How to add calcium to the soil. One of the most rewarding hobbies is gardening. There are so many choices when it comes to what to grow, how, and where.
You get to see things grow right in front of your very eyes, but sometimes you may experience some problems.
Adding calcium to soil helps with one of the most common tomato-related problems blossom end rot, which can be an unsightly yet often harmless discoloring of fruit.
How to add calcium to the soil
There are a variety of ways that you can promote the growth of calcium in the soil through methods like adding lime to the ground or adding eggshells to your compost rather than throwing them in the trash.
According to Cornell University’s article on edible plants and their calciums, some gardeners also plant eggshells with their tomato seedlings so as not only to help prevent blossom end rot with accompanying calcium deficiency but also create a beautiful display while they grow into large plants.
The following is a guide to adding calcium to your garden soil.
Using a calcium fertilizer
Take a soil sample before applying a calcium fertilizer to find out if that’s all you need. The right fertilizer will stimulate root growth and fortify your plants’ cells so they can use water and nutrients more effectively.
The best time to do this is in the spring when the dirt is warm and new shoots are coming out of dormancy. If your soil has something wrong with it or there hasn’t been the proper preparation before you sowed seeds.
Then you should use a calcium-rich fertilizer (e.g., bone meal) early in the year. In addition to slow-release nutrition, they last longer than other fertilizers since they do not wash away when watered.
It’s important to research soil tests first since straight calcium won’t work on acidic soils.
Eggshells are a perfect addition to your compost pile, upping the calcium content. Your chickens will be thankful that you didn’t discard their precious source of calcium.
If you’re planting tomatoes, getting your eggshells into the ground where they’ll do some good is also a great idea otherwise, they might get eaten by slugs.
When adding eggshells to your garden, it’s important to crunch or crush them first so that they don’t do any damage on the way down there.
Adding gypsum is a great idea
One way to make your soil healthier is by adding gypsum. Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral that helps young plants grow better and prevents soil erosion.
It also helps break up compaction caused by water or mechanical traffic. That’s why farmers who live in areas that have more salts in the soil need to add gypsum to their fields.
Add lime to the soil
The easiest way to add calcium to soil is by applying lime. Calcium carbonate is a common substance that provides many modern and useful functions.
It’s found in most garden and farm stores; it’s made from crushed limestone and comes in a powder form which is easy to apply if you want a quick fix solution for increasing your plants’ calcium levels.
However, using this kind of product can affect the pH range of your soil, creating alkaline soil if it hasn’t already been determined what number your pH scale falls under after being tested.
I would recommend getting your soil tested before using lime so that you know whether or not the process will have adverse effects on the outcome of growing healthy plants.
Using wood ash
When it comes to increasing the amount of soil calcium in your garden, there are several natural and inexpensive alternatives you can use such as using lye from ashes from your fireplace or campfire.
Lye offers half the calcium of lime so it’s safer for the environment since you don’t have to worry about leaching toxic chemicals into the groundwater table and it’s less abrasive than other methods so you won’t wear out the small equipment over time either.
When adding any kind of ash, however, whether from your fire pit or not, always keep in mind that potassium, boron, and phosphorus are also added so you should take into consideration if they will help or hurt a specific variety.