jul1799
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how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

Good Day,

I have read that egg shells could be applied when one plant tomatoes. They are planted quite some time ago and I am concern to damage roots if I start pocking around. Is there still a way to apply egg shells?


Baking soda..Basically same question:). Tomatoes are in the ground, and soda suppose to make them sweeter. How much and how I can apply it now? How often I should apply it?

Epsom salt... Some articles advice to sprinkle it, some to dilute in water. How much/how often/how I can apply it? I am using composted tea 2 times per week. Would they interfere?

Is there anything else I can feed to my tomatoes avoiding commercial fertilizers?

thanks a lot

AnnaIkona
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

I have a jar to dump egg shells and left over coffee grinds into after breakfast. Some people compost them, but what I do is I just dig it into the soil. In my experience, raccoons and cats sometimes dig into tge soil for the egg shells...BUUUUT when I add coffee grinds, the raccoons and cats don't even bother diggin' in for it. Maybe cause of the acidic properties of the coffee. Now, keep in mind that too much coffee can be bad.

Each winter, when nothing grows in my tomato beds, I mix in the coffee/egg mixture into the soil, and it gets semi-composted during the winter, right in time for spring planting.
Zone 8b, Canada

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rainbowgardener
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

Q: "Is there anything else I can feed to my tomatoes avoiding commercial fertilizers? "


A.: Compost, aerated compost tea, mulch (which has many benefits for conserving moisture etc and then breaks down to feed the soil).
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jul1799
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

what about things above? I do want to have sweeter tomatoes:)

I do make tea now, while ingredients, other then compost are tricky to find :(

Mulch... I do not know much about it yet. It is in todo list, though.
thanks!

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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

Be careful with baking soda and epsom salts. Epsom salt contains magnesium but too much can cause magnesium toxicity. Make sure you need it first. It is a trace element, you don't have to give it repeatedly. Baking soda contains sodium which is not good for the soil or the microbia.

I find variety and ripeness determines sweetness. Some tomatoes are tart because they have more acid.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

jul1799
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

that is exactly why I have asked how much and how:)

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applestar
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

I don't think those specific ingredients actually "Sweeten" tomatoes. This may be just a folklore.

There are varieties of tomatoes that have sweet flavor/higher in sugar content, some that are higher in acid afterburn, and ones that have NO acidity. There are varieties that have what can only be described as umami. Some people say some varieties are salty. I think these are the flavor qualities that creates sensation of added sweetness. Tomatoes that are only sweet but have no other flavors to me lack the necessary finish. DH and I have looked at each other and SAID it starts out sweet and good, but WHERE'S THE REST!?

So you need to learn what kind of tomato flavor profile is to your liking, and grow those varieties -- if not this year, then next year. In the mean time, to work with what you have and improve their flavors ---

When tomatoes get too much water near to harvesting, whether by irrigation or rain, the flavors naturally get diluted.

Healthy tomatoes growing in rich organic soil with balanced diverse nutrients and minerals will develop their genetically programmed flavors to the fullest. So if you soil is lacking in any of the nutrients and minerals represented by the ingredients you listed, the tomatoes COULD naturally become better flavored if you were to supply them in time for the plants to absorb them.

I would say eggshells could be dried and ground up into a powder, then you won't have to worry about digging them in. They will break down quickly or quickest method when smallest size.

Epsom Salts contain Magnesium and Sulfur, which are vital in small/tiny amounts -- these are part of micro-nutrients needed by the tomatoes. Typical recipe is 1Tbs per gallon and 1 tsp per quart. But I would dilute that even more when it's hot and soil tends to dry quickly, since evaporation would concentrate the solution.

Liquid solutions can be delivered deeply into the soil by pounding a pointed PVC pipe in the ground and pouring your liquid in it. (You could even add your eggshell powder). This shouldn't be done right by the stem where the branched roots originate -- severing those could cause significant root system disruption -- but out where the feeder roots are, which typically for all plants is under the very TIP of the leaves. This means you would do this in several quadrants around the tomato for even supply.

