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Blossom Drop and Fruit Rot on Vegetables

Don’t let blossom drop and fruit rot reduce this season’s harvest. A few adjustments in your garden care can help reduce the risk.

Many vegetables will drop their blossoms when temperatures and soil moisture fluctuate. Extreme heat and cold nights can cause peppers to drop their blossoms and tomatoes to stop producing. Use floating row covers to keep things warm on cool nights or during heat waves wait for cooler temperatures for the fruit to form.

Be sure to water thoroughly to encourage deep drought-tolerant roots.  Mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to keeps roots cool and evenly moist.

Even soil moisture also insures the uptake of critical nutrients. A lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot on tomatoes and other fruit. Adjust your watering and mulching before reaching for the fertilizer.

A bit more information:  Products like Blossom Set will help with tomatoes, but not peppers. The fruit will be smaller, but at least you’ll have some. This will not work with peppers since they drop their blossoms during extremely hot or cold temperatures.

A few diseases can also cause fruit rot. Remove the squash blossoms as they wilt to reduce the risk of damage caused by these diseases.  And be sure to mulch the soil to reduce the risk of soil born diseases from infecting blossoms and developing fruit. Melon and Squash Cradles from Gardener’s Supply Company help elevate your fruit off the soil further reducing disease problems.

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