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    BLOSSOM-END ROT IN TOMATOES: How to Identify, Control & Prevent

Blossom-end rot is a condition that affects tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons, and eggplant. This is a fairly common problem in western Oregon.  A classic symptom of blossom-end rot is the development of a depressed water-soaked spot that appears on the blossom end of the fruit. This can occur on either green or ripening fruit.  The spot will enlarge, becoming sunken and turns a leathery brown or black color. The spot can encompass the lower half of the tomato in time. Many gardeners believe this problem is caused by a disease. However, it is not disease caused. Blossom-end rot is a physiological condition that can be caused by a number of different factors during plant growth that are easily remedied.

CAUSES:

-A lack of calcium in the soil. Low soil calcium is common in western Oregon.

-Extreme fluctuations in soil moisture. Very wet to very dry.

-Rapid growth in early season followed by extended dry weather.

-Excessive rain/irrigation smothers the plants fine root hairs.

-Cultivating too close to the plant, damaging the root system.

-Excess soil salts.

SOLUTIONS:

-Lime the garden well before planting in spring to add the necessary calcium to the soil. A rate of 50lbs. per 500-1000 sq. ft. is desirable. Also, put 1-2 extra handfuls of lime in each planting hole to give each tomato a little extra calcium.

-Maintain uniform soil moisture by watering regularly, but not to excess. Perhaps 2, maybe 3 times per week depending on soil type.

-Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizer or large quantities of fresh manure that can promote too rapid or excessive growth.

-Don’t cultivate deeper than 1” within 1 foot of the plant.

-If soil has excess salts, provide more water to leach the salts from the soil.

Plants with fruit that develop blossom-end rot can be treated with a liquid calcium spray solution to stop further development of the condition. This is to be used only as a stop-gap measure to save your crop. The solution can be applied 2-3 times per week, directly to the plants foliage. Ferti-lome Yield Booster is product Burns Feed Store recommends for foliar treatment. It comes in a concentrate and a ready to use form.

New Breeds of Geese

We have new breeds of geese coming in 2019!

Buff Saddle Back Pomeranian 

Pomeranian Geese average 16 pounds in weight and lay about 70 eggs a season although some varieties may produce less. They have flattened heads, stout necks, prominent breasts, rounded bodies and what has been described as an “arrogant” bearing. They make good watch birds as they tend to greet visitors noisily.

Grey Saddle Back Pomeranian 

The Pomeranian is a medium weight breed which originated in Germany. They are a fine meat bird and are also a fair producer of white eggs. They have a unique feather coloring pattern and have a reddish/pink bill, orange/red legs and orange/red feet.

 

In addition to these new breeds will continue to sell African, Buff, Embden, Toulouse and White Chinese.