A: The tomato dysfunction you point out is known as blossom finish rot. I am going to tactfully keep away from selecting sides by merely passing alongside info from North Dakota State College. The Extension Service addresses using Epsom salts in tomatoes by saying “It is time to debunk the parable. Epsom salt does not cease blossom finish rot – it results in extra of it. Blossom finish rot is brought on by a deficiency of calcium. Epsom salt accommodates magnesium sulfate – no calcium in any respect. Including Epsom salt to the soil might create extra rot since magnesium and calcium ions compete for uptake into the plant. The extra magnesium within the soil, the much less probability that calcium can be absorbed.”
As an alternative of utilizing Epsom salts, blossom finish rot could be minimized by holding soil moisture extra uniform by mulching round crops, avoiding root disruption from shut cultivation and avoiding over-fertilization.
Q: How are you going to inform the distinction between a Christmas cactus and a Thanksgiving cactus, aside from I suppose the one blooms earlier? – April Hanson, Duluth, Minn.
A: Thanksgiving cactus does have a tendency to reply barely sooner to the set off of brief days and funky temperatures, though the 2 cacti typically overlap in bloom occasions. The simplest strategy to inform them aside is by wanting on the stem pads. (They do not actually have leaves.) Christmas cacti have rounded pads with clean edges. The stem pads of Thanksgiving cacti have pointed prongs alongside the pad edges, that are simply seen. Thanksgiving cacti are ceaselessly mistakenly referred to as Christmas cacti. The care necessities for each crops are comparable.
Q: Are strawberry crops presupposed to be coated with straw within the fall? We have by no means coated ours, however I’ve learn that it is advisable. – Brent Wilson, Bismarck, N.D.
A: There are two good causes for masking strawberries within the fall with straw, leaves or different protecting mulch. Strawberry crops are very vulnerable to wreck from freezing and thawing, which simply occurs in winters that lack adequate snow depth, or when snow disappears in late winter. The heaving impact of freezing and thawing soil can tear roots, damaging or killing crops. Fall mulch retains crops comfortably frozen, avoiding fluctuations till spring truly arrives.
A second purpose for making use of fall mulch is to buffer winter’s chilly, as a result of a few of the newer strawberry varieties may be injured at extraordinarily low temperatures. Injury can happen through the occasional “check” winter, and mulching reduces the gamble.
When you’ve got a gardening or garden care…