Friday, July 2, 2010

Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes

This year, the Better Boy tomatoes have blossom-end rot. Blossom-end rot is noticeable by a dark watery or soft brown spot on the bottom of the vegetable. It will commonly engulf the whole fruit which will fall off the vine. Peppers, tomatoes, squash, and watermelon are most commonly affected.
Blossom end rot is not caused by organisms like many plant diseases. It is usually caused by environmental conditions which include long periods of wet weather followed by dry weather or deficient calcium in the soil. There is not much that you can do to save the affected veggies. You just have to pull them off the vine and hope that it does not continue. There are a few things that you can do to help prevent the rot before planting:
  • Test the soil before planting. I should have done this with my garden since we have new soil. The bed that was affected was the one without the compost since we ran out. I think that the soil probably needed lime for additional calcium. If the dirt was not acidic enough, then I should have added gypsum for acidity.
  • Mulch around the plants to help hold moisture. My uncle gave us some straw pads that his baby turkeys came with in their crate. The pads should help with both weeds and moisture.
  • Avoiding extra fertilizing helps with the pH levels.
I hope that your garden is doing well and does not have any diseases or problems!

2 comments:

  1. I don't have tomatoes, but - as you know - I have had problems with pests/diseases. It can be so disheartening, can't it? Still, we plod on - the benefits outweigh the 'downs', don't they....so far anyway!
    I hope the rest of your tomatoes escape this.
    Happy 4th tomorrow!
    God bless,
    Love Anne x

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  2. Jenny HochstetlerJuly 31, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    Hi Anna,

    Mr. Hochstetler found an organic fertilizer mix called Mater Magic at Ace Hardware this year that has done wonders for out tomato crop. We have had terrible blossom end rot problems in the past, and this year I suddenly have more tomatoes than I know what to do with! We also found the soil testing to be helpful for us.

    Looking forward to seeing you all, hopefully sooner than later. Say hi to the your family from all the Ho's!

    Mrs. Hochstetler

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