As you walk through your garden eyeing the upcoming harvest you see it…the bottom of your young tomatoes are sunken in with nasty brown patch. It’s the evil Blossom End Rot!!!
Have no fear, H2O Calcium Man is here!! Huh?? I thought blossom end rot was caused by a lack of calcium in the soil?? Well, yes and no.
It may help to understand the nutrient uptake process of tomatoes and peppers in order to fix the problem. As we know, the roots of the plant are responsible for carrying water and its nutrients up the stem of the plant so the leaves can carry out the photosynthesis process. Calcium is one of those nutrients and is needed for healthy fruit development.
There are two issues that can cause calcium not to perform its job.
First, even if your soil is loaded with calcium it won’t be able to reach its destination if there isn’t enough water to transport it. When a plant is young and preparing to blossom, water and calcium need to be in constant supply. Even short periods of drought will be enough to starve the fruit and cause it to rot. The solution is to keep young plant roots taking up water consistently. You may be tempted to skip watering the day after a heavy rain but try to resist that urge!
The second problem is a calcium deficiency in the soil which is actually somewhat rare, but easily corrected with amendments. You may want to have your soil tested to check its overall health before adding sources of calcium. Too much calcium in the soil can lead to high PH levels which are not favored by many vegetables.
Blossom end rot may be annoying but, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to remedy so, if this problem is plaguing your tomatoes and peppers come see us at the garden center for solutions!