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Monday, July 17, 2017

Identifying and Treating Tomato Diseases and Problems: Blossom End Rot (BER), Early Blight, Leaf Spot

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Identifying and Treating Tomato Diseases and Problems:
Blossom End Rot (BER), Early Blight, Leaf Spot

Tomato diseases hit most gardens. It is something I have to deal with yearly. While there is no 100% way to rid your tomato garden of diseases, you can greatly slow them down and reduce problems. Problem reduction will increase your yield and bring you greater success.

Before you can begin to manage tomato diseases like Leaf Spot, Early Blight and Blossom End Rot, you have to know what to look for in the way of signs. These problems are fungal, bacterial or a physiological or nutritional issue. They are not viral. There is very little, if any, you can do for viral problems besides remove infected plants.

Blossom End Rot or BER is either a physiological issue, nutritional issue or both. The video gives you examples of what it looks like. If your tomato plant can't access calcium in the soil, there is no calcium or it has a damaged root system from inconsistent watering, your plants can develop BER.

The best way to address BER is to put some (not a lot) calcium in the planting area at initial planting, water evenly and consistently and if you notice signs of BER, add some calcium into the planting area again. The video outlines how to manage Blossom End Rot. You can use BER sprays which typically contain calcium nitrate. A soluble form of calcium your plants can absorb through the leaves. I sell this at my garden shop in pure form. You can make your own sprays at a fraction of the cost of store bought sprays.

Early Blight, Leaf Spots and other fungal or bacterial issues are best managed by preventative leaf spraying. There are many products you can choose. The sprays essentially compete for leaf space with the diseases and prevent them from taking hold. I focus on leaf spot in this video so you can identify it. Once you notice these diseases select a spray and begin regular spraying and remove infected leaves.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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