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Eggshells and Banana Peels for your Tomato Plants From Master Gardener David Wall

There’s a lot of confusion lately about what egg shells can do for your tomatoes. Literature, in the past, recommended putting egg shells in the planting hole before you transplant. It’s also recommended you crack an egg and drop the whole thing in the hole. This will help your tomato plant perhaps late in the season or, better yet, if you plant a tomato in the same spot next year!

The calcium in egg shells is highly desired by tomato plants, but the shell has to decompose first, and this takes time. There are two much faster ways to make calcium available. One is to puree eggs shells with some water in a blender and then allow it to dry to a powder. Now, the powder can be placed in the transplant hole. This works, but the process can get very messy! It’s best to do this process outside!

The second way is the simplest and easiest way to get calcium for your tomatoes. Go to the nursery or store and buy any of several products such as bone meal or calcium powders and/or sprays. Adding organic matter to the soil will also ensure adequate amounts of calcium for your plants. We add 1-2” of organic compost to our three home gardens every year and don’t worry about any nutrient shortages.

Past literature has also recommended dropping a whole banana or at least the peel before transplanting to ensure adequate phosphorus is available. Peels rot pretty fast, but they won’t provide a quick energy shot. Later in the season, however, they’ll provide some benefit. For faster results, put a banana peel in a quart jar, fill with water, seal, and wait 2 weeks. Remove the peel and pour the water around 3-4 plants. Repeat when the plants begin to flower.

Author: Matt Janson

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