Blossom End Rot and Heirloom Tomatoes July 10 2013, 0 Comments
If you have ever had blossom end rot and you're anything like most gardeners than you have also purchased a wastefully expensive bottle of "blossom end rot fix all."
Next time you are experiencing such difficulties, you need to examine the cause of the problem first and then fix it.
The blossom end rot problem can be solved for very cheap compared to the store bought solutions.
Causes are improper watering and calcium usually because of alkaline clay soil.
There are several reasons that you could be having issues with calcium and I won't go too much into it because the solution is more important.
First, make sure to water regularly and pay attention to your soil. If the soil is alkaline and very clay like there will be little air getting to the roots and while the plant is calling for more water.... it is almost always wet anyways. If the soil is to light and you are not getting to the plants often enough than the tomatoes will also show rot. Either way, the simple solution is with Gypsum, earth worm castings and mulch.
Gypsum dust will help unlock the clay soil, add calcium that everyone will swear you need but more importantly carry sulfur with it to help unlock the nutrients in the soil.
Mulching is so important, I use to pretend like I liked mulch but rarely did it. Now, I mulch everything and you will too once you reap the benefits a few times.
Straw, Bark, EWC and living mulch cover crops like Clover, all will increase the moisture level around the top few inches of soil where it would normally dry out very quickly. The mulch, if thick enough also prevents any weeds from growing through the layers. The top few inches is where the root rizosphere is typically located and where much of the magic of organic gardening happens.
In nature there are several inches of debris that looks more and more decomposed as you dig down.... suddenly when growing in containers or raised beds we tend to forget all about this magic.
So to summarize, if you have bottom end rot you can fix it and it's cheap!
Top Dress with a little Gypsum Dust and then some Earth Worm Castings followed by a mulch and pay more attention to the plants water needs. The beauty is that the gypsum, worm castings and mulch will all help make your watering more effective.
The spray bottles are just a calcium solution, gypsum is much cheaper and will actually assist with fixing the soil instead of just putting a band aid on it.
Thanks for reading and please share this post with anyone you know who is experiencing difficulty growing tomatoes.