Calcium, the mineral that is commonly known for helping us build strong teeth and bones, is also essential in your garden as your plants need calcium too! One of the macronutrients in soil, a healthy level of calcium is needed for your plants and produce to thrive, as plants use calcium to build and maintain their cell walls.
When you add calcium to your garden, it helps your plants grow tall and keep them upright, as well as to transport other nutrients around the plants’ system. Calcium is also a key component in fighting off pests and other diseases.
Without sufficient calcium, you may find that your garden isn’t flourishing the way you want it to. But not to worry! Adding a bit of calcium to your garden will provide your plants with the vitamin boost they need to be healthy.
Some vegetation needs more calcium than others, but if you have things such as grapes, apples, carrots, peas, tomatoes, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and broccoli growing in your garden, they require a fair amount of calcium to thrive. If you find that your plants are struggling, all you might need to do is add a healthy dose of calcium!
How To Spot Calcium Deficiency
First things first, take a look at the plants in your garden and see if you can spot any tell-tale signs of calcium deficiency. Check the new leaves growing on your plant to see if they might be struggling or looking a bit stunted; also have a look at the current leaves and note if there are any brown spots around the edges, growing towards the centre.
The young leaves and shoots may be curling inwards, and the fruit of the plant may be damaged (think blossom end rot in tomatoes and peppers). There may also be yellow patches on the plant and weak stems.
As with most things, you want to make sure you’re not overloading your soil with too much calcium either. If you have too much, you may make your soil too alkaline and upset the delicate balance of the other macronutrients and their level of absorption.
How To Add Calcium To Your Garden
Now that you’ve figured out that calcium is what’s missing, you can follow these simple solutions to increase the calcium content in your soil to help keep your plants healthy and strong!
Next time you make yourself breakfast, instead of chucking your eggshells away, make sure you dry them out and then put them in your compost heap instead. Eggshells are a fantastic source of calcium and can benefit many different types of plants. As the root is the part of the plant that absorbs the nutrients from the soil, planting eggshells alongside seedlings gives the plant that extra boost from the start.
Ensure they’re dry before you add them to your garden – it might be a good idea to store them in a small container or empty coffee tin for a little while. Once they’ve dried out, break or blend the eggs into fine pieces or a light powder. The finer the eggshells are, the easier the calcium will be absorbed into the soil.
Mix the soil and eggshells together a few weeks before you plant, or, if already planted, carefully spread the eggshells around your plants. If needed, you can add more eggshell powder every few weeks to help your plants along.
Calcium needs to move up from the root and all the way around the plant, right up to the tallest leaf. To do this, it needs plenty of water, so make sure you’re giving your garden a healthy sprinkling!
Check your pH levels
If the soil is too acidic, it may not have much calcium available for your plants to absorb. If your plant needs more calcium and the soil isn’t quite right, consider adding some lime to make the pH less acidic.
Typically, soils that are more alkaline have a higher level of calcium deposits available for the plant to absorb, but be sure to make sure that a more alkaline soil will be right for your plants before you add any lime. If you need to keep your pH levels the same, adding some gypsum will also do the trick. You can find both of them online on Amazon, or in gardening stores.
Plants are multitalented and able to absorb nutrients through both their roots and their leaves, so spraying their leaves with calcium-rich nutrients will address their calcium deficiency. You could use either calcium acetate, calcium nitrate or calcium chloride – calcium chloride has the added benefit of not affecting your soil’s pH levels too, so this is often one of the best options available.
This highly beneficial compound is typically added when the plant begins to rot before it has come to ripen, as it can help the plant produce more chlorophyll and absorb more nitrogen and phosphorous. Sprinkle the salts carefully around the plant to sink into the soil, or create an Epsom salt spray (the exact amount of Epsom measured out depends on the plant) and spray around every two weeks.
Get a soil test done
If you really find your plants are struggling no matter what you do, it might be an option to get a full test of your soil done. This is different from a pH level test and not one that you can do at home. Your local garden centre should be able to help you with this, or a quick Google search will bring up where to get your soil tested in your area.
Calcium is crucial in helping your plants grow healthy and strong and keeping your garden as vibrant and flourishing as possible. Without calcium, your plant isn’t able to absorb other nutrients as well as grow strong and maintain its cell walls.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to make use of the tips above to go about making sure your garden is a calcium-rich haven for your beautiful plants to grow!
 Epsom salt – Link