Some liquid solutions can also be foliar fed. This means the plants will absorb them through the pores in their leaves. But conditions need be just right and the solution need to be applied as micro-fine mist. Too concentrated or applied at the wrong time of the day -- sunny, windy, etc. -- can spell disaster and burn the leaves and fruits. I would not try this until you are familiar with the process.

Baking Soda -- Sodium Bicarbonate -- I don't see how any of these molecules need to be supplied as a micro-nutrient, but Baking Soda will raise pH -- make more alkaline, which process is *called* "sweeter" and adding lime or other alkalining agent to amend soil is described as "sweetening" the soil. Only way this would benefit tomatoes is if you soil is ultra excessively acidic, since tomatoes prefer soil pH that is slightly more acidic than completely neutral.
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applestar
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

You might find some examples of tomato flavor qualities here

:arrow: Subject: Tomato Tasting -- compare and share
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Gary350
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

There are many claims if you put certain things on your plant it is good but i think some are old wives tales. Egg shells are good for BER. Cigarette butts claim to keep bugs away. Bubble gum I don't know. Epsom Salts i don't know. Gypson and dry wall mud are suppose to make plants grow faster but i know for a fact it makes tomatoes taste gritty like it has extremely fine sand in the tomatoes. Coppers pennies claim to prevent BER. Pellet lime is good for BER. Baking Soda I don't know. If you want sweet tomatoes buy a variety that is sweet. I have a friend that grows water melons he claims if you put sugar on the melons they get sweeter, try that with tomatoes let us know if it works. Celebrity tomatoes have as much flavor as cardboard. We like Beefsteak and all beefsteak varieties they all have excellent flavor not sure how they compare for sweetness. There is nothing wrong with commercial fertilizer, I use it, my father used it, my grand father used it, it is just concentrated fertilizer a little stronger than what mother nature makes but exactly the same. Fertilizer will not make tomatoes sweet. Your soil has a lot to do with the flavor or all your garden vegetables, wine makers have known that for 500 years certain soils grow better tasting grapes than others. Water will add flavor to vegetables because of the dissolved minerals.

jul1799
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

thank you. I do believe in some tails. Copper pennies are added not because they are pennies, but because they are copper. :)
Not sure what that would do though. I have never heard about half of the tails you are talking about. Dry wall mud would add calcium I assume and I would go with eggs shell for same reason. One can use solution from tobacco, I did read about it from multiple sources. It doesnot matter if it comes from butts or box. Frugal smoking ppl will use butts of course:)

I am just learning stuff and things are quite forein to me. I do not mind commercial fertilizer, I just prefer to use something I already have.

I would not put sugar, but I did read some people swear by yeast water with sugar left to ferment for few days. I am not fan of yeast, but did feed cucumber leftover sourdough starter for experiment. Too early to find results though.

Speaking of water I was wondering if soft water is making difference. Or clorine for that matter.

tomatoboss
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

a tablespoon of calcium nitrate and half tablespoon of magnesium sulfate aka Epsom salts will work better than egg shells and provide all the calcium the plants need. the Epsom salt will help your tomatoes to be sweeter. spread around the soil 3 inches from the main stem, water deeply three times weekly and watch your plant go in turbo boost :()

jul1799
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

thank you . what is calcium nitrate?

MOFishin
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Re: how to apply epsom salt , soda, egg shells

imafan26 wrote:Be careful with baking soda and epsom salts. Epsom salt contains magnesium but too much can cause magnesium toxicity. Make sure you need it first. It is a trace element, you don't have to give it repeatedly. Baking soda contains sodium which is not good for the soil or the microbia.

I find variety and ripeness determines sweetness. Some tomatoes are tart because they have more acid.
I just used epsom salt for the first time and may have gone over the recommended amount. How easy is it to get magnesium toxicity? Say, if I accidentally doubled it this first time, for example?

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