07 Aug 2012 6 Comments
If you’re a follower of my blog, you do. It’s time to start my tomato sprouts and the secret to beautiful, healthy, blossom-end rot free tomatoes is the combination of Epsom salts and eggshells. Yep, just mix some crumbled eggshells together and Epsom salts into your potting mix and you’re good to go!
This disease is the result of a lack of calcium. Calcium’s most important function during the crop fruiting stage is its role in cell wall/cell membrane stability. If Ca is deficient in developing fruits, an irreversible condition known as blossom-end rot will develop. Blossom-end rot occurs when cell wall calcium “concrete” is deficient during early fruit development, and results in cell wall membrane collapse and the appearance of dark, sunken pits at the blossom end of fruit so this blend does wonders to give your plants a head start. The magnesium helps plants grow bigger, heartier tomatoes but go easy. Too much Mg can cause trouble, too.
I start my tomato sprouts now because it’s too hot to put them in the ground outside. For those of you unfamiliar with the Florida heat, we call these the “Dogs Days of August” which has to refer to the fact this weather is unsuitable for man or beast. Not that my pumpkin dog is a beast, mind you, but he wants nothing to do with the outdoors right now–unless he’s in a lake. Or pool. He’s not fussy and either works, but my tender tomato sprouts?
The tiny green shoots would fry the minute they poked through the surface. So now is when I set out my seedling trays and start my seeds. I mix up the Epsom salts and eggshells with my compost and this seems to do the trick. Come September, I’ll transplant into the garden and once again, add my secret blend of ingredients to ward off blossom-end rot.