Monday, August 8, 2011

Save the Tomatoes Now: Stop Blossom End Rot!

Growers often are distressed to notice that a dry, sunken decay has developed on the blossom end (opposite the stem) of many fruit, especially the first fruit of the season. This can be very damaging, with losses of 50% or more in some years.

On Tomato and eggplant blossom-end rot usually begins as a small water-soaked area at the blossom end of the fruit. This may appear while the fruit is green or during ripening. As the lesion develops, it enlarges, becomes sunken, and turns black and leathery. on peppers, the affected area appears tan, and is sometimes mistaken for sun scald, which is white. Ultimately mold grows in the lesion and the fruit is lost.

Blossom-end rot is associated with a low concentration of calcium in the fruit. The problem is induced when demand for calcium exceeds supply. This may result from low calcium levels, drought stress, or excessive soil moisture fluctuations which reduce uptake and movement of calcium into the plant, or rapid, vegetative growth due to excessive nitrogen fertilization.

To improve the calcium content of the soil, try Shake 'N Feed by Miracle Grow. To stop and prevent Blossom End Rot over the next several weeks, spray your tomatoes, peppers and more with Yield Booster by Fertilome.

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