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.


-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.


-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.

Vaccinating Goats Against Enterotoxemia and Tetanus

Generally it is advised that goats are vaccinated against overeating disease (enterotoxemia) and Tetanus.  Both of these diseases are caused by clostridal bacteria present in the animal’s environment. Vaccinating for these diseases provide protection and are considered part of herd preventive and decrease cost because one vaccine is considered to provide protection for both diseases.

There are many different signs associated with over eating disease. Goats can be found dead. Other signs include being down, and/or having neurological signs. These can include twitching, star gazing, teeth grinding, fever, swollen stomach, diarrhea with blood, convulsions and death within a few hours.

Signs of tetanus include stiff muscles, spasms, flared nostrils, erect/stiff ears  and elevated tail. In addition , the affected animals have a difficult time opening their mouths, so the term lock jaw has been given to the disease. Animals can be hyper-responsive to stimuli. Eventually animals go down and die.

The vaccine that should be given is a C-D-T or a 3-way. Clostridium Perfringens Types C and D plus Tetanus Toxoid (labeled for goats)

Give the vaccine in the sub-cutaneous in the neck, pinch loose skin between your thumb and index finger high on the neck, as close to the head as possible. Or it can be given behind the front leg in the armpit area, or between the chest and a front leg.


Master Gardener Clinic

Master gardeners are educated in and are actively promoting sustainable garden and landscape practices that minimize the risk to human health and the environment. They have an abundant amount of resources to help you identify your horticulture problems.
You may bring in a particular insect and/or plant specimen for them to inspect. This will help them accurately diagnosis your issue.
Visit with a Master Gardener and receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase of plants/garden when you spend $30 or more. Coupon will only be valid Saturday, May 18th, 2019.


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.

Gardner and Bloom Organic Soil Products                                       

Spring is here, and with it comes warmer, sunny weather we home gardeners crave after a long winter. Many of us are beginning to buy seeds, bedding plants, garden tools, and soil products for our gardens. Burns Feed Store carries all of these kinds of garden items and more. A quality brand we offer is Gardner and Bloome (G&B) Organics soil products.  All G&B products are 100% organic. They are OMRI and OIM certified and USDA compliant for organic standards. G&B Organics is a family owned business (just like Burns Feed Store!), in operation since 1925. G&B always looks to source the best organic ingredients and produce their products locally whenever possible. Their products are made to be kind to families, pets, and the environment, with a commitment to sustainability. G&B Organics soil products will help you grow beautiful flowers, enhance your landscape, and produce a bountiful garden crop. Burns Feed Store carries G&B potting soils; several types of composted manures; raised bed soil mix; soil conditioner; worm castings; compost; top soil and other soil amendments.  We also have two types of their Swanson bark mulch. Please, come in to Burns Feed Store so we can help you select the right Gardner and Bloome soil product(s) to complete your garden project.


Which Traeger Pellets Should I Use?



If you are like me, you’re used to smoke being a prominent flavor in your final product. Mesquite smoker pellets can typically be way too strong, but lucky for us, pellet pits by their very nature produce a gentler smoke flavor profile. I have found that Mesquite in a pellet smoker grill is awesome and it has become my go-to.


Hickory is strong, but not as strong as Mesquite but I recommend it for much the same reasons as I recommend Mesquite.

Cherry & Apple

I know, I know I listed two here. It’s because I use them interchangeably, but if I had to pick just one, I’d pick Cherry. It’s widely known for producing a great smoke ring and great color on your meat, but is still very, very mild.


Last but not least, Pecan. I love Pecan. Pecan is just a fantastic mix of what Hickory can do but with a nice vanilla, nutty finish. Pecan to me is what good bourbon is to most other folks. It hits all the same flavor notes and is so palatable that it suites all occasions. Rather than using Oak, I find Pecan works in its place.


One flavor is great for the backyard, but during competition, I’ll mix two pellet tastes. I love taking 6lbs of Mesquite pellets and mixing them with 4lbs of Cherry pellets. This mellows the Mesquite just a bit yet gives me the smoke ring and color benefits of Cherry.

