For instance, it loosens soil to allow it to absorb more water, and it increases the strength of a plant's cells. Place your collected eggshells in a blender and blend until you have a dry powder. Repeat every two weeks during the growing season. Tomato plants require much more calcium than other fruits and vegetables. Determine whether lack of calcium is exactly what is affecting your plants. If your soil's pH level is lower than that range, which means it is more acidic, then add garden lime, also known as calcium carbonate, to your vegetable bed's soil in fall. I was amazed by the result. 7. Using wh… An example of this is high-calcium limestone, applied to correct the soil pH at least two months prior to planting. It also may cause blossom-end rot, in which sunken dark-brown or black spots appear on the lower ends of tomato fruits. How Often Should You Add Calcium to Zucchini Plants? The latter problem is most common early in the growing season, when tomato plants put out lots of new growth, and the problem may correct itself later. With Soil Additives. All Rights Reserved. Calcium promotes the healthy growth of plants in a wide variety of ways. Tomato plants grown in containers need 1/4 cup of dolomite lime for every 10 quarts of potting soil. Use a hand trowel to mix the eggshell powder into the soil. Mix the side dressing carefully into the first 1 inch of surface soil and avoid getting it on the leaves. Late in the season use an Epsom salt spray to increase tomato and pepper yield and keep plants green and bushy; early in the season add Epsom salt to the soil to aid germination, early root and cell development, photosynthesis, plant growth, and to prevent blossom-end rot. Soil that is not already rich in calcium will allow disease such as blossom end rot to infect your tomato plants. The plants need at least 1 1/2 inches of water per week during the period when they are most vulnerable to calcium deficiency, which is from the time they begin to set fruits until the time those fruits are at least one-half their mature size. A vital part of cell wall structure, it helps other nutrient elements move through the plant and strengthen it. University of California Cooperative Extension, Placer and Nevada Counties: Managing Blossom-End Rot in Tomatoes and Peppers. The best practice, however, is to try to prevent it altogether by ensuring that your plants receive all the calcium they need. Good garden soil should have a pH between 6.5-7.2. Sprinkle the powder around the tomato plant. Different kinds of stress, such as too little or too much water, root damage and an excessive level of nitrogen, can prevent the plants from absorbing calcium properly. One tablespoon is enough per plant. Sprinkle the powdered eggshells into the bottom of your planting hole. Calcium nitrate spray for tomatoes is applied at a rate of 1.59 kg. Foliar calcium sprays contain calcium nitrate or calcium chloride. Commercial calcium sprays are available, but for an economical alternative, consider a milk spray. Royal Horticultural Society: Lime and Liming, Fine Gardening: How to Grow Tomatoes in Containers. Water your tomato plants with it. Sprinkle the powder around the tomato plant. Place your collected eggshells in a blender and blend until you have a dry powder. When amending soil would take too long to save your tomatoes, a more direct approach can help. The amount required to raise the pH to 6.5 varies from about 3 pounds per square yard for soil with a pH of 4.5 to 1 pound per square yard for soil with a pH of 6. For the home gardener, you can mix 4 tablespoons per gallon of water and apply this directly to the root zone. Calcium absorption problems can be prevented by mulching the soil around the tomato plants when it is damp, using straw, plastic or newspapers to keep the soil moisture level consistent.
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