peppers rotting. lack of lime??

pepperob(7b)July 14, 2011

I noticed rotting before and during my first ripening peppers. and coincidentally a customer was looking for lime to prevent tomato rot, and she said it's necessary for peppers too, if rotting. thoughts anyone?

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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Could be blossom end rot if it's at that end of the pepper. Or it could be sunburn. I've had some peppers with both this season.

'Dolomitic lime' aka 'garden lime' (do not use hydrated lime) is sometimes used to increase soil pH and add calcium and magnesium. It's relatively slow acting and will not bump up your calcium immediately. Also do be aware of the pH issue.

If you just want quick calcium you might try calcium nitrate. If you can't (or don't want to) buy it dry in bulk then you can check hydroponics shops which usually have some kind of liquid formulation. Just tell them you need a calcium supplement to prevent BER.

Some people have argued that calcium does not actually have any effect on Blossom End Rot (BER) - they argue that the plants outgrow BER and that it is only the first few fruit of the season that will suffer.

Check for sunburn though... are the rotting parts facing up? Do they receive any direct sun? If so that's almost certainly the problem. Re-position them or try some shade cloth or etc

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:26PM
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Spongey600

its not "lime" its calcium. and when lime breaks down it turns into calcium. i add vinegar to lime in a container to make the calcium avail right away and add 1 tbsp/gallon when i water even if i am not feeding since peppers need lots of calcium during fruiting. so far i havea few peppers growing and no rot yet. last year i had an issue with a bell pepper and later found out that it was both too much water/not enough calcium.

Eric

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:30PM
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esox07

I have bone meal. Isn't that a calcium bases supplement?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 11:15PM
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pepperob(7b)

thanks everyone for this good info! one pepper, cajun belle rotted in the middle (not much direct sunlight), one anaheim is rotting on the bottom (much sunlight), and a mammoth jalapeno (not much direct sunlight) began rotting on top just as it started to ripen, so i clipped it. so i'm a little confused here.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 8:14AM
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Spongey600

Bone meal is a calcium supplement, but if my understanding is correct it takes time for the bone meal to "break down" to usable calcium in the soil as does putting the lime into the soil itself. so with the concoction or witches brew the calcium is accessable right away as long as water PH is correct.

Eric

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:39AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Eric, you're right.
Esox, bone meal might take 6 months in the soil to become available. That's one of the main problems
with organic amendments/fertilizers in containers - they require extensive time and microbial activity
to break the nutrients down into elemental form.

The Dolomitic Lime reaction will take approximately 2 days to 2 weeks to complete in the soil.
The brew mentioned by Eric sounds like an immediate fix, but I haven't personally tried it.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 12:13PM
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Spongey600

Josh, Since i forgot to add the lime to my soil upon making it, i am using the brew each time i water wether i feed or not and so far so good. all the plants but my super hots have at least 1 pepper and lots of flowers so time will tell if it works!

Eric

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:02PM
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chile_freak

also, bone meal is much higher in phosphorus than it is in calcium, phosphorus is helpful too of course, but lime or a good calcium nitrate or I have been using CAL+ a calcium magnesium supplement w/ trace minerals I got @ the hydroponics/homebrew store here in town.(the store is actually quite coolu walk in and they have their own bottled hombrew+ all the stuff to make it and lots of hydroponicly grown peppers,only jalapenos of course, but beautiful peppers, mmmmmm peppers and beer!)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:21AM
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romy6(9)

You can also go to the health food store and buy calcium magnesium suppliment in the powder form. Mix 1/2 a teaspoon in a 32oz spray bottle. Start spraying the leaves every night and you will see a difference within a few days. It seems to get the calcium to the plants really fast!I allow a day for the calcium to dissolve before I start spraying.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 2:44PM
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vieja_gw(z7NM)

someone somewhere also suggested epsom salts?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:27PM
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