Sustainable Dreams

Gardening: Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot in squash

For organic gardeners, it can be quite defeating to grow your garden and suddenly, all of your new fruit growth has been tainted with rot at the blossom end. So what now? What went wrong?

Last year I rescued some tomato plants that had been neglected and forgotten. The plants made a great come back and the tomatoes began to show. at first I thought they were okay, but then it began. Every tomato on the plants had blossom end rot. It was saddening they came back so well, and now this.

I figured it was a calcium deficiency, so we purchased lime granules and mixed it into the top soil. I knew it would not be available to the plants fast enough to help them through the blossom end rot. Funds were low and I had to find a source of calcium that would be available to these plants faster than the granules.

Having chickens, most of us collect the eggshells to compost. I ground them into a fine powder and added it to water. I allowed the egg shell infused water to sit for a couple of days before using it to give the calcium time to concentrate in the water.

I watered the plants, and picked all of the bad fruit off them. A couple of days later, I gave them a bit more calcium water and within days, one of the plants began to fruit again, and the rot was gone. The other plant continued to produce blossom end rot, but also gave us some good ones too.  I was pleased with the results because after all, they were rescues and they did come pretty far already despite their condition when i found them. It was a good opportunity to learn for me.

This year I had 1 of each a tomato plant and a squash plant that had begun to suffer with blossom end rot. I just happened to have a half gallon of sour milk to dump, so instead, I decided to add a gallon of water to it and pour it into the soil of each plant followed by a good shower watering. I waited a few days to see if that would add enough usable calcium to the soil to work fast, and it did. Whether this is common in gardens or not, I don't know, but because it saved those plants, I will surely be doing it again.

I am not an expert gardener, and I do not claim to have all of the facts. My homestead updated posts are my own tried and true solutions, and may or may not work for everyone. Stick around, and we will surely learn from eachother!!!