Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blossom End Rot (BER)

Their are a few things that can happen to your garden that are devastating. One such thing is while checking on your tomatoes, which are growing well and producing well, you notice the bottom of the tomato has a large dark spot! You have Blossom End Rot (BER)! While this condition isn't isolated to tomatoes, it is very common among them. But this can also occur with cucumbers, peppers, melons, and I'm sure more. 

BER is caused by the lack of calcium. There is a foliage spray you can apply for a quick boost and immediate results. But it is not a long term solution. 
You can also add Lyme to your soil, so long as it won't affect th proper pH required by your plant. 

The lack of calcium can be caused by several factors, and knowing which one will help you prepare better in the future. 

1) Applying too much fertilizer, specifically Nitrogen and/or Phosphate. Be sure to amend your soil properly. 

2) Rapid growth followed by dry conditions. Tomatoes don't like their legs to dry out. When they are allowed to dry out, the uptake of calcium is slowed or diminished. Try a nice even watering on a routine basis. 

3) Periods of heavy rain will leach the calcium from the soil. This is a hard one to combst because its Mother Nature. This is what struck us this year. We've had a very wet season, most unusual for this time of year. We've used the spray (above) with much success. But haven't found a long term solution yet. 

Have you ever experienced BER? What have you done to combat it? 

-Live Simple, Be Happy-
Magnolia Holler

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