Well, planting season is almost here. I am going to double my tomato crop
this year. I have ready access to oyster shells and crushed coral. How
good of a calcium supplement would these make? I grow in pots, 22 inch
pots - 1 plant per pot. I'd like to just mix in a large quantity of either
into my planting soil. I did pretty good last year using a liquid calcium
supplement but it was kind of expensive tedious. Hoping to do something
cheaper and easier this year.
I think not very good unless it goes into the mix months beforehand and even
then it's doubtful. The chunks will be too large and not dissolve
sufficiently to have much effect. Have a look at the thread on soil
amendment without digging up the yard for a detailed explanation.
Yeah that was what I was thinking, they would take a long time to degrade
into the soil. I'll probably do what I did last year. Seemed to work
pretty well but expensive. Or maybe I'll try a milk/water spray or even
sheet rock powder in water.
You could put some oyster shells in a plastic bucket of water and add
a little muriatic acid (or a bunch of vinegar.) Stir it up and let it
sit for a few days. The shells will neutralize the acid, and the
liquid will be loaded with of soluble calcium++. Pour it around the
plants. HTH :-)
Depending where you live you could take out a few pounds and lime your
lawn with the rest. Any source of calcium will do.
I also have a 40-50 lb bag of 5/5/5 fertilizer for the pots.
To me, part of growing your own is to save money although main reason
for planting tomatoes is you just can't buy as good as you grow.
IMO 22 inch pots are not big enough
for some varieties of tomatoes. the
rest of your troubles (with nutrients
and moisture) is because of this.
when you do your new plantings
use bigger pots.
you'll find it will be a help.
check the pH before adding calcium.
you might be pushing the pH too high
and that can also reduce how many
nutrients are available to the plants
(and many other things too).
Oyster shell could make up a good third of your potting mix and
provide calcium and pore space and drainage.
But for calcium to thwart BER a foliar drench of about a gram of
calcium chloride in a gallon of water or a few tablesppons of wood
ashes on the surface of the soil will work.
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