Egg shells before planting tomatoes



Egg shells before planting tomatoes

Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:02 pm

I can't remember where I read this, but it may have been here. Someone mentioned placing egg shells under tomato plants when transplanting them? Do you just crush up the shells and place in the hole prior to planting the tomato? I plan to get my tomatoes in this week and this seemed like a simple, effective way to get my plants calcium.
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nichole
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Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:32 am

Yes and yes.... Some people dry, powder, grind etc their eggshells. Gets the calcium into the soil quicker. I just crunch them up and bury them with the tomatoes.
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rainbowgardener
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Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:24 am

Excellent! I will probably just crunch them up a bit. :) Thanks for your help.
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Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:29 pm

Just like a few matches while planting pepper, suplies it with sulfhur. Unfortunately most of my tomatoes are already planted...
Joyfirst
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Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:05 am

I received some similar advice about planting eggshells, IIRC I had some yellow and dying leaves from inconsistent watering (watering every other day).

I followed the advice with no marked changes for about a month. After about a month my dog dug up the ground around the tomato plants and I think she may have smelled the rotting eggshells; because she only dug up the tomato plants that I had buried eggshells in the surrounding soil.

I suspect the advice that I was given was very good; but leave it to me and my dog to screw it up. May I suggest if you have a dog to use some sort of obstruction to discourage the dog (or some other animal) from digging up the eggshells. ;)
Greenhorn
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Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:15 am

You need to wash them before they are crushed and put into the soil. They shouldn't smell at all. If they smell, then they still have too much egg on them and can put salmonella into your tomatoes.
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Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:11 am

Let's don't go scaring folks! The dogs digging is a good reason to wash your eggshells. Salmonella can be in raw egg. Because you put the raw egg with salmonella in your soil does NOT mean it will be in your tomatoes. Salmonella is not a plant disease. The tomato plant will not uptake the salmonella bacteria from the soil and transport it into the fruit. People spray raw egg on their plants as a deer repellant (rotten egg smell -- liquid fence deer/rabbit repellant lists its active ingredients as garlic, potassium sorbate, sodium lauryl sulfate (like is in shampoo), whole egg 30%). If people don't die from eating fruit that has been sprayed with whole egg solids, they are certainly not going to die from eating fruit that came from a plant that was grown in soil that had a tiny amount of egg near it.

Salmonella is spread through fecal contamination. This study http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/35/4/1170

they deliberately injected salmonella into manure and put the manure in the soil. There were different results depending on type of soil, temperatures, etc. But generally they concluded that after 30 days it was safe to plant, that the salmonella was essentially gone.
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rainbowgardener
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Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:04 pm

I did not wash mine but was instructed to cook them. I couldn't remember the time and temp I believe it was 200 degrees for 10 min or something. I just put them at 350 or something for maybe 20 min. That was overkill but what the heck. Doing this will kill anything left.

Before cooking them I just smashed them than after cooking I ground them up in a blender to a fairly fine texture.

I just put a handful or so in the planting hole, whether or not it works at least I gave it a shot.
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gixxerific
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Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:49 pm

I'm wondering about putting a banana peel in the planting hole, perhaps covered with a little dirt, before I plant the tomatoes. They work wonders with rose bushes, so I may do a split-test with a few of my toms.
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:36 am

I’m not sure what you mean by wash.

I double boiled the eggshells. I saved up a bunch of eggshells and try to peel off as much of that mucous membrane (or whatever you call it) as possible under flowing water, then I boiled the eggshells and pulled off any remaining mucous membrane under flowing water, then I boiled the eggshells again in a fresh pan of water.

I did not use soap and water or chlorine because I figured that the double boiling would be enough. If what I did was wrong, then how should I better do it?
Greenhorn
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:41 am

greenhorn I wouldn't remove anything if you are cooking them boiling them that will take care of any bad bacteria. All that extra stuff is, well extra stuff. More nutrients for the plants the worms and all the other critters of your garden. :D
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gixxerific
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Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:22 am

It is a membrane, but not a mucous membrane...

What you are doing GH is likely way more than enough. Boiling it once should be plenty, if you are concerned about bacterial.

Mine go straight from being used, unwashed, into my kitchen compost bucket, where they stay about a week. Then they are dumped in the compost pile, where they stay a few months. Then when I use the compost, the eggshells aren't broken down (though they may have gotten crunched up a bit), so I pull a few of them out and put them where they are most needed, like brassicas and tomatoes. Some I just crunch up a little more and leave in the compost, to enhance the general soil.

I figure a few months of sitting in the compost pile, being rained on and acted on by all the forces in the pile cleans them as well as anything else I could do... Don't fuss, let nature do it! :) That's my mantra.
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