How to Use Eggshells on Tomato Plants

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Eggshells add calcium to the soil
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Whether you like to eat them in a salad, on a sandwich or straight out of the container, tomatoes (​Lycopersicon esculentum​) are glorious fruits that keep on giving. Before you decide to forgo store-bought tomatoes and begin the journey of growing your own, remember that using eggshells on tomato plants can do wonders. Give your soil some extra love and get ready for delicious abundance.

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Where Should You Plant Tomatoes?

The beauty of growing tomatoes is that you can grow them in containers or garden beds. Whether you're growing tomatoes from seeds or plants, they're relatively easy to grow. You just need patience, and you should show them tender, loving care while they begin their growing process. The hardest part is making sure they get the nutrients they need, but once the plants start to grow, you won't be able to stop the copious amount of fruit they produce.

Tomato plants love the sun, so plant them somewhere they can bask in the bright light all day. If you decide to grow tomatoes in a container, make sure you plant them in a 3-gallon pot or larger because their roots need space to stretch out.

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What Do Eggshells Do?

People who purchase eggs and live an environmentally friendly lifestyle hate throwing away eggshells that will just sit in a landfill. The next time you have eggshells, don't throw them out. Use them in your garden.

Although most soil has plenty of calcium, eggshells add extra calcium to plants without messing up the pH like lime often does in a garden. As your eggshells start to break down, they provide slow-release calcium, restructure the soil to make it porous and improve your soil's drainage. When placed around your plants, eggshells also deter slugs from cohabitating with your tomato plants because the slugs want to avoid the shells' sharp edges. Burying eggshells not only provides optimum drainage, but the soil gets aerated as well.

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Although your soil should be able to accommodate plants of any kind, tomatoes love well-drained, nitrogen-rich soil. Extra compost like eggshells will make your tomato plants happy, thus making you happy in the long run.

How to Use Eggshells

Don't be worried about salmonella. Always make sure to wash your eggshells before you do anything with them. If you want to take extra precautions, you can put your eggshells in a 300-degree oven for no more than 10 minutes. After they come out of the oven, put them in a food processor and convert them into a powder.

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It may seem like an unnecessary step, but when your eggshells are ground up into a fine powder, they can be better absorbed into the ground. For those who don't want to take that extra step, it's more than sufficient to crush the eggshells with your hands and place them around your tomato plants.

Once you wash your eggshells, they won't smell because the sulfuric scent is gone. If you're still worried, though, putting them in the oven will further reduce any lingering odor.

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Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.

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