IMG_1525 Since quantity is not the goal this year, am focusing on quality.  Blossom end rod in both tomatoes and zucchini have long been a problem and splitting tomatoes also.

Blossom end rot is about calcium and splitting is about irregular watering.

So this year, am using Gypsum in the soil as well as improving the watering system.

Gypsum provides both calcium and sulfur.  Sulfur acidifies the soil and that is another aspect of the garden balance.  Without it, the soil here tends to about a pH of 7. probably not acidic enough to dissolve the calcium present in our hard water or our soil to make it available for the plants.  Even using rain water doesn’t acidify the soil.  So this year its working with gypsum and am seeing a pretty steady 6.5 in the garden.  Better for the veggies and better for the fruits.  Maybe why my previous attempts at strawberries failed and why the blackberries never set fruit last year.   The gypsum alone is not enough to acidify the soil enough for the blueberries, but is doing enough of the job the seedlings are growing nicely.

In the greenhouse, am using self watering containers.  and in the garden, Ollas.  Both encourage roots to pull deep and keep a constant supply of moisture for the plants.  No matter what method of surface watering you choose – and I’ve tried drip, spray, and just plain daily watering – all stay on the surface and encourage shallow roots that are subject to drying out.

It will be awhile before I can say for sure that these techniques are 100% going to solve my problem, but from the look of the harvest above, think I’m on to something.

OH – While I consider myself an organic gardening, am NOT using ORGANIC Gypsum.  Saw they had some in the garden supply center.  But since Gypsum is a rock, not an organic material, it didn’t seem to make sense to spend the extra money on ORGANIC gypsum!

This entry was posted in container gardening, fruits, greenhouse, homesteading, organic, prepping, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized, water. Bookmark the permalink.

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