My tomatoes have osteoporosis

May 19th

Garden to Table

Garden to Table

It has been several years since I gardened this earth, and while I thought things were going smoothly in the bountiful tomato plot, sadly — they are not. I have blossom-end rot, causing all of the larger tomatoes to get mushy bottoms on the vine.

Come to find out, my soil is calcium deficient and I’m growing more than 100 pounds of tomatoes I won’t be able to eat. (Thankfully there are plenty of other, smaller varieties that are still doing fine.)

Next year, the soil gets tested before planting and I will certainly work bone meal into the earth before starting tomatoes.

Lesson painfully learned.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Earth Mama, Flora and Fauna, Heirloom Hacienda
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5 Responses

  1. Bummer! I am generally disappointed with my gardening results… but every year, I try again. My mom is giving me some of her “miracle” fertilizer that she buys from the Amish, we’ll see if that helps.

  2. The plants will still be ok, generally! A lot of times blossom end rot comes not from the plants not getting enough water to be able to absorb the calcium that is in the soil (I’m having a rough time with zucchini right now. ZUCCHINI! Like the easiest thing to grow), so doubling your irrigation time could potentially help (if you tested the soil as part of your diagnosis, then ignore this), after culling all the affected fruit. It doesn’t hurt the plant itself, but I know it’s May already so our time for getting tomatoes is growing short. Worth a shot though! I’ve also heard of people being able to add calcium supplements as liquid fertilizer when the plant is already growing, too. Just some thoughts! If you do want to do soil testing, some decent info here: http://indie-farms.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-deal-with-soil-building.html (I find the process daunting, but this made it seem simpler. I get the email newsletters from Farmyard (even though I don’t use their services) because they have such good timely garden reminders. I am not sure if this will work, but try this link for some info about blossom end rot: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=455de2cf33a67b60c0ef84bb2&id=0728b882fa&e=49504cb60f

  3. …and, I wrote a novel. Sorry about that!

  4. Sarah May 20, 2014

    Save all your egg shells and after they dry out crush them and add them to the soil near the plant. All the time. I did this almost every two weeks or so with my 100+ tomato plants and it really helped.

  5. Maria Paz May 20, 2014

    Agreed with the comment above! Egg shells pove to be effective!