Choose for You

So which should you choose? Well, I first and foremost recommend everyone experimenting to find what works best for you. That said, here is a list of what I like to use when cooking various things at home:

  • Burgers / Brats – Hickory, Mesquite or Pecan – You want to hit the burgers with as much smoke flavor as possible since it is a shorter cook time.
  • Pork Ribs – Cherry or Mesquite
  • Pulled Pork – I really like Pecan here, but Cherry, Hickory, Apple and Mesquite would be great as well
  • Brisket – Mesquite and Hickory – When it comes to big, beautiful beef, go strong with flavors
  • Chicken – Pecan, Apple and Cherry – Chicken is not a very strongly flavored meat so you can go lighter
  • Veggies – Hickory and Mesquite – Again, it’s a short cook time so I like stronger flavored woods here like
  • Steaks – Pecan, Hickory, or Mesquite.
  • Salmon – Apple and Cherry, or in a pinch, Pecan
  • Whole Turkey – Cherry and Apple over Mesquite – If you are serving this for Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t go super heavy with smoke flavor here
  • Pizzas – Pecan

When In Doubt, Foil It Out

What do you do when you only have a strong-flavored pellet but don’t want to over-flavor the meat? Solve it by the old Texas Crutch a.k.a. wrapping with aluminum foil. Many times I’ve wrapped meat once I was happy with the color or to keep the meat from taking on more smoke than desired. It’s a great technique.

You do what works for you and what creates the best results. People will remember the meal, the flavors, and the fellowship, not what pellet flavor you chose.

Remember the first rule of your barbecue – it’s YOUR barbecue.

Fly Season is Upon Us

Spring is coming and with it comes warmer weather, sunshine and….flies! Most of us are pretty experienced when it comes to fighting these winged pests. Changing your fly control strategies every year is a good idea. Here’s a brief overview of the species that might appear and what you can do to protect your horses from them.

Stable Flies look like house flies but they inflict painful bites, most often on a horses legs, but also on the belly, face and neck. They can be found around livestock practically anywhere in the country, but they will reach their peak in warmer climates, especially in hotter, wetter weather. Stable flies prefer bright sunny areas and tend not to enter dark enclosures.

Horseflies and Deerflies inflict painful bites that bleed. Deerflies tend to attack the head and neck, smaller horseflies bite on legs, and the larger ones feed on the horse’s back. These types of flies lay their eggs in moist soil or vegetation near ponds, marshes and other bodies of water. Some may travel as far as 30 miles in search of blood meals. Horsefly and deerfly species prefer bright sunlight on hot, still days.

Horn flies tend to congregate on the horse’s belly, where a single fly may bite multiple times before flying off.  On cooler days, they may also feed on the neck, shoulders and back. Horn flies are normally found near cattle, and they lay their eggs in fresh cow manure, but they will affect horses in shared or adjoining pastures.

Blackflies inflict painful bites, usually on sparsely haired areas, such as the ears and genitals. Although they can be found as far south as Florida, blackflies are notorious pests up north. They are most abundant in forested areas and slow moving waterways, such as streams, lakes or canals, in which they lay their eggs. They feed primarily on bright, sunny days and prefer not to fly into dark enclosures.

Face flies do not bite, but they congregate on the face to feed on saliva, tears and mucus. Face flies prefer cattle, and breed only in cow manure, but they will also land on horses pastured within a quarter mile. They are most active in the spring and summer but not in hot, dry weather.

Culicoides (biting midges, biting gnats, no-see-ums) attack different parts of the horse, depending on the species, but the more common ones tend to bite at the tail head, ears, mane, withers and rump; others go for the belly. Although the individual flies are tiny, they form dense swarms that inflict many bites at once. These flies breed in wet places such as slow, still streams, marshes and rotting vegetation, and are most active just after sunset.

Burns Feed Store has you covered, or your horse covered as far as fly control goes. We stock the following options:

  • Insecticidal/repellent sprays ● repellent lotions/roll-ons ● spot-applied permethrin products ● fly sheets ● fly masks ● feed-through fly control ● dusts ● fly traps ● feed-through blocks

E-Z Haul Carts

Are you tired of tipping over the single tire wheelbarrow? It’s time to make your job a little easier with an E-Z Haul Cart! The perfect balance of an E-Z Haul Cart will get the job done with less effort. These carts are built to last! They are made with the most durable components to handle big loads, regardless of cart size. The E-Z Haul Cart is available in three sizes with load ratings from 250 to 600 pounds. Sizes available at Burns Feed Store are:
5 1/2Cu.Ft. Garden Cart
8Cu.Ft. Utility Cart
11 1/2Cu.Ft. Jumbo Cart
Since 1986, the E-Z Haul cart has been manufactured in the United States, to provide cost effective service for new products and replacement parts. We carry a full line of replacement parts if you need to spruce up your old cart!
E-Z Haul Carts are Affordable, Durable and Versatile!


Customer Appreciation Day

You’re kind of a big deal and we want to prove it! Saturday, August 3rd we will have a day to celebrate 69 years servicing the community’s farm and garden needs! Same family, same location, same great service, better deals and more fun. Come join us in celebrating!
Vendors with FREE samples
Breyer Painting Fun
Coin Hunt starting at 1pm
Face Painting from 11-2pm
Horseshoeing Demo
FREE Food starting at 11am
Live Music