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Professor Tomato And Fertilizer

Well here we are….ready to plant, or at least it’s planting tomatoes time for me! So, what do I do when I plant tomatoes? Well, the Professor tells me the best thing I can do for my tomato plantsĀ (or anyone else for that matter) is to give them a great start with a good combination of nutrients for the root system. This means 2 things “Epsom Salts” and “Calcium”. Let’s take a look at these one by one and see why they are a great choice for giving our tomato plants a good start. Obviously, if we give our tomatoes the right nutrients we’ll have a better plant with greater production.

Epsom Salts

Epsom Salts is actually Magnesium sulfate. Chemical composition of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen….MgSO4 to be exact. You probably use epsom salts to soak your feet don’t you? Well, guess what? We’re going to soak the “Feet” of our tomato plants in the very same epsom salts that you use for Your feet. How do you like them tomatoes? So…. just what does all this chemical stuff do for our tomato plant that makes it so happy? For one thing the Magnesium helps the plant with uptake of other nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Sulfur is great for the production of vitamins in the plant and has a real bearing on the flavor I believe….also it helps slightly with acidifying the soil (Sulfuric Acid). Another bonus is the “Oxygen” provided by epsom salts. So there you have a complete synopsis of Magnesium Sulfate….there’s guys up at the agricultural schools that take years to learn what you just got in under a minute…cool huh? Let’s move onto Calcium….geezzz….this will be like a PhD when I’m done!

Calcium

Calcium is important for cell production…and everyone knows cells are important….unless your in prison….then they are home. Tomatoes are heavy users of calcium. They also use the calcium to ward off diseases, viruses, and other unwanted maladies in the garden. What calcium does for your tomato plants is very important, but I don’t want to discuss the attributes as much as I’d like to talk about the delivery…how you get calcium to the tomato plant. There are Tums, powdered milk, bone meal, egg shells, commercial fertilizers, and a whole host of other concoctions. I’m fine with most delivery systems, BUT, I do have a bit of a problem with one of the items…egg shells. Don’t get me wrong, egg shells are great! However, they do take a little time to break down….so if you’re going to use them, crush the living hell outta of ’em! AND if you use them with epsom salts they’ll break down even faster….remember the sulfuric acid? Alrighty then, now you’re Tomato Agronomist Experts….how do you like that? Stop by the house and I’ll print something up to make the Wizard of Oz jealous…..come by next week and we’ll talk some more about our pal the Tomato!

 

 

Posted Saturday, May 26th, 2012 by by admin, under Planting Tomatoes.

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