When tomato rot runs rampant, it can be tempting to assume that it will stop on its own without your intervention. Sadly that is not often the case with tomato rot.
As a general guide, tomato rot ( tomato blossom end rot) will not stop on its own. In general, tomato blossom end rot only stops when an intervention plan to put it to a stop is put in place.
Generally, tomato rot is caused by the insufficient supply of calcium to the plant. The most common way that plants lose their ability to take up nutrients (such as calcium) from the soil is inconsistent watering or drought (lack of rainfall).
After Blossom end rot starts, it continues to grow with the tomatoes. While the resuming of rainfall or consistent watering can’t be reverse the blossom end rot, the condition can definitely be lessened, and in time, stopped.
Besides rainfall, the other way to get blossom end rot to stop is through the application of calcium-enriched substances to the soil. At the end of the day, there has to be an external factor applied in order to stop Blossom end rot.
Since the condition doesn’t stop on its own, what are some of the essential things that you can do in order to control Blossom end rot?
There are a couple of methods that you can take to lessen the effects of Blossom end rot, including how you can prevent this condition from ever affecting your future tomatoes.
Choose resistant tomato varieties
There are so many tomato varieties that you can try. Some tomato varieties are much more susceptible to blossom end rot compared to other varieties. As such, going for the varieties that are less prone to Blossom end rot will surely save you a lot of time.
But, this doesn’t mean that that you should hold back on watering and other methods of preventing the condition. After all, they are “less prone” and not “Zero prone”. Make sure you follow all the guides on caring and you will have a fruitful tomato garden.
The varieties that are more prone blossom end rot are San Marzano, Orange Banana and a common variety called Better Boy.
Amish Paste, Opalka, Stupice, Glacier, Arkansas Travelera and Tigerella are some of the many tomato varieties that are less prone to Blossom end rot. Therefore, it is recommended that you should purchase such varieties.
- Keep soil evenly moist
Moisture is very important to the life of a plant. If you are preserving moisture, this keeps the plant from getting too dry. This the best way to prevent Blossom end rot. Mostly, tomatoes need at least 1 inch of water per week. Make it a habit to water your plants, especially when the fruit is still developing during the growing season.
Whether this water is supplied as rainfall or irrigation, just make sure that the plants are being kept hydrated. Besides irrigating your plants, a layer of mulch (straw, compost, grass) will go a long way in helping to conserve soil moisture during the hot months.
Aside from helping to conserve soil moisture, Mulching plants will also provide a more uniform water supply and prevent leaching or erosion of soil nutrients. A mulch is really just as simple as a covering on the garden soil.
When it rains, the mulches get soaked in water, which means your plants won’t be drowning even if the rainfall is persistent. On the other hand, if the rains don’t come, irrigate your plants with enough water that will be enough to soak into the ground while leaving some on the mulches for moisture upkeep.
On the irrigation, make sure you plants are watered at least twice a week. You have to check how much water moisture is in the soil, by simply sticking your fingers in the dirt around the tomato.
- Adding high levels of calcium
The rotting usually occurs in the early seasons, which means the tomatoes will start rotting while they are still green. As such, it is only ideal to raise the levels of calcium in the soil. Luckily, there are several directions you can take in order to supplement the calcium to your plants, meaning that you have more chances of saving your tomatoes.
First, you could go for bone meal. This is a very effective way of adding calcium to the soil. Alternatively, you can go for lime for an extra supply of calcium.
Besides this, consider supplementing the calcium to the soil around your plants through egg shells. To do this, simply crush the egg shells and add them to the soil. The downfall of this method is that eggshells take way too much time for them to completely dissolve and give out the calcium that the plants can take in. As such, it is recommended that you add eggshells to the soil as you plant your tomatoes.
Besides this, you can use Bonide Rot-Stop, which is simply a calcium solution that is applied directly to the leaves and developing fruit to the point of run-off. The Bonide rot stop is also very easy to apply. You simply mix the product with water according to ratios stated on the bottle, and you are set to spray (using either a hose-end sprayer or tank sprayer)
- Use Balanced Fertilizers
For the most part, tomatoes go very well with manure that has been aged. If you can get your hands on compost manure, even better.
There are generally good organic fertilizers that really give you tomato plants a great start that they need, since tomatoes are heavy feeders, especially at the beginning of the season.
However, you shouldn’t use a lot of compost manures as they can bring undesirable effects on your tomato plant.
Moreover, stay away from synthetic fertilizers. Most tomatoes do just fine without them. However, if you still feel the need to add them to your soil, consider going for synthetic fertilizers that are low in nitrogen.
This is simply because nitrogen was made to assist plants on developing healthy and vibrant leaves. So, adding fertilizers that are high in nitrogen will ward off a lot of the nutrients way from the fruits. Instead, you should go for fertilizers that are high in superphosphate. Alternatively, just pick fertilizers that are balanced.
- Maintain a warm soil temperature
Tomato plants will need the temperatures to be warm, especially when you are planting them. For Tomato seeds, ensure that the temperatures are kept at an average level of 60°F (15.6°C) in order for them to germinate.
Transplants need a lower average temperature of 55°F (13°C) though the growth can be very slow in most cases. The best time to plant tomatoes is that night, since those are the hours that the temperature can be around 55°F.
You will need to have a soil thermometer, which is the device that will help you to check and monitor the temperature of the soil.
You can also alter the temperatures if they are not hot enough. To raise the temperature, you should cover your planting area with either a black or red plastic. But if the temperatures are already above 55°F (13°C), then you are good to go.
- Maintain a balanced soil pH level
Soil pH is another important factor. Make sure that the pH level ranges from 6.2 to somewhere around 6.8. Anywhere less than or beyond this range is not suitable for tomato plants.
To check the soil pH, perform a soil test. You can add some calcium through lime or gypsum to raise the soil ph. To lower it, add organic mulches.
To sum up, the blossom end rot disorder does not stop on its own. Once it starts, the dark and brown spots will increase in size. Eventually, they will turn into dry, patchy areas which can grow to cover about half the size of the tomato. The worse part of Blossom end rot is that it can spread to all the fruits of a plant. At least the disorder doesn’t spread from plant to plant.
However, if you interfere (which you must), you have the chance of saving a lot of your tomato plants from the worsening of this disease. Here, you can add a layer of mulch to prevent excessive loss of soil moisture. Also, make it a habit of watering your plants regularly. If it hard for you to remember when to water your tomato garden, consider setting up a reminder on your phone.
On top of that, purchase the Bonide rot stop, which is an excellent product for dealing with Blossom end rot on tomatoes as well as other vegetables such as cucumbers and peppers- among many. Do not be hesitant about when to control the disease.
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