When planting tomato plants, you’ll need to make sure that you give them all the proper nutrients you need, and it isn’t just the usual water and sunlight. They will also need other vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which can help prevent blossom-end rot.
If deficient in calcium, it may cause the growing tips for your tomato plant to become pale and eventually dying. It may also cause the blossom-end rot when sunken dark-brown or black spots come out from the lower ends of your tomato fruits. While blossom-end rot is a common problem during the early parts of the growing season and can correct itself, it’s still better to prevent it by giving your tomato plants the proper levels of calcium.
There are various ways you can add calcium to your plants, even making your own homemade calcium for tomato plants. Read on to find out more!
Why Add Calcium to Tomato Plants?
You’re probably wondering: Why bother adding extra calcium to plants? Don’t they receive enough of it from the usual fertilizer, water, and sunlight?
This is because plants require calcium to thrive, as it helps develop a stronger cell structure. In young plants, calcium deficiency is more visible, since you see leaves looking twisted with black spots. If lacking in calcium, plant growth is stunted as well, which will show in its leaves and the fruit it bears, and it can also make the soil more acidic, affecting plant growth.
Calcium is an important plant macronutrient that helps plants function and grow efficiently. It would help build plant cell walls that assist in the transportation of other tomato plant nutrients, as well as help control the soil’s pH levels.
Besides this, adding calcium you made on your own, such as from eggshells, can help deter slugs, especially when you place the shells directly. This is because the eggshells’ sharp edges would irritate slugs’ soft bodies.
Homemade Calcium for Tomato Plants
There are different calcium supplements you can purchase from gardening stores, but it’s best to make your own homemade mixture. This can ensure that your plants receive organic and healthy calcium without any chemicals.
There are three methods you can follow when adding calcium to your tomato plants:
When you have broken eggshells after making breakfast, don’t throw them away! They can actually provide a decent amount of calcium for your tomato plants, without having to spend money. You can even make this into fertilizer to further nourish your plants.
Eggshells are made of calcium carbonate, an ingredient you find in agricultural lime. One study shows that eggshells steeped in water for 24 hours contain 4mg calcium and potassium, as well as small amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, and sodium. These are all healthy for tomato plants!
You can apply eggshells by steeping them in water, creating an eggshell fertilizer tea, and applying it once a week. Simply boil one gallon of water, then adding ten clean and dry eggshells, or even 20 for a stronger brew. Allow the shells to sit in the water overnight and strain the water pouring the concentrate directly to the soil for your tomato plants to receive calcium and potassium.
You can also apply it be crushing eggshells rather than tea, adding them directly to your garden soil. Make sure that you wash and dry the eggshells, removing any residue, then process it in a food processor until it becomes powdery. Stir the crushed eggshells in the soil or potting mix, using five shells for every plant.
You can make your own foliar spray using chamomile, which contains sources of calcium, sulfur, and potash, which helps fight off fungal issues. Mix two cups of boiling water with ¼ cup of chamomile blossoms or tea, steeping until it cools down. Then, strain and place it in a spray bottle, applying it to your plants once a week.
You can try mixing seaweed as well, allowing it to ferment in two gallons of water and making a calcium foliar spray. Seaweed contains a good amount of iron, sodium, nitrogen, and calcium, all healthy for plants!
We drink milk to strengthen our bones, thanks to its calcium content. But did you know that milk is also known to help with tomato plants as well?
When feeding plants milk, whether whole or powdered milk, you feed them calcium, and it can be a tomato plant fertilizer. Studies show that milk has fungicidal properties, which controls the growth of unhealthy fungi.
With powdered milk, all you need to do is to sprinkle ¼ to ½ cup of powdered milk on your soil after planting, then repeat it every two weeks during the growing season. It’s best to use reconstituted powdered milk.
You can also mix one-part milk with nine parts water in a bottle spray, then spray it around your plants for calcium and prevent fungi from growing. I recommend using skim-fat milk instead, as fat from whole milk might clog up your sprayer. Spray your plants every two to three weeks until the mid-summer comes, since fungal diseases may have run their course when mid-summer comes unless the weather continues to stay warm and humid.
Do you want to learn more about providing homemade calcium for tomato plants? Here is an informative video you can follow:
Wrapping It Up
No one wants their tomato plants to end up rotting or bearing damaged fruits, which is why giving it the right nutrients is crucial. That way, you can enjoy delicious fruits and a successful harvest in the long run. Just make sure that you add the correct amount of calcium and other nutrients, as too much of something can still create a negative impact.
I hope that this article shows you all about how you can put homemade calcium for tomato plants. So if you feel like your tomato plants need extra nutrients, start following my information for better plant health now!