Blossom End Rot

You don't have to live with blossom end rot.
 
blossom end rot on tomatoBlossom end rot is a common problem on tomatoes, pumpkins, melons, and peppers. While the appearance of blossom end rot may seem to indicate a major disease, it is actually a severe calcium deficiency. This is typically caused by a shift in environmental conditions and appears as a direct response to changes in plant growth when fruit is present on the vine.
 
Blossom end rot happens, first and foremost, when actual levels of available calcium are low in the soil. So supplementing the soil with extra calcium is important when growing these crops.
 
Blossom end rot also may occur if the plant has a low root mass, which prevents it from gathering the proper calcium levels.
 
Low root mass can be associated with a couple of conditions: One is when extreme dry weather is prevalent, drying out the soil and dramatically reducing the roots and the areas roots can explore. Clay soils will sometimes crack and keep the roots from remaining attached to the main plant.
 
Feeding the plant biologicals as well as readily available sugars and amino acids will promote root growth and keep the roots actively growing under many conditions.
 
The other way plant root mass is affected is when an extremely wet period is prevalent. Excessive water in the soil suffocates the small roots and diminishes their total number.
 
blossom end rot on tomatoIf fruit is hanging on the vine and is growing rapidly, the fruit is demanding large amounts of calcium to build sugars and cell walls. Calcium is not very mobile in the plant and is not given up by the other tissues fast enough. Therefore, the older tissue cannot support the rapid growth and keep the cell walls intact. Those older cells rupture and die and subsequently rot.
 
If you can get some readily available calcium into the plant foliage, this will significantly help reduce damage in the younger, smaller fruit. Of course, if you anticipate the problem of blossom end rot early enough and begin a regular foliar spray program before blossom end rot takes hold, you may be able to avoid the problem altogether.
 
The secret to keeping blossom end rot at bay is simply to keep calcium levels higher in and around the plant and water it evenly throughout dry times. Make sure you only dampen the soil and do not excessively over-water it. And to encourage more root growth, foliar-feed the plant when you can during wet events.
 
Need further help with blossom end rot? Contact Garden Vigor.