When Your Plant Hits Rot Blossom

This was our first year at our new rental and due to the bad conditions of the flower beds and lawn, we opted for a potted garden. And it has definitely proven to have its own mess of problems that I’d never considered.

One morning I wake up to check on my green, leafy children and most of the plants are doing good- even great- in comparison to these 2 plants with brown, rotten spots forming on the bottom of the tomatoes. Like a sane human being, I freak out. And Google the crap out of anything I can about rotting plants. I figure out it is called “rot bottom” or “blossom end-rot” and it occurs mainly in tomatoes and peppers and is caused from a calcium carbonate deficiency. It is highly common among potted plants because the nutrients gets absorbed quicker and are then depleted. And of course I would have know this, had I not just tried to wing it. I am used to  gardening in a plot of land with rich soil, and mistakingly thought it would be just the same.

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Ways to Prevent and Treat Blossom-End Rot(BER):

  • Before you add anything into the soil, the best way to prevent BER is to test your soil’s pH level (with a garden kit)in the fall and know what your planting. Then test again before you plant to make sure no changes have occurred. This will tell you if your soil is more acidic, neutral or alkaline. Refer to this pH level chart to see what levels the plants you’re using should be at.
  • An old wives tale, which has proven to work for many people is to put a crushed up Tums under the roots of your plants when you go to pot them.
  • Mixing limestone (or dolomite) and water and adding it to your pots. Measurements depend on size of plant/pot, follow directions on bag.

I’m preparing better for next year and already cannot wait to get started! Nothing but luscious, juicy tomatoes!

 

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