It’s gardening season here! Though the rain hasn’t wanted to let up long enough for me to plant the tomatoes I’m ready. The last few years we’ve begun quite a few project in gardening-including building our gardens. This means I’m dealing with some poor soil. Each year I’ve made sure to help my tomatoes have strength by adding in eggshells. Learning to plant tomatoes with eggshells can be so beneficial for your plants, but there’s a few things to know first.
Note: This post is in collaboration with some other blogging friends who’ve worked together to prepare you for Gardening season. Check out their inspiring posts listed at the bottom of this page for more gardening ideas!
This post contains affiliate links. This means should you click on a link and follow through to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend product I believe in and I thank you for supporting a family business.
Do Tomato Plants Like Eggshells?
Eggshells in the soil, bring calcium into the area where tomatoes receive their nutrition. Calcium is a very important nutrient for tomatoes. Think of how calcium is a bone builder for kids. It can also build the strength of tomato plants! Not having enough calcium can leave tomatoes as well as squash plants susceptible to disease such as blossom end rot. This disease comes specifically from lack of calcium and will cause the fruit to rot from the blossom end. Yes. Tomatoes like eggshells when they are in need of calcium!
BUT wait. Does your soil even need calcium?
How to Know if My soil Needs Calcium
The best way to know if your soil needs calcium is through a soil test. These can be done through home tests or through a local county office. I’m hoping to test our soil next year, but for the time being I can look at what I know. I know my soil needs to be built up.
Look at what you know. Is it a soil amended by compost in a raised bed? Has it been cared for or gardened long? If the soil hasn’t been cared for or built up, chances are your tomatoes could use some extra calcium. We just put in our West side garden and the soil has been terribly hard to work with. Although I added a compost mix to the top soil last year, my tomatoes definitely benefited from adding eggshells. I’m so glad I did.
Unless you’re just bringing in ready soil from a truck, it takes time to build it into the healthy environment for your tomatoes to grow.
Growing Tomatoes in Eggshells
These are the ingredients I’ve combined in the soil when planting my tomatoes: While using these, I haven’t had any issues with disease until well into fall when the weather begins killing the plant and rainfall increases.
Cornmeal is a controversial topic for helping rid fungi in the soil. Even so, I’ve heard enough about organisms in the cornmeal that tend to kill the bad fungus; I was willing to try it. The results in my “bad soil” garden have been wonderful. Each year I’ve continued.
In my garden I use eggshells for calcium, Epsom salts for magnesium and cornmeal for fungal problems. There are many factors into tomato disease prevention so these don’t guarantee a perfect harvest BUT they may help.
How to Plant Tomatoes with Eggshells
First, you’ll need a lot of eggshells. I like to start saving mine when it’s time to start seeds come February but you can start today! It’s best to use shells that have dried as they are more brittle. That’s why I like saving them over time. You can also pop them into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes to help them break more easily.
For crushing I use a food processor. This grinds them finely and helps them absorb faster into the soil.
Prepare your Eggshells
- Add dry eggshells to your food processor until 1/2 full
- Process until ground to little bits
- Store in a jar or just recycle an old yogurt container
Alternatively place your shells in a plastic gallon zip lock bag and smash with a rolling pin. Store in a container or jar as indicated above.
Planting your Tomato Plants
- Dig a hole deep enough to cover the stem of your tomato plant up to the first leaves. Tomato plant’s root systems are huge and need room to grow. In fact, that stem will begin to shoot out roots of it’s sown into the soil.
- Pour your eggshells into the hole and spread them a bit. I like to use 1/4-1/2 cup per hole depending on how much calcium is needed.
- Place your tomato plant down in the hole and cover with soil.
What Other Things Protect Tomato Plants from Disease?
There are several things you can do to protect your tomatoes from disease this year. I’ll share a few in this post as well as my regimen for planting tomatoes in our garden.
Plant them Deep in the Garden
Tomato plants have a deep root system and need to spread their roots for absorption of both water and nutrients. When planting them, soil can come all the way up to the first leaves on their stock. This helps them stay strong.
Calcium isn’t the only nutrient tomatoes need so make sure to feed your soil and plants with a good compost. Huw from Hew Richards Gardening Channel on YouTube recommends adding compost into the hole you dig to plant your tomato. This is a great idea, but remember to use compost that has been breaking down for months. This will prevent it from burning your plant roots!
While most garden plants like daily watering, tomatoes benefit from heavy watering but only two or three times a week. Also, Keeping as much moisture off their leaves as possible is crucial to preventing early blight. This is a great post on the best water practices to prevent disease in your garden.
Other Gardening Inspiration from My Blogging Friends for YOU
How to Grow Blueberries in Pots with Tiffany of Growing Dawn Blog
How to Create Beautiful and Sturdy Garden Trellises with Janelle from Crowded Table Farmstead
Why I Switched to a Raised Garden Bed with Wendy from Little House Simple Living Blog
How to Build a Garden Fence and Mistakes I Made with Breanna from My Abiding Home
Other Gardening Posts From the Hilltop
Where I get My Tomatoes
Along with my monthly grocery order (which has free shipping!) I’ve begun to add in some special plants to my Azure Standard pick up. If you haven’t heard, Azure Standard is the place I love to stock up on bulk pantry items, natural foods, kitchen items, vitamins, home goods AND even seedlings!
Yup! This spring the Azure truck brought two Organic tomatillos and three mini bell peppers safely to the pick up point. I may have ordered others too. Boy were they thriving! If you don’t have seedlings yet, I’d highly recommend their starts. Order your pick up before this month’s deadline to get that garden planted.
From the Hilltop,