Egg Shells for Calcium

If you grow tomatoes, you may have seen blossom end rot. It also affects some other plants.

Egg shells provide the calcium necessary to prevent this condition.

Here is how I prepare them.

1) For a slow release of calcium to be mixed into the soil at the time of planting, take a bunch of egg shells, crush them slightly, and put them in the oven at about 250 for hour or so. Or, if you don’t want to use the oven for this, the next time you do use the oven and have space on top of the stove, put them on a paper plate on top of the stove where they will be heated from the heat generated in the oven.

This will dry them out. Then, put them into a ziplock bag, give them a slight crushing with your hands to level the bag out. Seal the bag, removing the air. Then, take a rolling pin and crush the shells into a powder. Save the powder in a plastic container with a lid.

2) For a quick burst of calcium that is immediately available to the plants, get a glass jar with a lid. Add eggshell powder to about 1/4 way up from the bottom. Then add white vinegar to the jar, leaving an air gap at the top. Put the lid on, loosely. This reaction will generate CO2 gas, and it needs a way to escape. I don’t think it will burst the glass jar if the lid is on tight, but why chance it?

It does take a while for the calcium to dissolve into the vinegar solution. That is why it is best to start now, while you have the time. Tighten the lid and shake the jar a few times a day, then loosen the lid to allow the gas to escape. When it no longer leaves a white foam on top, it’s done and you can then place the vinegar/calcium mixture in another jar. Then you can add fresh egg shells and vinegar and make another batch.

The PH will be close to neutral. Here is a video that shows this http://youtu.be/0ycETgNRe5k

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