Yup, it’s true and I’m going to tell you how and why you should be saving those eggshells!!
Why Your Tomatoes Need Eggshells
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So, have you ever had gorgeous looking tomato plants and you started getting lovely little green tomatoes and then they start turning red and your oh-so-excited?? You can just taste that homegrown tomato, right?? One day you decide that today is THE DAY and you’re going to pick that mouth watering tomato, when, *gasp!* you find a large black spot on the bottom end of that pretty tomato??? Yes, you can salvage the rest of the fruit, but the disappointment and blemish take most of the fun out of it!
“What happened??” you wonder in shock.
“Blossom end rot,” someone (probably Google, lol) answers back.
OK, so what is blossom end rot and how do you prevent it?
In a nutshell, blossom end rot happens when a tomato plant can’t absorb the calcium it needs. A variety of factors can come into play, such as cold soil temperatures, inconsistent watering, too much nitrogen, etc.
I use to have a chronic problem with this in my tomatoes and peppers. I knew it was calcium deficiency, so I did my research. The main answer I came away with (besides the watering) was that I needed to add calcium. Eggshells were a common recommendation, so that’s what I did!
It didn’t work.
So, why am I telling you that you need to add eggshells to your soil to prevent blossom end rot if it didn’t work for me?
Because, a couple different methods didn’t work, but then I stumbled upon one that did!
I don’t know about you, but we go through A LOT of eggs! I started saving my eggshells during the winter in a plastic bag and then crushed them in the bag. I threw these crushed eggshells in my holes when I first planted the tomatoes. And, like I said, I still got blossom end rot.
Then I read about just throwing the WHOLE egg in the your planting hole…. still got blossom end rot.
So, last year I had an epiphany.
I CRUSHED the eggshells in my blender!
Yup, that’s right. I threw a handful of eggshells in the blender and went to town (so to speak.)
It turned those shells into a nice, lovely fine powder!
Now, before I go further, I need to give you a word of caution:
DON’T BREATHE IN THE EGGSHELL DUST!!!!!
Did you hear me?? DON’T BREATHE IT IN! If you get eggshell particles in your lungs it can cause all sorts of really bad problems. So, BE CAREFUL!! After I take the lid off of the blender, I step back, hold my breath and let the dust settle before I proceed.
I store my shell powder in a large canning jar (but any container will work) and then I put a large handful of that into my planting hole.
I think the reason that this method works is because the eggshells can break down easier and faster in the soil and then the calcium is available for the plant to use.
In the past, when I just crushed the eggshells by hand, I would find shells still in the soil at the end of the gardening season when I pulled my old plants up, meaning, they hadn’t broken down so my tomatoes got nothin’.
So, here’s my directive for you—
SAVE THOSE EGGSHELLS NOW SO YOU HAVE PLENTY COME PLANTING TIME!!
I actually started saving them all year around, but I plant quite a few tomatoes (last year I planted about 25) and just keep expanding.
Do you have any other uses for eggshells in the garden or on the homestead?