Often gardeners ask, “Why do my tomatoes develop blossom end rot?” A simple solution to this disappointing situation is to save your egg shells.
Although nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are important for healthy plants, calcium is also very essential, especially to produce a great tomato crop. As shown in the photo, by placing a container in a convenient place, egg shells for your garden can be easily “harvested”.
1. Place the shells in a container without washing them, as the inner soft skin contains valuable organic matter.
2. After they have dried for a couple of days, use a grinder or some sort of item to crush them. The photo shows a simple item to ensure they are finely ground.
3. The contents of the kitchen container can then be transferred to a larger container to accumulate for spring planting.
4. At planting, place a handful of crushed shells in the bottom of the hole dug for the tomato plants. Adding coffee grounds will also add nitrogen to the soil.
5. Rotate the location each year for growing crops such as tomatoes.
6. For an abundant supply of egg shells, request a restaurant which specializes in breakfasts to give you what they produce in one day.
Lester C. Fretz, M.Sc., is a member of the Dunnville Horticulture Society.