Walking on Eggshells

calcium enriched soilCome rain or shine, POD’s planting tomatoes this weekend. In an effort to prep the soil as thoroughly as possible, a few crumbled eggshells will lend some calcium to the mix. Just like healthy bones need plenty calcium to maintain structural integrity, so do healthy tomatoes (and peppers).

Tomatoes (and peppers) have a nasty habit of coming down with blossom end rot, a disgusting-looking rotting/fungus that rears its ugly head at the blossom end of the fruit or vegetable as its beginning to mature.

Now, the whole eggshell-into-mix may well be an old wives’ tale, but someday POD will be an old, old wife.

Drink Milk

Tomato Milk
Tomato Milk

Last year POD’s Nebraska Wedding suffered from (among other things) a nasty case of blossom end rot. Wherein the lovely half-formed fruits suddenly blackened at the, well, blossom end and rotted. Exactly as the difficult-to-parse name would suggest.

Since then I learned that tomatoes need calcium to keep their cell walls strong and healthy. So this Chocolate Cherry is soaking up a diluted mixture of soured skim milk (why use good milk?) and water. This particular batch was about 40% milk and 60% water but it’s not all that fussy.  Well, calcium and warm soil. So practice patience, if you can, and wait for temperatures to stabilize.

Supposedly tomatoes also enjoy a seaweed snack every now and again. Since South Philadelphia isn’t quite close enough to the Jersey shore to use seaweed as mulch, I ground up some dried seaweed from the Number One Asian supermarket, dumped it in the milk solution and called it a day. We shall see.