The Q&A Archives: Calcium

Question: Planting instructions for tomatoes says to add calcium to your soil to help prevent blossom end rot. Where would I obtain calcium for my garden?

Answer: Lime is a substance that provides calcium. You can buy lime as ground limestone, dolomitic limeston, or gypsum. Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency aggravated by widely fluctuating soil moisture and high temperatures. It occurs because of too littl calcium in the soil; too much nitrogen fertilizer, very wet or very dry soils (which interfere with calcium uptake), high temperatures, or combinations of these factors. Add lime to your soil to adjust the soil pH to 6.8-7.2. Fertilize only moderately, don't plant tomatoes where drainage is poor, mulch plants with loose organic materials, and ensure uniform soil moisture. Water to wet all soil in the root zone every 7 to 10 days. If you follow the above directions, your tomatoes should be safe from blossom end rot.

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