A destructive disease affecting many gardens and farms this year is blossom end rot. Causing great concern for vegetables such as squash, watermelon, eggplant, peppers, and tomato. This disease affects gardens year after year. By the time gardeners notice black spots on their fruit or vegetables the situation is severe. To prevent further damage, immediate action is required.
What is Blossom End Rot?
“Blossom end rot is caused by a lack of enough available calcium in the fruit at the blossom end. What most often alerts us is a black spot or patch at the blossom end of the tomato or chile, opposite of the stem. This black spot is a secondary issue caused by a fungus attacking the weakened fruit. Contrary to what many think, we aren’t aiming for the eradication of the fungus and resulting black patch, but fixing and preventing the cause of the problem – lack of enough calcium. Correcting the underlying issues that lead to the weakened fruit will automatically prevent the fungus from being able to attack.” according to an article in Mother Earth News.
How Can You Prevent Blossom End Rot?
A key factor to preventing blossom end rot is healthy soil with a sufficient amount of calcium. Which can be supplied with black worm castings and coral calcium. The article goes on to describe why calcium is so important to our plants. “Calcium is a very important part of the growth process for plants and the proper development of high quality, tasty fruit as it contributes to healthy cell wall growth, insect resistance and helps to regulate many cell processes. Calcium is non-mobile in the plant once it is imported, meaning the plant can’t move it from one part of itself into the fruit, or from one part of the fruit to another. Thus, the tomato or chile plant needs a continuous supply of calcium as it grows, flowers and produce fruit all through the season.”
A steady supply of calcium and black worm castings throughout the growing season is key to healthy soil and preventing blossom end rot.
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