If you are growing tomatoes, you are either already enjoying yours or waiting for them to ripen, depending on the variety. Unfortunately, some of you may have had some tomatoes that have been affected by blossom end rot and are no longer edible.
Blossom End Rot
Blossom end rot starts at the blossom end of the tomato, hence the name. It starts out as a small, sunken spot. It continues to spread and cause the fruit to ripen early. So look out for a discolored, sunken, dark spot near the bloom end of the plant. Also keep an eye out for blossom end rot in melons, squash, eggplants and peppers. Identify blossom end rot with these pictures.
What Type of Calcium to Use on Tomatoes?
A foliar sprays containing calcium chloride or calcium nitrate applied directly to the tomato and the leaves around it work great. You may also correct soil calcium deficiencies by applying lime or gypsum if you do it prior to planting. This does take some planning and you will have to have a soil test to see what your soil needs also.
Cultural Controls For Blossom End Rot
Plants need water to absorb calcium from the ground. Be sure to not let the soil stay excessively dry. An even moisture level in the soil will keep blossom end rot away as long as there is calcium to absorb. Also, a good layer of mulch will retain moisture longer.
GreenSeasons Homegrown Food
items to grow watermelon
steps to planting watermelon
Pick a spot. Make sure the area has full sun for at least 6 hours a day and good soil. If it doesn't have good soil, you can always add some new soil or compost.
Time for some landscaping work. You can either build a gardening box or make crop rows. I will cover making a crop row today, but both choices work the same for growing watermelon.
Break up and remove any plants growing on top of the crop area. Till the soil and making sure to break up clumps of soil. If you have trouble doing this or are doing a large area, you can look into renting a gas powered tiller. Make Mounds of soil using your hoe. Space these three to six feet away from the next row.The raised soil will allow water to drain and air reach the plants roots. The lower areas retain more water also.
Level off the tops of your mounds and use either your spade or your hand to make a narrow one inch deep hole for the watermelon seed. Put a few seeds in each hole and pull soil over the top of the hole until it is even with the rest of your mound. Do not press or pack in the soil on top of your seed. Instead, water the newly planted landscape bed using either your finger on the tip of the hose or a setting for your nozzle that imitates rainfall.
For the next week, keep the soil around the seeds damp. About of a week or so later you will see signs of life. Get rid of any plants that look far worse than the others. This will allow for more nutrition for the strong plants. When your new watermelon plants are about 5 inches, add some mulch directly next to the young plants to keep away weeds. Make sure to not cover up your plant. I foresee a very difficult time for you if your plant isn't getting sunlight.
You are in business once you start seeing flowers on your watermelon vines. You can now water your plants twice a week, but only if the soil is dry. If you have gotten a lot of rain in your area, chances are your plants have had enough to drink. Matter of fact, watermelons don't like having water around them. Excess water kind of leads to disease, fungus and sometimes death for the melons. If your watermelons are always wet, you can lay out a 2X4, a piece of tarp or flat rocks and sit your watermelon and its vines on top of them.
Keep your garden free of weeds regularly so they don't block out the sun and consume the nutrients from your watermelons. Also, if you notice your watermelons looking discolored or weird you may have a fungus or bug problem. If you notice your plants or fruit missing, you have an animal or a people problem.
If you plant your melons in April, they will probably be fully grown by August. Smaller melons will take less time while larger melons take longer. To check if they are done, flick the melon with your finger and if it makes a lower pitch sound, it is probably ready. You can also check the bottom of the melon. If the bottom is yellow, it should also be a good sign it is ready. Do not water your watermelon for five to seven days before harvesting. This will give a better sugar to water ratio in your melons so they will taste great! Cut the watermelon from the vine and enjoy your hard work.
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
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