5/15/2020 – To add calcium to reduce the chances of Blossom End Rot, and not affect the soil pH with lime, we mixed 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of pelletized gypsum in a 2-gallon watering can. Poured 1/4th of the can (about 1/2 gallon) around each of the tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers.
The plan was to apply 1 tablespoon to each plant. We dumped the 1/4 cup in the bottom of the cans and blasted it had to hopefully mix it in. There was a lot of froth and brown very cloudy water. But in the end, there was at least a 1/4″ of granular stuff in the bottom of the watering cans.
We had already mulched the plants with old hay. That and the gypsum was implemented based on advice at Wood County Master Gardeners, Texas Agrilife Extension Service to reduce the chances of BER. That advice is:
- Mulch tomato plants- Used old hay to conserve moisture and help control the temperature.
- Apply calcium in the form of gypsum (calcium sulfate) at a rate of 1-2 pounds per 100 square foot of soil area
- IF BER occurs consider “spray the plant with a calcium solution at a rate of 4 pounds of calcium nitrate or calcium chloride per 100 gallons of water (or 4 level tablespoons per gallon of water).”