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Time to Read 5 Minutes.
Eggshell is one of the common kitchen wastes, and these shells are rich in many micronutrients that every plant needs. Eggshells for tomato plants are one of the best organic calcium supplements that we can use.
Using kitchen waste as an organic fertilizer is a very effective method. We can turn this waste into enhancing the soil calcium level. Though some of the gardeners say, this is a myth.
This article will explain if eggshells are good for tomato plants? And its nutrient levels and how to apply it as a fertilizer. How to quickly dissolve eggshells calcium.
In This Article:
Eggshells’ nutrients level.
Eggshells contain 95% to 98% calcium carbonate, regardless of color (source). It also contains 0.9% Magnesium and 0.9% Phosphorous (phosphate).
It also contains other trace elements like iron, magnesium, manganese, boron, copper, molybdenum, sulfur, zinc. This is one of the best organic calcium sources other than limestone because it can completely absorb the soil.
Why do tomatoes need calcium?
Tomato plants need a good amount of calcium. Like other flowering plants, calcium plays a significant role in developing fruit cells and tissues. When the soil contains less calcium, the plant blossoms rot, and fruits fall off.
Supply of calcium for tomatoes should be done at every stage of plant growth, especially before the onset of the fruiting period.
The main symptom of tomato plants’ calcium deficiency is blossom end rot and flowers and new fruits falling off. Other symptoms are leaves margin developing slower than the rest of the leaf.
Are eggshells good for tomato plants?
These shells are helpful for tomato plants in many different ways. Eggshells can be used as a fertilizer, a soil amendment, a pesticide, or a seedbed.
Eggshells are the best source of calcium for tomatoes plants. It is rich in calcium that is essential for developing healthy fruits. It also contains Magnesium and Phosphorus in small quantities. Eggshell tea can quickly boost the potting mix calcium level and prevent tomato blossom end rot and fruit falling off or tomato cracking.
Reduces the acidity of the soil. Eggshells contain high calcium levels, which can alter the pH of acidic soils, and this means that calcium increase the soil pH level. It must be added over a long period of time to get good results.
Protect tomato from slugs and snails. Other important things are to protect the plant from slugs/snails and use mulch. Small eggshells can usually protect the plant by scattering around the garden or pot area that has been infested with snails or slugs.
Seedbed: Eggshells can be used as a seedbed. You only need half or more of the shell for this.
How do you prepare eggshells for tomatoes?
Eggshells are an excellent tomato fertilizer, and there are many ways to use eggshells. We can mainly use these nutrient-rich shells for tomatoes in four ways: liquid fertilizer (eggshell tea fertilizer), finely powdered, crushed, or as a mulch.
The best method for eggshells for tomato plants is to make eggshell tea fertilizer. Since it is a water-soluble system, calcium quickly dissolves and allowing the plant to absorb calcium faster. When using crushed eggshells and finely ground powdered shells, it takes some time to decompose.
Eggshell tea for tomato plants.
Eggshell tea is an excellent source of calcium. The tea is made by soaking eggshells in water. In this process, the calcium carbonate in the shells is gradually dissolved with water to make a strong brew. This tea can be diluted with water and applied as a fertilizer, and this is an excellent water-soluble fertilizer treatment to prevent blossom end rot.
How to make eggshell tea for tomato plants.
- Crush the eggshells into small parts, no need to make it a fine powder. Around ½ inch parts are enough.
- Make the water and eggshell ratio into 3:1. (Three-part water and one-part eggshells).
- Boil the shells for around 15 minutes in medium heat.
- Let the boiled tea cool down overnight (around 7 to 8 hours). Do not remove the shells; let them sit overnight to fully dissolve calcium carbonate.
- Strain the water and remove the shells.
- Mix the eggshell brew with water at a 1:20 ratio and use it as a liquid fertilizer.
You can pour the liquid fertilizer directly into the soil or spray it to tomato leaves and fruits every five days.
Eggshell powder for tomato plants.
Eggshell powder is another good way to enhance the soil calcium level, though it takes time to decompose, which is its biggest con. Generally, it takes around three months to three years, depending on the microorganism activities and the crushed shells’ size. However, if we grind them into a fine powder, they can quickly decompose.
Tomato plants have around six months of the life cycle. Therefore applying eggshell powder does not supply plant urgent calcium requirements quickly.
When preparing tomato potting soil, you can mix eggshells powder. Then it has enough time to decompose and release calcium into the potting mix. One cup of finely powdered eggshell is enough for every 10 cups of tomato potting mix.
In acidic soil, eggshells break them down more quickly if they are finely powdered. Red Wiggler worms can quickly decompose these shells.
The crushed eggshells can be used as mulch as slug and snail repellent. However, there is some argument for that. Crush the eggshells into minor pieces and sprinkle eggshells around tomato plants as a wide wall. Do not crush them into a fine powder because they are not sharp enough to work as a repellent.
Nursery plant pots.
Eggshells can use as tomato seeds pots. Later we can directly plant these organic nursery pots in the garden beds or larger containers, which is an inexpensive method.
- Carefully break off the top of the eggshell and remove the egg yolk.
- Then wash the shell and remove the remaining yolk to prevent bacteria like Salmonella growth.
- Fill each shell with potting mix with a spoon or mini trowel and place them in a paper egg carton.
- Place one or two healthy tomato seeds in each shell.
- Place the pots in a sunny south-facing window to start tomato seeds germination in a warmer room.
- Spray water carefully in a couple of days, subject to the soil moisture level. Since these pots do not have drainage holes, make sure that you do not overwater, it will end up rotting the seeds.
- Once you see seedlings, remove the weakest one and let the largest tomato seedling grow.
- Once the plants are ready to place in large containers, carefully remove the eggshell from the carton and lightly mash the shell to help roots to develop in a new potting mix.
How often do you put eggshells on tomato plants?
For calcium deficiencies, we can use eggshell tea for tomato plants every 2 to 3 days, and this will prevent tomato blossom end rot and tomato splitting. When using this tea as a regular fertilizer to enhance soil calcium levels, you can use it once every week.
Pouring eggshell tea into the soil will remain longer than spraying on leaves. It is not necessary to feed them regularly as they will stay in the soil for a considerable time after you pour the liquid into the potting mix.
Eggshells are good for tomato plants. Eggshells are the best source of calcium for tomatoes, and these shells are excellent organic fertilizers. It is recommended to use eggshell brew for tomato plants since it is the quickest way to fulfill the calcium requirement for tomatoes.
The advantage of this tea is that it absorbs nutrients quickly without having to wait for it the decompose. Liquid fertilizer can also apply to the leaves and stem, which accelerates the absorption of nutrients.
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