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Plant Problems: Blossom End Rot

Here is some really good news for gardeners. Blossom End Rot is a common, yet easily corrected problem on tomatoes and other fruit. While many of us think about Tomato Blossom End Rot, it can occur on other vegetables, most notably peppers, zucchini and other squashes, as well as fruits.

Many plant problems are difficult to identify. The correction, or fix, can be equally challenging. Treatment of many plant diseases require use of fungicide, another chemical that can leave residue on your food.

Identifying and correcting Blossom End Rot is a cinch.

Identifying Blossom End Rot:

This disease is easy to spot.  It's common on tomato plants. It can appear on a wide range of other garden fruits, including peppers, watermelons, cantaloupe, as well as fruit like apples and peaches,.

The bottom end (where the blossom was)  develops a gross, brown spot. This rotted spot grows with time. The spot is depressed inward on the fruit, and looks similar to a big scab. The spot can be hard, or soft.

Blossom End Rot symptoms can occur on one or two fruit on a single plant., Or, it can affect many fruit on all of your plants. If you spot it on one plant, its likely that more fruit is, or will, be affected.

Cause and Treatment for Blossom End Rot: 

Realizing that your plants are suffering from Blossom End Rot, is halfway to the cure!

Blossom End Rot is caused by uneven watering and/or a lack of calcium in the soil. Its more prevalent in hot, dry weather, when frequent water may be required. The cause of this plant problem is no more complex or devious than this. That means the cure (or fix) is a cinch!

First, water your plants on a regular basis. Keep the soil moist, not wet, at all times. Water should be sufficient to penetrate deeply into the soil, as the roots  have dug deep in search of sparse moisture.

It is equally important to add calcium to the soil. Calcium is an important nutrient that plays an vital role in assisting the plant in taking up water and other nutrients. It also helps in building cell structure. (It builds strong bones in humans) Calcium comes in two forms: liquid and solid. Sometimes, there is sufficient calcium in the soil. But, it might not be in liquid form, and the plant can't take it in. To quickly eliminate blossom end rot, we recommend using liquid, or "chelated" calcium. 

There is no need for fungicides or any other chemical disease control.

Disposing Affected Fruit: 

There is no need to remove affected plants. We do recommend removing and discarding affected fruit. The rot on existing fruit will not go away. Removing affected fruit, will encourage the plant to produce new, healthy tomatoes.

People occasionally ask about eating affected fruit. Most people don't eat it, being turned off by the appearance. Some people will cut around the brown spot, and eat the fruit..  

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