Calcium for peppers

drewculous(4)April 2, 2009

What are some sources of calcium out there?

So far the most reoccuring answer is bonemeal. my question, I have a bunch of crushed oyster shell i use for my fungus beds (mainly as a ph buffer), would that work as a calcium supp for peppers?

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danielmlane(7 / 8)

You may laugh, but last year I ran into the problem of Blossom End Rot on about 8 pepper plants. A cause of BER is a calcium deficiency. I dissolved TUMS (yep that's right), good ole TUMS Antacids in the water and watered the plants. All of the blossom end Rot cleared within roughly a week. TUMS are made of calcium bicarbonate. It worked for me and was a lot cheaper than buying a special blossom end rot supplement for plants.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 1:41PM
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I have never really had a problem but I usually throw a small handful of bone meal into the hole when I plant peppers and tomatoes along with about a TBS of Epsom salts. Again, I don't know if it's really needed but it seems to cause no harm.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 4:20PM
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Advice from a master gardener that I heard speak at the WI Garden Expo...he suggested a few tablespoons of powdered milk. I'm trying that this year.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:07PM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

Bone meal is mainly for phosphorus, lime/limestone/dolomitic lime is for calcium (calcium carbonate). Anything that gets appreciable amounts of calcium into the soil will affect soil pH/nutrient uptake so you should have a soil test done before applying them.

Blossom end rot is very very very rarely due to calcium deficiency in the soil. The problem is in transport of calcium from the soil to the fruit. Soil temperature, water saturation of the soil (oxygen etc), and high levels of nitrogen= high vegetative growth all contribute. This is why BER is usually seen early in the season. There are some calcium sprays that you can apply to very small fruits (before they develop a waxy cuticle) that can help prevent BER (10%-30% effective). The best thing you can do is improve the soil (compost, drainage etc) so that early season root growth is optomized so calcium can get from the soil into the plants.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 10:18AM
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I personally use Azomite for calcium and other trace minerals.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:45PM
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