why do watermelons rot on the end
You know it s summer when the have grown so big they re almost bursting out of their skins. Each one holds the promise of a picnic or party; watermelons were never meant to be eaten alone. But what do you tell your friends and family when the watermelon bottom turns black? Sadly, your fruits have succumbed to watermelon blossom end rot, and although affected fruits aren t treatable and probably aren t palatable, you can save the rest of the crop with some fast modifications to the bed. Why is Watermelon Rotting on Bottom? Watermelon blossom end rot isn t caused by a pathogen; it s the result of fruit that lacks the to develop properly. When fruits are growing rapidly, they need lots of calcium, but it doesn t move through the plant very well, so if it s not available in the soil, they will be deficient. A lack of calcium ultimately causes rapidly developing cells in fruits to collapse on themselves, turning the blossom end of the watermelon into a black, leathery lesion. Blossom rot in watermelons is caused by a lack of calcium, but simply adding more calcium isn t going to help the situation.
More often than not, watermelon blossom end rot occurs when water levels are fluctuating during fruit initiation. A steady supply of water is required to move calcium to these young fruits, but too much isn t good, either good drainage is necessary for healthy roots. In other plants, excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer can initiate wild vine growth at the expense of fruits. Even the wrong type of fertilizer can lead to blossom end rot if it binds the calcium in the soil. Ammonium-based fertilizers can tie up those calcium ions, making them unavailable to the fruits that need them most. If your watermelon has black bottom, it s not the end of the world. Remove the damaged fruits from the vine as early as possible to encourage your plant to initiate new flowers, and check out the soil around your vines. В ideally, it should be between 6. 5 and 6. 7, but if it s under 5. 5, you ve definitely got a problem and will need to quickly and gently amend the bed.
Look at the soil while you re testing; is it sopping wet or powdery and dry? Either condition is blossom end rot waiting to happen. Water your melons just enough that the soil stays moist, not wet, and never let water puddle around the vines. Adding mulch helps keep soil moisture more even, but, you may have to mix in a considerable amount of compost at the end of the season to get good watermelons next year.
(Co-author of Melon blossom end rot can discourage the gardener and rightly so. All the work in getting the garden ready, planting and caring for your melons may seem in vain when prized melons develop melon blossom rot. This disease occurs when the end of the fruit that was attached to the bloom is deprived of calcium at a critical point in development. Small spots appear that may enlarge and become infected by other diseases and entered by insects. Preventing melon blossom end rot is something most gardeners aspire to. before you plant the garden to learn the pH of your garden soil. will have you bring in your soil sample and get it back to you with a detailed nutrient analysis, including the availability of calcium in the soil. is what most vegetables need for optimum growth and preventing melon blossom end rot.
The soil test may advise you to amend the soil to raise or lower the pH. Fall is a good time to test the soil as this allows time to add needed amendments and let them settle into the soil before spring planting. Once the soil is properly amended, this should help fix melon blossom rot and problems with other vegetables. The soil analysis may recommend adding if the soil is lacking in calcium. Lime should be applied at least three months before planting; at 8 to 12 inches deep. Take a soil test every third year to keep a check on pH and alleviate considerations such as melon blossom end rot. Problem soil should be tested annually. Water consistently and keep the soil moist. Soil that inconsistently fluctuates from moist to dried out during any stage of development of the melon flower or fruit may result in melon blossom end rot.
Varying moisture levels causes uneven uptake of, which causes blossom end rot in melons, and some other fruits and vegetables. Blossom end rot in melons can happen even when there is adequate calcium in the soil, all that is needed to cause this unsightly disease is one day of inadequate watering when the fruit is beginning to form or when blossoms are developing. The majority of the calcium taken up by the plant goes to the leaves. encourages the growth of leaves; limiting nitrogen fertilizer can decrease leaf size. This may allow more calcium to be directed toward the developing fruit, which can discourage blossom end rot in melons. Blossom end rot in melons can be deterred by in well-draining soil to encourage a deep and large root system that will take up more calcium. around plants to help hold moisture. Fix melon blossom rot by following these practices and harvest undamaged melons from your garden.
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