Friday, 17 July 2009

Avoid Blossom End Rot

This season I seem to be obsessed with just two tomato problems - Blight and Blossom End Rot or BER for short.

Having read about the many wonderful and strange ways to avoid BER I thought that this season I would give some a try, so I saved the egg shells and found a pack of indigestion tablets in the back of the cupboard.

I ground the egg shells in a pestle and mortar earlier in the season and sprinkled the powdered shells around the base of my tall varieties of Alicante, Golden Sunrise, Tamina and Gardener's Delight earlier in the season to give the calcium time to affect the soil.

I recently, just as the flowers started to set, dissolved an indigestion tablet (spearmint to be exact!) in the watering can and repeated this a couple of weeks later.

All of these varieties have toms that are almost full size, although still green, and there is no sign of blossom end rot on anyone of them!

Was it because of my thorough watering - or the egg shells - or the indigestion tablets, the last two of which contain calcium? Well, I don't know for sure and to be perfectly honest I don't care because for the first time in my growing experience, there is not a tom with BER anywhere to be seen!

I do have one Oregon Spring tomato that has a slight touch of BER, but I started this plant early in the season and colder temperatures make it more difficult for plants to absorb nutrients so low temperatures would account for this.

I shall of course, for the record, test to see which of the two additions of calcium is the most effective before the end of the season.

Also, you can buy calcium especially produced for plants so this is another, more conventional option. I rather like being a bit unconventional at times!

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