Tomato Blossom End Rot

It’s August and those of us who garden might be encountering tomato blossom end rot.  Yuk!  What to do?  As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I like to keep things simple.  So here is what I do to battle this nasty disease.

If this is the case for you, never fear, the plant may still have time to produce some good fruit.  Pick off this bad fruit and toss it.  And then fertilize your plant with a fertilizer that is made for tomatoes.  Why one for tomatoes?  Because it will have just a tad more calcium than a fertilizer made for “all vegetables”.  See this post of mine for what I use.  I keep the fertilizing process very simple in my garden.  First, I’m not a master gardener so keeping it simple works better for me.  And, I have a very busy life with my full time job, caring for my mother and my volunteering gigs so “keeping it simple” is my garden way.  Also I have a fairly small gardening budget so I can’t spent a lot on fertilizer (and some are very expensive).

So why is this blossom end rot occurring?  I believe it is because of all the rain we have had.  All that water has leached any nutrients out of our soil.  And since we have clay “soil” in most areas of the front range, we need all the nutrients we can get (which is why amending soil is so important here).  One of the simple techniques I started using about 8 years ago is to place a tablespoon of epsom salt in the dirt as I am planting my tomatoes in May.  This adds a bit of calcium.  Keep that in mind for next year.  I have rarely had blossom end rot since.  I don’t even have it this year.

So, between using epsom salt in the spring (at planting) and tomato fertilizer throughout the summer, I’ve been able to avoid the nasty blossom end rot.  If you end up losing a vegetable plant in your garden, don’t give up hope.  Read here for more on how I have learned to find the gifts even when I have to stare at the death of a tomato plant.

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