven't had any issues with BER this year. Last year I had some problems early on, but it subsided later in the season. I did add garden lime to the holes when I transplanted my plants this year, so I assume that had to have helped in some way. We've also not been terribly hot and have had a decent amount of rain to keep the ground moist without having to water too much, so it could just be a lucky combination of a few different factors.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I've got one spot that is very sandy and has not had much organic matter added to the soil. Each year I plant my overflow tomato plants and interplant with melons. Even with daily irrigation the results are fairly marginal. The tomatoes always get BER and the melons are stunted with meager production. Last year I enriched each planting hole with commercial potting mix plus added a good handfull of pelletized lime and slow release fertilizer. The results were the same, very poor. This year I've set plants in 3 gallon nursery pots into the ground after adding lime and fertilizer to the planting hole. Catch basins were formed around each plant. So far results are much better. BER is spotty with some plants avoiding it all together and fruit on other plants being perhaps as much as 30% affected.

My guess is that this particular spot gives elevated BER for several reasons. The sand is very poor with almost no organic content. The sand is so porous that available moisture swings through wild extremes between waterings. The problem is likely made worse because the full sun area causes the sandy soil temperature to get very hot in the top several inches. Also, oak tree roots are competing with the tomato plants for available moisture and nutrients. Finally, the sand is a perfect home for nematodes which damage the roots and disrupt absorption. The roots of any discarded plants are always riddled with the tell-tell knots of root knot nematode.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

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