Milk is a good source of calcium, not only for humans, but for plants as well. Plants use calcium for tissue growth. A lack of calcium is indicated when plants look stunted and do not grow to their full potential. Blossom end rot, on the bottom of tomatoes and peppers, is also caused by a calcium deficiency. Your garden soil may contain enough calcium, but because your plants are not getting enough water, they are unable to absorb the necessary amount of calcium. Watering your tomatoes and peppers with milk ensures they will get enough moisture and calcium.
Things You'll Need
- Milk or powdered milk
- Watering can
- Spray bottle
Use stale milk that has gone off. If you don't have any stale milk, use fresh milk. Powdered milk can also be used.
Dilute the milk with water. Mix a solution of 50 percent milk and 50 percent water. Less milk can be used if you have a lot of plants to feed.
Fill a spray bottle with the milk solution. Spray it on the plant leaves. The leaves will absorb the mixture. This is called a foliar feeding. Tomatoes develop fungal diseases if liquid stays on their leaves for too long, so if you notice the solution is not being absorbed, wipe it off the leaves.
Pour the milk mixture around the base of the plants. The roots will absorb it.
Tips & Warnings
- Water tomatoes and peppers with a diluted milk solution every time you water them.
- The Harrowsmith Annual Garden"; Jennifer Bennett, et al.; 1990
- "Sustainable Gardening: the Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook"; Oregon State University; October 2007
- You Grow Girl; Tomatoes Like Milk; June 12, 2007
- Photo Credit David Oldfield/Digital Vision/Getty Images