Eggshells and Tomatoes

I have read that burying a scoop of crushed eggshells with your tomato seedlings adds calcium to the soil and helps prevent blossom end rot. I definitely had blossom end rot last year, so I dutifully saved eggshells for several weeks, intending to use them in the garden. (I baked them for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees, and then crushed them in an empty cereal bag.)

Then I forgot. (Typical me :) )

So I put them around the tomato plants this morning. (And, for the record, I was out there at 7:10 am. That has got to be the. most. pleasant. time of day!)

I thought about burying them, but the dirt was so compact around the stems that I decided not to mess with it. They’ll probably work themselves into the soil, and we’re not supposed to have any big storms today or tomorrow, so hopefully that will work out.

I also trimmed off a lot of the lower branches on the staked tomato plants. Oh–by the way–you may want to avoid those bamboo stakes for tomato plants. They’re bending. I think I’ll be stocking up on those tall green ones for next year. :)

So, we shall see how better-late-than-never eggshells work out on the tomatoes!

And look! This is why I go to all that work! :)

How do you prevent blossom end rot?

(Linked to Frugal Gardening 101)

5 comments to Eggshells and Tomatoes

  • Elin

    I thought blossom end rot was usually due to over-watering. I try to resist watering more than once a week, but sometimes I can’t resist if it’s been hot. That’s what I read in several places last year: water deeply, once a week (not in the baby seedling stage, of course), avoiding foliage.

    My problem last year was blight, not end rot. Any tips there?

    • Well, I thought it was due to low levels of calcium in the soil. I’ll have to go back and look again! And for blight–isn’t it considered a fungus? Maybe there’s an anti-fungal powder or spray you could get? Also, it helps to rotate where you plant the tomatoes–the blight can kind of stay in the soil. Good luck with it!

  • Yes, the eggshells work wonderfully to combat blossom end rot! There have been a few years where I forgot to bury them under my tomatoes and just added them later. I put them around the base of the plant and lightly covered them with a handful dirt so they would not be washed away. They still worked!

  • One contributing factor to preventing blossom end rot is definitely the addition of calcium into the soil. =) It is absolutely not caused by overwatering.

    you need good draining soil and should amend the soil prior to planting with calcium. If you regularly add egg shells to your compost, this will do the trick. Another thing I do in my tomato beds is when I rip them out in the fall, I add egg shells and till them in & let them break down over the winter.

    http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/tomato/2000082444023571.html

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