THERE are few things worse for a gardener than finding out their vegetables are rotting on the vine, but one expert has some tips to prevent future disappointment.
According to the gardening expert there are three simple tips you can follow to keep your vegetables from rotting.
A gardening expert provides tips to keep your vegetables from rotting in your gardenCredit: Getty
According to the expert at Savvy Gardening, the key is to identify what type of rot your experiencing, figuring out the cause, and then focusing on getting your soil balanced and watered correctlyCredit: Getty
In a post on the website Savvy Gardening, expert Jessica Walliser walks gardeners through the steps of identifying, preventing, and treating rotting vegetables.
The first step to preventing rot, she writes, is to properly identify the rotting issue.
Walliser specifically hones in on so-called “blossom end rot,” a problem that can foil your plans of eating vegetables straight from your garden.
The expert says this type of rot has a “distinctive appearance” and describes it as “blackened, sunken cankers appear on the bottom (blossom end) of the fruits.”
Often the tops of the vegetables will look as if they are totally fine, only to have the rotting flesh on their underside.
“They are always on the blossom end of the fruits, never on the top,” she said.
Plants like tomatoes, summer squash, and peppers are especially prone to this type of rot, but Walliser says there are ways to keep it from happening.
Second, any gardener trying to keep the rot away will want to get a better understanding of why the vegetable is rotting in the first place.
According to the gardening expert, blossom end rot is not a disease or something that is caused by insects.
It turns out, this type of rotting is actually a disorder with the plant itself.
“It is a physiological disorder thought to be caused by stress combined with a lack of calcium in the developing fruit,” Walliser wrote in her blog post.
As she explains, if the plant is low on calcium, which is needed in high amounts as it grows, then the fruit breaks down.
A few issues that can contribute to the lack of calcium include not having enough calcium in the soil itself, but typically it has to do with soil that isn’t retaining steady moisture levels.
The third and final step for keeping the rot away involves getting the soil right.
According to Walliser, it’s necessary to ensure the plant is absorbing sufficient levels of water, which in turn helps allow the plant to get enough calcium.
“The calcium is there; your plants just aren’t getting it,” she said.
“Blossom end rot is especially common in container-grown tomatoes or during years of inconsistent rainfall.”
If you water your plants consistently, you’ll help avoid the rotting problems.
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