Adding Calcium For Tomato Plants – A Step By Step Guide [Gardening]

June 22, 2011  |  3 Comments  |  by Ben Czajkowski  |  Do It Yourself - Gardening (DIY), Gardening
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Tomatoes are a plant that requires more of some nutrients and less of others. One of the ones that it requires more of is calcium.

Plants like tomatoes use the calcium to produce strong cell walls, which help protect the plant from attacks by evil pathogens that cause disease. In addition to fighting disease, tomatoes also process the alkaline metal for enzyme activity and metabolism.

Blossom End Rot
Blossom End Rot (From Wikipedia)

One of the biggest plagues to tomato plants is blossom end rot (or BER). This funky-sounding plague is a develops in tomatoes due to a calcium deficiency (or a watering issue). It manifests itself as a watery spot near the blossom end (the bottom, the butt, etc) when the tomato has begun to develop. Eventually, the spot will spread like a cancer. And it will be game over for that fruit.

Roma Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes That Fell To Blossom End Rot

I’ve been down this road before, mostly with Roma tomatoes, when I first started gardening. It really killed a bumper crop before I realized what was going on. Lesson learned!

So, here’s how to start off your tomato plant right! Putting the calcium right at the root ball means that it’s going to get drawn right in. The process is extremely simple.

Here are some good calcium sources: limestone (caution on that one, apparently), gypsum, Tums, egg shells, powdered milk, and bone meal tea. Me, I prefer to use old calcium supplement tablets.

Here is how I apply the calcium, to start:

1. Crush the tablets up into a fine powder. Make it look like cocaine. if you want to, cut it with a razor and pretend it is mountains of cocaine from Scarface.  Just don’t snort it? Your parents would be mad at me. I used a mortar and pestle. These tablets are fairly weak.

Ground Calcium Tablets

Ground Calcium Tablets

2. Prepare your planting container. Since it’s a tomato, make sure the container is deep.

Prepare Your Tomato Container

Prepare Your Tomato Container

3. Dig a hole for the tomato. Don’t worry about making the hole deeper than the root ball. Tomatoes are, like, the only plant that you can bury the stem, and the plant will benefit from it. The stem will begin producing roots, and the plant will grow bigger and stronger.

Dig Hole For Tomato

Dig Hole For Tomato

4. Put the calcium in the hole.

Put Calcium Powder Into Hole

Put Calcium Powder Into Hole

5. Place the tomato in the hole.

Place Tomato In Hole

Place Tomato In Hole

6. Bury it and repeat as necessary!

Repeat Tomato Planting

Repeat Tomato Planting

7. Put up tomato cages and markers.

Put Up Tomato Cages And Markers
Put Up Tomato Cages And Markers

8. ???

9. Profit! In a few months when you have delicious fruits. You might need to apply more calcium every month or so. Find a way to deliver it from the soil. Make a tea from it. Fair easy!

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3 Responses to “Adding Calcium For Tomato Plants – A Step By Step Guide [Gardening]”

allan says:

Can you show details of the tomato planter? I notice it has a water level and
watering tube..

Can you show a side view of the tomato planter showing what kind of
soil/clay pellets you have at each level?

Allan

Susan says:

Can I use calcium tablets that have other ingrediants. like magnesium etc??

I would look on the back of the bottle and search to make sure that each of the elements won’t be harmful to the plant or your garden. Generally, though, if the ingredients are safe to put into your body, your plants shouldn’t have a problem with them.