Tomato plants need nutrients for their growth and health. Different nutrients are required by different vegetable plants; it depends upon their needs.
The main nutrients that are needed by different plants are nitrogen Phosphorus and potassium. If nutrients are deficient in the soil then many diseases will attack your tomato plants.
Calcium is the secondary nutrient but it also plays an important role in the growth of tomato plants. This nutrient helps to prevent tomato plants from many problems.
If calcium is present in the soil then it will help to build a strong cell wall in tomato plants. As a result, you will get a higher yield of your tomato crop.
Do Tomatoes Need Lots Of Calcium?
Calcium is very important for the health of tomato plants. Their deficiency of calcium can lead to blossom and rot which is not good for your plant. Make sure you are using high-quality soil that contains all the desired nutrients of tomato plants.
If you are using the best soil and it is calcium deficient then your tomato plants will not suffer.
You should perform a soil test so you will know if the soil is calcium deficient or not. If the report of the result shows that there is a lack of calcium in the soil then you must amend it to fulfill this shortage.
Without performing the test you can also check by examining the following clear sign or symptoms of calcium deficiency.
- Discolored patches on the fruit of tomato, melon, pepper, or squash plants.
- Weak stems of the plant.
- The burnt tips of young leaves of lettuce, celery, and cabbage show that these plants are not receiving calcium from the soil.
- Another symptom is abnormal dark green leaves.
- If you examine the shedding of blossoms or buds prematurely in the plants.
It’s not easy to adjust the nutrients in the soil. But it is very important to resolve the problem as soon as possible. You should carefully add the nutrients to the soil.
If the wrong nutrients are added to the soil then it will create an imbalance that creates many problems for tomato plants. A soil report will help you what type of nutrients you have to add to the soil.
Best Source Of Calcium
There are many best sources of calcium that you can use to amend the soil. You can choose one of the good sources of calcium from the following list.
You can use gypsum in granular or powder form. Gypsum contains 21% sulfate and 17% calcium. This is the best natural source of calcium that you can use for your tomato plants.
When you add gypsum to the soil then it will slowly release in the soil. After some time your tomato plants will benefit from gypsum. You will get the best results if you apply gypsum near the tomato plants.
After applying gypsum you must water the soil thoroughly. It will help to absorb it in the soil easily. You can buy gypsums from home improvement centers and gardening stores.
Shell meal and crushed egg shells are the best natural organic sources of calcium. Shells are loaded with calcium so you can use them for making the soil richer. Shell meal is marine animals’ ground shells.
You can buy shell meals from any gardening store. Crushed eggshells are a cheap source of calcium for your tomato and other plants. After using the eggs never throw the shells you can use them for making the soil rich in calcium.
Before transplanting the young seedlings of tomato plants you can add shell meal or crushed egg shells deeply in the soil. After planting the tomato plants you can usually use shell meal or crushed eggshells to maintain the calcium level in the soil during the growing season.
3- POWDERED LIME
Most gardeners use powdered lime for fulfilling the deficiency of calcium in the soil. Powdered lime is calcium carbonate and it helps to increase the concentration of calcium in soil.
Powdered lime reduces the acidity in the soil. If your soil is very acidic and you want to reduce it then the application of powdered lime will give you the best results. Before applying the powder line you should perform a side test. The result of the test shows the pH of the soil.
According to the pH, you can decide whether you will add powdered lime or not If the acidity of the soil is low then there is no need of adding powdered lime.
Powdered lime is easily available in gardening stores or local nurseries. The best time to apply powdered lime is in Autumn. Before spring, the soil will be ready for planting tomato plants.
4- CALCIUM SPRAY
This is a technical way of providing calcium to the tomato plants. In this method, The leaves of tomato plants absorb calcium, not roots.
Because you will use a spray of calcium nitrate, calcium nitrite, or calcium chloride on the leaves. You can easily make the solution of calcium by mixing 4 tbsp of chemicals in 1 gallon of water.
You can buy calcium foliar sprays from the market. These sprays are inexpensive. Calcium sprays are very good for rapid growers such as tomatoes, corn, and sweet potato plants as they increase in cell division.
Acidic soils don’t contain the required amount of calcium for tomato plants so it is better to use calcium sprays for such types of soil to maintain the balance of nutrients.
When tomato plants start blooming you can use this spray two to three times a week. Frequent calcium spray helps to boost the yield of tomatoes.
You will be shocked to know that water is another source of calcium for many vegetable plants. Tomato plants need deep watering for their healthier growth.
Shallow watering will not give you better results as it has negative effects. If you want your tomato plants to receive calcium naturally then you must supply one inch of water every week.
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Soluble fertilizer is the best source of calcium for your tomato plants. Organic fertilizers such as bat guano and soft rock phosphate contain calcium.
You can also buy fertilizer that is specially designed for tomato plants because such fertilizer contains calcium. The best fertilizer is 8-8-8 granular fertilizer.
You should usually apply the fertilizer after tilling the soil but make sure the roots of tomato plants should not be disturbed. You can take a half cup of fertilizer and mix it in the soil.
7- AMMONIA BASED FERTILIZER
Ammonia best fertilizer is also a good source of calcium but ammonia present in the fertilizer can be harmful to your plants. When you are using this fertilizer make sure the soil around the tomato plants must be moist.
8- BONE MEAL
Bone meal is the powdered form of the bones of animals. Bones contain high levels of calcium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. If the soil is alkaline then you must not use bone meal because it can raise the pH of the soil.
There are many benefits of bone meal as it can make your soil more fertile. The other advantage of the bone meal is that it contains calcium which is good for tomato plants as it prevents them from many fungal diseases such as blossom root rot.
This is an organic fertilizer for your plants that’s why it releases in the soil slowly but it has great results. It gradually maintains the calcium level in the soil for your tomato plants. If you use chemical fertilizer then it will easily absorb in the soil but most gardeners prefer organic fertilizer.
The ideal time for adding the bone meal to the soil is before planting as this fertilizer takes 4 months to release nutrients in the soil. The best thing about the bone meal is that when you add it at the start of the growing season then there is no need of adding anything else to fulfill the deficiency of calcium.
The calcium released from the bone meal is enough for the entire growing season. This fertilizer is not only good for tomato plants but best for all vegetables, flowering, and other plants.
9- WOOD ASHES
Another source of calcium that is used for making your soil more fertile is wood ashes. Besides calcium, wood ashes also contain boron, phosphorus, and potassium.
Wood ashes provide enough calcium to the soil but it raises the pH level. It means you can’t use it in alkaline soil as it is not a good option. Never use softwood ashes as a soil amendment because it is harmful to your plants.
Always use wood ashes from hardwood and you can sprinkle it on the soil for easier absorption. Always sprinkle the wood ashes on the surface of the soil and make sure they will not touch the roots of tomato plants. If ashes touch the roots then it will burn them so you should be careful.
10- COLLOIDAL PHOSPHATE
This is a soft rock that contains calcium. This is a cheap way of amending the soil for tomato plants. You can buy colloidal phosphate from any gardening store.
This is a very friendly fertilizer so you can easily use it for tomato plants as it not only contains calcium but also a big source of phosphorus. Colloidal phosphate slowly releases nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus into the soil.
Night SchoolOne thing you should keep in mind is that this soil amendment can be used in acidic soil, not in alkaline soil.