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Blossom End Rot: Make your own cure!

Everyone is coming into the Agway because their tomatoes have blossom end rot. I think it might be because of this dry hot weather. We have been having a tough time keeping Bonide's End Rot Stopper in stock. In fact our suppliers are all out of it too! But don't despair you can make some of your own!

Here is some really good advice from

IS THE FRUIT OKAY TO EAT? Affected fruit can still be eaten, just cut off the black part. There is nothing harmful about the fruit, they just didn’t develop properly.

DO I NEED TO START OVER? Good news, your plants are fine -­ they are not diseased and this is easily remedied. Blossom End Rot is usually more prevalent on the first fruit that appears and future fruit is sometimes okay even if the plant is not treated. It usually develops from rapid plant growth, extreme temperature differences, soil becoming dry or a lack of calcium when the first fruit is setting. This year we have found that some customers experiencing excessive rain fall have had a problem with Blossom End Rot.

HOW TO TREAT A real easy way to treat this is to mix one cup of hydrated lime (powder) to a gallon of water and add it to the water well. You can find hydrated lime at most garden or hardware stores. You will only need to do this once - and any fruit that begins to develop after just a few days will be fine. Don't overdo it though - adding too much lime will burn your plants.

Another treatment involves a little more work. This problem is so common, nearly every store that has a garden section has a product to treat Blossom End Rot. You can request the products by brand name or just mention Blossom End Rot. Two readily available brands are: Rot-Stop and Stop Blossom End Rot. Or you can make your own. Mix one tablespoon of calcium chloride (what you use to melt ice in the winter) per gallon of water and spray the leaves twice a week as the tomatoes are developing. Do not spray for the entire season, as it may injure your plant.

Here is a recipe from Survival At Home:

At the first sign of blossom end rot, remove all affected tomatoes from the plant and discard. Water the affected plant deeply at the base with an eggshell and Epsom salt tea: As you’re using eggs, save the shells. Rinse them out thoroughly and allow them to air dry. After you’ve baked something and turned the oven off, you can pop the eggshells into the cooling oven to help them dry completely. This will also help kill any potential bacteria. Once you have a good amount of eggshells, crush them into your food processor, mini chopper, or spice grinder (in batches). Pulverize the shells into a powder. Dissolve 1/4 cup of Epsom Salt and 1 tablespoon of powdered eggshells into a gallon of water and slowly pour the entire gallon around the base of the affected tomato plant. The mixture will go directly to the plant roots and be absorbed by the plant to help stop future developing tomatoes from being afflicted by blossom end rot. Copyright © 2016 - Survival at Home - Read more at:

I've got a new recipe from my friend Ed Szymanski from Franklin and I am trying this one.

This is what I have done so far:

Bake and pulverize 6 egg shells (I got 1/8th cup), put it in a 1 quart mason jar. Add cider vinegar in a 1 to 10 ratio- 10/8ths or 1 1/4 cup vinegar. Mine started to bubble, so don't close the top tight! Now I am waiting a week for the calcium to leach out of the shells and into the vinegar. (Overnight it stopped fizzing so I might close it today) Then I will use 1 teaspoon of finished liquid per gallon of water! I'll keep you posted!

Good luck and let us know if you tried any recipes and if it worked!

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