Many gardeners will advise you to look after the amount of sunlight, watering, and fertilize to have happy and healthy plants. Of course, there is more to it than meets the eye, and today, we are dealing with some more advanced things you need to pay attention to.
Minerals and similar ingredients are equally essential for your plant’s health. Therefore, I’ll show you how to add calcium to the soil, so that they will grow stronger and more resistant. The procedures are not complicated, as you will see, but first, let’s get to why it is important and how to know if you need to add some.
What Is Calcium And How To Know If My Plants Need It?
We all know about three primary nutrients for every plant. Those are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). However, there is a second class of these which are required in smaller amounts, but it doesn’t mean that they are less important.
Let me introduce you to sulfur, magnesium, and calcium. The latter is the subject of this article, and I’ll focus on it primarily. It can be found in our surrounding in many shapes, but concerning gardening, it is most often found in the form of lime or gypsum.
This mineral is vital in strengthening the bonds between cells, which results in overall health improvement of the plant. One of the plants which are most sensitive to calcium deficiency are tomatoes. It will develop blotches of soft spots on the lower side of the fruit if there isn’t enough of this mineral.
Is Any Preparation Required?
Luckily, there isn’t much to do to apply calcium. However, it would be wise to take at least one step before doing anything. If you don’t have it already, obtain your soil pH measuring kit and hit the field.
Measure the value of several spots throughout the garden, and take an average value. I have mentioned lime and gypsum; the first one will raise pH value, so if it is off the chart go with this option.
On the other hand, gypsum won’t change it, so if this is your case, you know what to do.
The best way for this procedure is autumn, since the growing cycle is over, and you can focus on finishing the job more quickly.
Lime And Gypsum
As I said, this is perhaps the easiest way to add calcium. Buy the amount you will need, and if you buy some more, don’t fret, it cannot spoil, or you can give it to someone who needs it. Whether you will buy it in store or online, is your choice. I prefer to shop online, because of massive selection available.
Follow the instructions to spread the mineral you need. Remember that lime needs to be worked into the soil, while gypsum needs to be supplied with water after distributing to the ground to absorb it.
Now, this approach is more easy to apply and can be used for container plants as well. You will need just a few things, and of course, the egg shells. The main advantage of this approach is that it can be applied in several ways, and I’ll cover it all.
Start by accumulating egg shells and drying them for a couple of days. In general, any food container or a tin can will do, so don’t worry. After a period of drying, you will need to grind them to dust, and the finer the grains are, the better. For this purpose, I have used a blender, but you can go with whichever device you have.
From here, you can either directly distribute the ground shells, which is good for container plants but may require a lot more for the garden appliance. Of course, if you cannot wait to have some more, take about two tablespoons of dust and mix it into a gallon of water. Now, use this for watering your plants.
This method might be a bit far-fetched, but still worth a shot. I have mentioned it in my article about 15 organic amendments for soil, and here is what you need to do. Visit your local stonecutter, and ask him if he has some fine stone dust. The chances are likely that he will be able to help you and tell him what for do you need it.
Just dilute it in water, and spray away, that’s all you need to do!
Much like eggshells, bones are made of calcium. Therefore, it is used for this purpose and can help you a lot, since it is sold commercially. The only thing you need to look after is how finely it is ground, and always go for smaller particles, which will be absorbed faster.
As with the other methods, this one can be mixed with water and sprayed. On the other hand, you can throw chicken, and other bones left after lunch into a compost bin, since it will add up to the quality of this amendment.
So, here we are. Now that you know how to add calcium to the soil, there isn’t any reason for you not to try. In the end, your plants need this mineral, and why not to it to them, when its appliance is so easy?
In case that you have some interesting suggestions on this matter, feel free to use the comment section below.