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Epsom Salt for Tomato

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
State fruit - Tomato

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Tomatoes are one of  popular vegetables home gardeners grow. The satisfaction of planting and watching the fast growing tomato plants generate their red or yellow fruits can only be rivaled by the taste of a home grown tomato.

There are several points that a gardener has to be vigilant about regarding growing healthy tomato plants, and one of those is blossom end rot, which strikes just prior to the maturation of the tomatoes. Quite a disappointment for the gardener who has tended the tomato plants for weeks and greatly anticipated eating the fruits of his labor. Blossom end rot can be prevented, even stopped after it has already begun to attack a tomato plant, with several applications of Epsom salt.

What Cautilizes Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is cautilized by a lack of calcium in the garden soil. The calcium deficient soil is just not able to bring the tomatoes to the ripe stage before the fruit rots. Blossom end rot starts out as a small dark circle on the tomato’s blossom end and will stretch through the green or partially ripe tomato.

Prevent Blossom End Rot

To prevent blossom end rot, work Epsom salt into the garden soil before planting tomatoes. Apply one pound of Epsom salt to the standard sized raised bed garden (four feet by six-eight feet) or one cup of Epsom salt per container that tomatoes will be grown in and work into the soil well with a spade or tiller. The Epsom salt will then be a readily offered source of calcium and magnesium for the tomato plant.

Epsom salt as well promotes root growth and development for all garden vegetables and flowers and should be worked into the soil along with organic matter at the beginning of spring. A side dressing of Epsom salt or watering gardening vegetables with a combination of ½ cup of Epsom salt dissolved in one gallon of water a couple of times during the growing season will keep plants healthy and growing vigorously. When applying dry Epsom salt as a side dressing, be careful not to allow the Epsom salt to touch any part of the plant.

Stopping Blossom End Rot Once It Starts

If blossom end rot strikes tomato plants, it can be stopped and the plant can go on to generate healthy tomatoes. At the first sign of blossom end rot, remove all affected tomatoes from the plant and discard. Begin watering the tomato plant with an Epsom salt combination once per week. Dissolve ½ cup of Epsom salt into a gallon of water and slowly pour the entire gallon around the base of the tomato plant. The Epsom salt combination will go directly to the plant roots and be absorbed by the plant and stop future developing tomatoes from being afflicted by blossom end rot.

Tomato blossom end rot can be prevented or stopped after it has begun with an application of good old Epsom salt.

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Dry rot potato disease

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Dry rotSeveral species of Fusarium cause dry rot potato disease.
Young potato tubers have some resistance to dry rot which slows disease. But dry rot disease progresses noticeably during the last half of the storage season.

The first symptoms of dry rot are usually dark decay on the surface of the tuber. In cases of large lesions the skin becomes wrinkled in concentric rings as the underlying dead tissue desiccates. Internal symptoms are characterized by necrotic areas shaded from light to dark chocolate brown or black.
This necrotic tissue is usually dry and may develop at an injury such as a cut or bruise. The pathogen enters the tuber, often rotting out the center. Rotted cavities are often lined with mycelia and spores of various colors from yellow to white to pink depending on the species of the pathogen.

Management and control of dry rot potato disease

Practically the following procedures will help prevent dry rot.

  • Critical point is to purchase seed that has as little dry rot as possible. Seed should be inspected, preferably during the last months of storage.
  • To minimize injury and promote rapid growth Warm seed tubers should be warmed to at least 50° F before handling and cutting. Cold tubers are very prone to shatter bruising.
  • Clean and disinfect the seed storage before receiving seed. Knives on the cutter should be sharp to make a smooth cut for that easy healing.

Disinfect seed cutting and handling equipment often and clean up well between seed Plow Attachmentlots. Adjust the cutter and sort tubers to provide 2-ounce seed pieces that will provide substantial nutrition to the developing plant, even if some rot develops.
Get rid obviously rotted tubers before they reach the cutter.

  • Treating seed pieces with fungicide helps prevent dry rot and other diseases caused by seed pathogens.
  • Protect the seed tuber from affect of wind and sunlight during planting because dehydration greatly weakens them. Cutting pieces should be planted within 24 hours.
  • Harvest tubers after skins are set and when pulp temperature is greater than 50° F. Use antibruise practices when harvesting and piling potatoes.
  • If using a postharvest fungicide, be certain that the coverage is adequate to protect the entire surface of the tuber. Use the volume of water and fungicide rate specified on the label.
  • Allow a period for wounds to heal before dropping the temperature in storage. There should be good air circulation, high humidity (greater than 90%), and temperature around 55° F.
  • For prevention of condensation on the tubers drop the temperature slowly and store tubers as cool as possible, considering your intended market.
  • Monitor storages often for dry rot. Never place tubers with dry rot symptoms in storage because doing so spreads disease.