684
Full Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:29 am
Location: Milton

Tomatoes Look Like BER - But Don't Think That's the Problem

I'm sure if i read enough on here i can find my problem, and I plan on doing that after my post. I will try to get pics up tomorrow but here's my issue...

I have almost 100 plants, one is a better boy and one is a big boy variety. They are all basically the same size. When all of the plants got to the point that they were putting on fruit, the bottom 1/3 of the leaves and branches went yellow and died, and almost every tomato rotted like a blossom end rot issue. I haven't got a good tomato yet. Soil is good, never had a tomato problem in this location before. The actual tomatoes tell me it's BER, but i didn't think that problem also included the bottom third of the plant basically dying off.

If it is B.E.R., can a plant grow out of that? Or can I basically call them all a loss for the season? It definitely doesn't look good.

Thanks in advance for any help.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Tomatoes Look Like BER - But Don't Think That's the Prob

Pictures would help a lot.

I didn't quite follow "I have almost 100 plants (!), one is better boy and one is big boy" 1 + 1 does not = 100. Are all the others different varieties? Then you went on to talk about "all of the plants." So all 100 of your plants are having the same issues? Or only the two you named?

How big are your plants and when did you plant them? What has your weather been like?

Yes, if the problem is just BER, then plants can outgrow it and future tomatoes can be fine. BER is often more common early in the season. It is related to the conditions that were present at the time the fruit was set. If the plants were planted early in cold soil, all the first tomatoes might be affected and then fruit that is set later on when the soil has warmed up could be fine. BER is often related to uneven moisture conditions, with drying out and then lots of water/rain.

But that doesn't speak to the bottom leaves yellowing. You are right, BER is a condition of the fruit and would not affect the leaves. If your plants are big and have been in the ground for a long time, the bottom leaves do naturally die off, but that would not usually be a third of the plant and not all at once.

Are you in Milton, Ontario, Canada? There are also Miltons in Georgia, Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and I'm sure other places as well.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

Re: Tomatoes Look Like BER - But Don't Think That's the Prob

I'm going to guess that something zapped the roots of the plants. They are having a hard time absorbing nutrients so the bottom leaves are dying and the fruit are suffering BER too.

Is the soil water logged. Did you run a cultivator down the rows to weed and chop up some roots? Soil disease?

New fruit started after the conditions that cause BER will be fine. Many of us get BER on early season tomatoes because of cold soil warm sunny days. When the soil warms up and the roots are happier, the next sets of fruit are OK.

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5472
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Tomatoes Look Like BER - But Don't Think That's the Prob

It is possible you have 2 problems.

BER problem sounds like BER. Dissolve pellet lime in water then water the plants for quick results. You can buy a $2 bag of cement mix at Home Depot put 1 cup of cement in 5 gallons of water and stir well. Give the plants 1 pint of water every day. BER should be gone in a week.

Squash, cucumbers, bell peppers, and other crops can all have BER.

Leaves falling off the bottom of the plants could be several things. Assuming you have a blight problem. Mix 1 tablespoon of copper sulfate, 1/4 cup of lime or cement, in 2 gallons of water. Spray the plants and give the plants 1 pint of water. The whole USA has suffered from blight for 6 years, blight usually runs its course in 5 to 6 years then it is gone. I have not heard of anyone having blight yet this year.

Leaves turning yellow and falling off can be several things, too much water, not enough water, not enough drainage in the soil water soaked roots, not enough fertilizer, blight.

I have read a dozen reasons why plants have BER, too much rain, not enough rain, uneven rain fall, soil is too cold, roots are water logged, etc. Having lived in MI, IL, TN and AZ I have had BER in all those places. TN has 300 days of rain per year I always planted my tomatoes by April 15 if the garden was not a mud hole swamp. I had tomatoes by July 4th and the soil was plenty warm by then in the 100 degrees summer heat. I had BER in AZ soil is 8ph, all my plants had BER. Cement water fixed the problem in 1 week, not rain since November, no humidity, temperature was in the 80s March 1st did not plant tomatoes until April 1st temperature was I the 90s then. By the time I had tomatoes in AZ temperatures were up to 108 every day, no rain in 9 months, soil was warm as toast, still had BER until I watered plants with cement water.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Tomatoes Look Like BER - But Don't Think That's the Prob

Gary is known for eccentric solutions that apparently work for him, but might not for anyone else. Most of us would not put cement in our soil:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 95&start=0

And it is not clear without seeing pictures that what you have going on.

This article has pictures of what early blight and septoria (another fungal disease of tomatoes) for comparison to what you have

https://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/A2606.PDF
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



Return to “TOMATO FORUM”