Don’t look at my windowsill now, but. . .

. . . there is an orange tomato ripening there!

The first tomato was picked on July 2, but it ended up rotten inside.

The second tomato was picked on about July 6, but it had blossom end rot and was partially black inside.  It was good around the edges, however, and I did eat the edges in my Sunday lunch salad.  Quite tasty.

The one on the windowsill sports a few cracks on top, but, hey, who’s complaining?

Also, in my lazy and cheap state, I think I may have devised an inexpensive and easy cure for blossom end rot (BER) in tomatoes.  There are several causes of of this nasty condition, but the one I’ve most often heard to the be culprit is a calcium deficiency.

Normally, right after the first of the year, I spend a couple months saving, cleaning, and crushing eggs shells, which I work into the soil before I plant the tomatoes.  I have never had BER when I’ve done the prophylactic eggshell treatment, but this year, I was lazy and didn’t want to mess with the egg shells; sure enough, the first few tomatoes had BER.  = (

Generally, once you spot the condition, it’s too late to do anything about it – certainly for that particular fruit, and probably for all the fruit on that plant.  However, I have been DESPERATE for a decent homegrown tomato, so I took a gallon of milk that was just about past its prime and dumped several cups’ worth around the base of each of my tomato plants.  For good measure, I repeated the application 10 days later.  So far, so good.  I have a total of about 15 green tomatoes on several different plants, and none of them shows signs of BER!

The milk was much cheaper and much easier than buying, mixing, and spraying the recommended chemical treatments on all the foliage, and it took all of 30 seconds.  = )

Now, we just need a cold snap.  With nighttime temps staying above 70, the flowers on my tomato plants are not setting fruit.  Boo hoo.  However, if I can bring these few tomatoes to a successful conclusion on a sandwich or in a salad, I will truly be happy gardener.


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