Reduce tomato blossom end rot with egg shells! See this easy hack below!
Tomato Blossom End Rot
If you're not familiar with tomato blossom end rot, this pesky disease is fairly common and can attack your beautiful tomato and pepper plants!
We have many of these plants in our vegetable garden. Even an experienced gardener can end up finding blossom rot on veggies just as they are beginning to ripen. It's very frustrating.
The Good news is that there are a few easy treatments you can do to prevent the blossom rot from showing up. Read them below!
Egg Shells for Tomato Blossom End Rot
The easiest thing I have found is to just recycle (or should I say repurpose?) egg shells! These little empty shells don't need to head right for the kitchen trash can.
You can actually wash your empty egg shells, let dry, and crush them up in the garden!
I can remember years ago first seeing a random jar of crushed egg shells in a jar on grandma's washing machine. The jar always lived there and slowly the stack of egg shells got taller and taller inside the mason jar. Eventually all the kids ask the question- what are those for??
What we didn't know and grandma did was that these little egg shells are a good source of calcium for plants, which can help them fight off tomato blossom end rot!
How to Prepare Egg Shells
The first thing to know here is that you can't just toss your egg shells together. That would be nice– It's can be difficult to get them clean but don't skip this step.
The best way I've found to do this (messy) chore is just to throw the egg shells into a collander and rinse first. That will get most of the egg white dissolved and clean. Don't use a soap or detergent, however tempting that may be. These are going straight into the garden, so you don't want additives around your plants.
The nice thing is that if you break shells up more, that's fine!
After they are clean and dry, run them through the food processor or just crush them up in a sturdy bowl.
You can use a stoneware bowl or heavy plastic one, anything works. I actually prefer not to run them through the food processor since it's difficult to get them all out and those little pieces are sharp.
You can then dry them in the oven to harden them up more. At this point, into the Mason jar they go! And your kids or grand-kids can wonder about them! 😉
Be sure to use a sealed mason jar left in a cool dry place to store your shells. After a while if they are overheated or frozen they may be difficult to get out of the jar.
Just sprinkle your dried egg shells right into the garden! They can sit on plant leaves without harming them, but for the most part you want to try to spread them in the dirt or mulch surrounding your tomato plants.
They provide calcium to the ground, which tomato plants need to avoid common problems like tomato blossom end rot.
A nice bonus to using egg shells in the garden is that they also prevent pests and rodents. The dried egg shells- if used in good quantities- are not so fun to walk across for garden pests.
They also do not taste like a ripe, juicy tomato! So it can be a valuable deterrent
Here are some more tips to avoid tomato blossom end rot:
- Use a mulch to reduce evaporation on soil
- Keep soil acidic, around 6.5 pH
- Try to increase nitrogen in your soil if it's low or you're seeing rot. A fertilizer made for tomato plants containing nitrogen can help
- Try companion planting to keep the general health of your tomato plants in tip top shape– honestly if you have healthy growing plants, they are going to be less vulnerable to diseases, pests and parasites in general!
Disclaimer: We aren't gardening experts, but happy to share tips and tricks we have learned along the way from our own experiences. Check with your local nursery for expert tips!
- 1 Glass Mason Jar
- Left Over Egg Shells
- Mallet or Food Processor (optional)
Rinse egg shells in colander.
Dry egg shells in oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.
After they cool store in a glass jar. Keep the jar sealed and in a dry area. Add more shells as needed throughout the year.
Then sprinkle at the base of pepper and tomato plants in the spring, to prevent blossom rot and keep pets off your plants.
Type of eggs should not matter.