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A Common Disorder Affecting Your Plants

Causes and prevention of blossom end rot.

Due to our lack of rain this growing season, we compensate by watering all our plants to help them to grow.

Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Peppers and Eggplants are moisture sensitive and suffer from overwatering and/or uneven watering. Thus, we create a disorder that can affect your vegetable plants. Blossom-end rot is not a disease, it is a disorder. You can easily identify this problem by looking at the bottom of the growing fruit (opposite the stem). You will notice at the bottom of the fruit where the blossom formed a dry brown spot about the size of a dime, generally increasing in diameter as the condition worsens. In time, it will blacken, become sunken and may become covered in mold. You have now identified Blossom-end rot on your plants.


What to do about it??

It is caused by a lack of calcium. Adding calcium to the plant can be as easy as making up a compost tea using calcium carbonate tables (tums) dissolved in water or using a plant food enriched with calcium. Do be careful with calcium if daytime temperatures are greater than 85 degrees, as too much calcium can burn plants. A easier method is to use egg shells soaked in water overnight to lightly water your plants. You only want to apply this mixture to wet the soil and not run thru the plant. I usually sprinkle the eggshells after they have soaked around the tomato plants on top of the soil.

The tomatoes or other vegetables that are affected by this disorder will not grow properly or ripen. They should be removed to reduce stress to the plant.
So adding calcium will also help your tomatoes develop that aromatic scent that make love apples taste better.

Remind your fellow gardeners to LIKE us on Facebook as we continue thru the growing season for more tips and tidbits. https://www.facebook.com/Kathys2ndChancePlants

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

mau July 12, 2012 at 09:14 PM
This year we took large plastic coffee containers and punched a small hole on the side near the bottom. We put one by each tomato and pepper plant. When I water I fill the container half full and let the water trickle. I'm hoping to avoid the split tomatoes and rot I've had in the past. I will try to eggs shells if I still get the rot.
Kathy Bondar July 13, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Mau, That is a great idea. Thanks for the tip. Happy Gardening.
Satori July 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Wow, a compliment from AWD. What's next, humility?
Heather Asiyanbi July 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
@Bam - no swearing.

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