Many people have been trying to grow tomato plants for years with varying degrees of success. While they are considered a beginner-friendly option, you want them to grow large, produce a lot of fruit, and be healthy.
Some people claim that coffee grounds and eggshells are perfect for tomato plants. Is that true? How do you use these things for your garden?
You can find out everything you need to know about eggshells. In fact, eggshells are a natural way to fertilize the plants. Most gardeners know that there are different methods of fertilization. With that, there are various ways to use eggshells in the garden.
In fact, you can even use eggshells with your inside tomato plants. Though it’s a new phenomenon, many gardeners don’t have the space or ability to grow tomatoes outside. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them!
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Why Eggshells Should Be in the Garden
There are many wives’ tales relating to growing vegetables and fruit. Some might think that you’re pulling their leg if you tell them to add some eggshells. However, this isn’t a myth!
Eggshells are quite effective for fertilizing tomatoes, and it’s backed by science. You can also pair the eggshells with vinegar or coffee grounds to see even better results.
Why do eggshells do such a good job at fertilizing the tomato plants? Essentially, they have hard structures that are made up entirely of calcium carbonate. Therefore, they can deliver a nutritional boost to the tomatoes, which they need.
Along with that, eggshells provide many other essential minerals to the plants. This includes phosphorus and potassium. With such potent nutrients in the soil, your tomatoes are larger, fuller, and you have more of them.
Some gardeners even claim that it makes the tomato plant produce more aromatic oil. That makes them taste better and have a burst of flavor when you eat them. Along with that, eggshells can prevent blossom end rot.
The prevention of blossom end rot is one of the top reasons that gardeners love to use eggshells. While most plants can benefit from the minerals in eggshells, tomato plants thrive with them. Blossom end rot is a huge problem for these plants.
If a tomato has it, you know! The tomato’s top (where the stem is and where the flower once was) rots completely, turning black. This is often from too much water. However, the calcium in the eggshells helps the tomato plant regulate the water supply, which prevents rot from occurring.
That’s not all of the benefits of using calcium. This is a super mineral that reinforces the plant’s cell walls. With that, it encourages efficient, healthy, and balanced water transfers and carbohydrate relocations.
Often, the calcium already found in the plants is immobile. It is absorbed into the plant instead of going where it’s most needed. If you amend the soil with eggshells or use an eggshell tea to water your tomato plants, it can help remedy this situation.
Fertilizing with Eggshells
Those who want a more direct method for using their eggshells is to add them to the soil or compost. You can actually dry and clean the eggshells. Once fully dried, you crumble them into the compost you choose to use for the tomatoes. Consider using a potato masher to get the job done right.
You might also want to consider amendments to the compost. Things like manure and kelp meal can enhance the yield of tomatoes and promote faster growth.
It’s also possible to crumble the eggshells right into the soil. However, if you do this, you should soak the shells in water first. Then, dry them off and crumble them so that they’re thoroughly cleaned first. That way, no bad bacteria can hurt the plants.
Add your crumbled shells to your soil before you put the plants in or sow seeds. The shells naturally break down with time to deliver more phosphorus, calcium, and potassium to the roots of the plants. However, this is a slow process. It’s better to do this now for the next year’s growth.
If you’ve got leftover eggshells and can’t use them right now as fertilizer, store them. Make sure that you clean and thoroughly dry the shells first. Then, store them in a waterproof, airtight container and put them in the refrigerator until they are needed.
Using Eggshell Tea
Eggs are known to help children grow and have healthy bones. However, most people aren’t likely to brew or drink eggshell tea. Plants, though, don’t mind it. Plus, it’s an effective and simple delivery method to get the nutrients to the tomatoes.
Eggshell tea is very convenient for your indoor tomato plants. Plus, you can use it on other plants around the house, as well.
This “recipe” requires you to soak the eggshells in water. First, you should rinse the shells to get rid of any egg residue, such as yolks or whites. Then, the shells must dry completely.
Once that happens, you can crumble them directly into a receptacle, container, or heat-resistant pot.
In a separate pot, bring water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and immediately pour it over your eggshells. Let the shells sit in the water until the entire concoction is at room temperature once again.
This is the completed eggshell tea, and you can use the water to feed the tomato plants. Tomatoes like water, so you should soak the plant bed with an inch of water. It’s best to do this once a week, but you might have to do it more frequently in summer.
Ultimately, that means making a lot of eggshell tea. However, you can alternate between regular and eggshell water if you want. Don’t forget to use it on other plants to give them a few extra minerals and more nutrition!
Other Ways to Use Eggshells
Eggshells are highly effective as a mineral and calcium source. Therefore, you can use them to rehabilitate the soil if the land was recently burned or suffers from higher acidity levels.
It’s also possible to use eggshells and vinegar. This breaks down the shells faster into a water-soluble calcium solution that the tomatoes can use faster.
To use this method, you should clean and dry the eggshells. Crush them as normal, but do it over an oven-safe baking sheet. Toast them until they’re charred. From there, you can mix the eggshells with vinegar at a ratio of one to one.
Shake the solution daily for roughly four weeks to dissolve the shells. Then, add 1 tablespoon per liter of regular water to spray the foliage.
Many gardeners want to use organic fertilizer because it’s safer for the plants. Instead of buying it, you can just use eggshells for your tomatoes. Since you only have to crush them (after cleaning them), they are easy to use.
Plus, they do so much good for your tomatoes! You’re sure to enjoy the bounty you receive. On top of it all, you reduce the risk of blossom end rot and feed the plants without having to use outside sources.