Professional and home gardeners have many tips and tricks for growing lush, healthy plants. One of those secret strategies is using Tums for tomato plants. Tomatoes use calcium to form and maintain the structure of their cells, balance their salt levels and regulate their stomata, which allows water to move in and out of the plant.
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Are Tums Good for Tomatoes?
Calcium promotes healthy pollination levels, good plant growth and crop yield and early fruit development. It also helps your tomato plants produce firm, delicious tomatoes earlier than they would without calcium treatments.
Perhaps most importantly, it also helps prevent blossom end rot. Many humans use Tums medication daily to meet their calcium needs, but are Tums good for tomatoes?
The short answer is yes. You can use Tums calcium for plants, including tomato plants. Tums is a simple medication that contains mostly calcium carbonate and added flavors and colors, neither of which will harm your tomatoes.
How to Use Tums for Tomato Plants
The best time to use Tums for tomatoes is at the time of planting. To do so, first crush the Tums into a fine powder. You can use a mortar and pestle for this task. However, if you don't have either of those, you can put them in a plastic baggie and crush them with a meat hammer or even a spice grinder.
If you're planting a bed of tomatoes, it might be easier to mix the Tums powder with the soil itself. When you dig your hole and put the tomato into the ground, add the powder from about one dozen Tums tablets before filling it in with soil. If you've already planted your tomatoes, don't worry; just dig around the stem until you see roots and add the powder then.
If you would prefer a different method, you may also create a spray using Tums dissolved in water. Spray it generously onto the stems and leaves. Dissolve about a dozen tablets in 16 ounces (2 cups) of water in a spray bottle. Apply it at least once a week. You must be mindful of adding too much calcium, as that can do almost as much damage as not enough. Pay attention to the health of your plants because they will let you know when they need more.
Other Ways to Add Calcium to Plants
There are other ways to deliver an extra boost of calcium to your plants. One method that many gardeners use is simply purchasing tomato fertilizer with calcium in it already. Several brands sell soil infused with extra calcium. This works particularly well if you're growing your tomatoes in a pot or plant bed.
There are foods that work to infuse calcium if you would prefer not to use Tums or fertilizer. Eggshells are the most common, but oyster or clam shells work well too. You may also add wood ash, bone meal, gypsum or pure calcium nitrate.
There are several other plants that benefit from a Tums treatment. You can use Tums for pepper plants, zucchini plants and squash plants. Tums provides the same support for these plants as it does for tomato plants.