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Maree
Hi , my tomatoes have black spots on them , and my pumpkins have pale blotches that are rotting ...

Should i cover tomatoes and pumpkins with shadecloth on 30 plus days to prevent sunburn . I have been watering twice daily , is this too much ? Thankyou ...

Submitted: 08:15PM, 12 Feb 2012
Answer: Hi Maree,

Black spot on fruit can be caused by a fungus called Target Spot. The spores are produced on the leaf and are then spread by wind, rain and insects. On the fruit the fungus attacks near the fruit stalk and usually causes rotting on one side. To control the spread of this fungus seedlings can be dusted with Tomato Dust or sprayed with Leaf Curl Copper Spray on a weekly basis.

Tomatoes can also develop a black sunken spot on the bottom of the fruit and this is called Blossom-end rot. You will notice this condition when the fruit is half grown.

This can occur when the supply of calcium is not adequate to form the fruit properly. There may not be initially enough calcium in the soil. If this is the case, Garden Lime can be added to the soil before you plant out your tomatoes. Dry conditions and over-watering can both cause this problem. It could also be that the level of other nutrients, which the plant takes up before the calcium, may be too high. Care should be taken to water on a regular basis as this can also affect the uptake of the nutrient calcium.

Regarding your pumpkins, they too can also be affected by lack of the necessary nutrient calcium.

It is always a good idea to test the pH of your soil before sowing or planting out your seedlings. A suitable pH for a vegetable garden is between 6.0 – 6.5

If the weather is extremely hot, you can protect your crops by covering with some shadecloth.

Answered: 04:40PM, 13 Feb 2012

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