Rural Life in the UP of Michigan Some stories about life on 160 rural acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

August 8, 2011

Blossom Rot

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin0 @ 10:10 pm

A lot of work goes into a garden. The first fruits of our efforts this year were some tender sweet looking summer squashes. As they got to just about harvesting size, the end of the squash closest to the blossom turned black, and within a few days, disintegrated. A couple of others followed. No summer squashes have yet graced our dinner plates this summer.

Steve kindly looked it up for us, and determined we were suffering (well actually the plants were suffering) from blossom rot, which almost always points to a calcium deficiency. As we researched solutions to this problem, we found several contradictory ones. Add calcium to the soil. No wait! Test the pH of the soil first. Spray the foliage with a calcium solution. Spraying does absolutely no good. Calcium added to the soil takes 4-5 months to become available to the plants. Etc, etc.

I bought some calcium powder and some calcium spray solution in town today during our normal errands. I sprinkled some powder under the tomato and squash plants before I watered from the pond today. I also made up 1/2 gallon of spray solution and sprayed the leaves of the tomatoes and squash. We’ll see what happens. I do lime both gardens each spring, but I only put on 50# of lime total, so maybe that isn’t enough.

The raspberry wine is bubbling nicely. The SG was 1.041 tonight. When it gets to 1.03, I’ll siphon it from the primary fermentor to the secondary gallon glass jug. Then it needs to bubble away for a while. I need to rack the wine back and forth between glass jugs in an effort to discard the gunk on the bottom and clarify the wine. Once the SG gets just right, I’ll bottle it and wait a year for the results. The kitchen smells good… like rising bread.

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