I'm not buying powdered milk this year. So I went and got calcium tablets. 500 mg with magnesium and zinc. I crushed up a bunch and put 1/2 tsp in each planting hole, that equals about 1 1/2 tabs. I used the other ingredients, just didn't put the calcium in the bucket with it. Figured the measurement of the calcium would be more precise if I added that separately. A cup of un-reconstituted powdered milk is 1178 mg calcium, or thereabouts. I'm no scientist and actually hated Chemistry.......
If you want an inexpensive calcium source (to replace powdered milk), wood ash's primary ingredient is calcium carbonate. It also has potassium, a somewhat lesser amount of phosphorus, and trace minerals. People are sometimes averse to using it because it might change the soil pH, but that's precisely because of the calcium (most other calcium sources can raise soil pH, too). If you want a pH-neutral calcium source, try gypsum (calcium sulfate). It's supposed to be good as a calcium source for plants (but it's more known for other things wherein it's efficacy has been challenged, unfortunately; the few people I've read about who used it for BER in tomatoes, however, liked it). I've never tried gypsum, though, but I've used wood ash lots of times (and tomatoes seem to like it, so long as you don't use too much). If I had some gypsum, I would use it, though.
Plain old garden lime is a calcium source. I've heard of people using it on tomatoes for BER, but I haven't read about it often. It does raise soil pH (and that's what it's well-known for). I've never tried it for any purpose.
Rockdust is high in calcium, too. I've tried basalt rockdust, but tomatoes like wood ash a whole lot more, in my experience. I don't recommend basalt rockdust for BER (but if you do try it, maybe use a kind with humic acid added, or else compost it first; I've never done either, but it's supposed to make the rockdust work better).
If you want more food-based sources of calcium, carob has a fair amount of it. I've never heard of anyone giving carob to their tomatoes, though, but I'd be curious to know how they like it. Carob does not spoil easily, even exposed to the air, in my experience (and I love lots of it in vanilla ice cream with a little cinnamon added).
emmsmommy, No, but go for it! Experiment! My eggshells go in the compost. I have given tomatoes a drink of watered down milk about a month after they are planted. I have some expired cans of evaporated milk that will get used that way this year.
Mumsey, thank you! I totally forgot to add anything to the holes when I planted my Romas last week. Pulled back the mulch and top dressed with bonemeal and epsom salt mix as the only cornmeal I have is in a mix. Added a handful of crushed eggshell and an antacid tablet to each plant.
Post by chignikbounty on Aug 22, 2020 15:19:12 GMT -5
Hey gardeners, I have a question. My plants need potassium (I think). The only fertilizer I have been using is aged chicken manure and very aged fish emulsion tea. But the leaves on my beans are yellowing. And also on the cucumber plants. I researched this and found out it could be a lack of potassium. I have an expired bottle of potassium pills for human consumption. Would it be ok to put on pill in each pot?