Why You Should Use Crushed Eggshells In Your Garden And Compost?

Eggshell
Eggshell

Should use eggshells in your garden?

  • The short answer is Yes. This is an exception to the composting rule of not using meat and poultry flesh or bones.

Why Should you use Eggshells in your garden?

  • When accompanied by deep watering during periods without sufficient rainfall, eggshell provides nutrients to help prevent Blossom End Rot (BER).

What do eggshells add to your garden?

  • Eggshells add calcium to your soil and compost. Calcium deficiencies are a significant contributing factor in Blossom End Rot (BER).

What garden plants do adding eggshells to my garden help?

  • Adding eggshell and other sources of calcium will tomatoes, peppers, and cucurbits (melons, pumpkins, winter and summer squash, and cucumbers), which are all afflicted by Blossom End Rot (BER).

How can eggshells be used in the garden?

  • There are several easy ways to use eggshells in the garden:
    • My favorite way to use eggshells in to include eggshells in my compost bin, and later incorporating the compost into my garden beds as fertilizer and garden mineral additive.
    • You can break up eggshells as you toss them into the hole before planting your seed or seedlings.
    • You can break up eggshells as you toss them into the hole near vulnerable plants. However, you want to be far enough away from the plant not to damages the plant roots.
    • You can break up eggshells and soak eggshells in water for several days the liquid to water your vulnerable plants. This works well with potted plants.
    • You can also spread crushed eggshells around your seedlings to discourage slugs, pillbugs, and earwigs.

How many eggshells per plant to use?

  • This really is a case where is better, within reason of course.  Basically, as a minimum, use 3 or 4 crushed eggshells per plant.

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Which Tomato to Grow?

 

Something to consider is, which variety of tomato to Grow.  The tomato may well be the most beloved plant among American gardeners. So, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties to choose from and simply ordering from a catalog will not necessarily ensure you’ve chosen the best tomato for purposes.

Grow tomatoes which your family uses tomatoes

Growing a tomato, which is intended for the way your family uses tomatoes, most of the time would be a good choice.   Does your family uses tomatoes as:

  • A sauce for cooking?
  • A thick slice on top of their favorite sandwich?
  • Topping for salad?
  • A dry food snack (e.g. sun-dried tomato)?
  • As canned tomatoes for meals over the winter?

choose a determinate or indeterminate tomato

Lastly, should you choose a determinate or indeterminate tomato?   This choice is often overlooked by home gardeners. However, it is an important choice, as it will drive your behaviors in terms of food preparation and your window of opportunity to use your fresh tomatoes.

Determinants, basically, produce one crop which matures within a couple of weeks and they are done for the year; so, if you’re planning to preserve them (e.g. can then, store tomato paste, and/or tomato sauces), and you want volume in a short period of time to do your canning and be done with it, then a determinate variety may be best for you.  This applies, even if you do a bit of succession planting, where you may plant more than one set of plants to mature at different times (say, two or three weeks apart) if you have a long enough growing season to use this approach.

Indeterminates will still provide some density of harvest based on your planting strategy, but will, with care, throughout more of the garden season.  These tomato varieties, work well, if,  you’re looking for a tomato from which to make sandwiches from throughout the summer,  want a few tomatoes from time to time to add to the top of a salad, or perhaps, to dry some tomatoes in small batches to use as snack or in cooking later.

For some additional advice you may, a couple of good sources, which can help you with choice are your local agriculture extension office and/or master gardening group.

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