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Tomato End Rot
The container garden is going nuts.   We have an abundance of fruit popping on both the tomato and pepper plants.  But now a new worry pops up, and that is end rot.  From what I see end rot is caused by lack of calcium.  I've provided each plant with 1 tablespoon of gypsum.  Gypsum is supposed to be pretty fast and I haven't seen any signs of rot yet, so I'm probably good to go.  

I could have headed off this problem by using dolomite lime, but I used very little in the first batch of soil that we reconstituted.  I used it more liberally in the second.  At least I know everything I repotted will have a higher level of dolomite and so will have hopefully adequate calcium.

I have an idea you can judge the overall health of a plant by how much water it uses, and I am having to water daily.  I burned through 70 gallons of rainwater and with no rain in the forecast I refilled the barrels with tap water.  The idea is about the same as they tell you at the fish store, give your water a day to let the chlorine out.   Since I circulate continuously I suspect overnight I lose the chlorine and chloramine.  In a regular garden, those are no big deal but in a container garden, you have to "breed" bacteria to create plant food from the organic fertilizer.  I don't know if tap water is a good source of calcium.  We watered with tap water last year and still got some end rot, so it certainly isn't an adequate amount of calcium.


Chicken Dinner.

For a quick acting shot of calcium, dissolve 1/2 cup epsom salt in a gallon of water and side dress your plants with it.



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