Do Tomato Plants Benefit From Garden Lime and Epsom Salts? Well I don’t know so it’s time to do some research to see what effect, if any adding these products to the soil when planting tomatoes has.
What Is Garden Lime?
Garden Lime or Ground Limestone with the active ingredient Calcium Carbonate is used primarily for vegetable crops to balance the soils PH levels. The PH levels indicate how Acid or Alkaline the soil is and can be determined by means of a simple test kit available at most garden centres. Too far to either end of the Acid/ Alkili scale and plants will not grow successfully.
What Is Epsom Salts?
Epsom Salts is made up of Magnesium Sulfate. Magnesium is nessecary for plants to grow and is needed for:-
- Seed Germination
- Chlorophyll Production
- Fruit Development
Magnesium is also nessecary to:-
- Strengthen Plant Cell Walls
- Improve Absorbtion of other minerals including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur
Do Tomato Plants Benefit From Garden Lime and Epsom Salts?
Answer– most probably and more so if grown in pots because as you water pots you wash out nutrients which the plants cannot find as they would if they were grown in the soil.
Do Tomatoes Need Lime /Epsom Salts
If Tomatoes don’t have enough Calcium they will develop Blossom End Rot which makes the fruit inedible.
If they don’t have enough Magnesium Tomato plant leaves will yellow and fall off early and without leaves the plant cannot turn sunlight into energy.The fruit will not ripen properly and the plant will die.
The Larry Hall Approach
For those of you who don’t know about Larry Hall and his growing techniques click on the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET4wee-jvQ8 and watch him. Larry is very entertaining and has good advice mixed with genuine enthusiasm.
So this year after spending the winter watching Larry’s videos, I have decided to add Both the Lime and the Epsom Salts to all my Tomatoes and I will be hoping for great results which I will be sharing with you.
The Great Tomato Experiment
I have grown two different varieties of tomato, Gardeners Delight and Money Maker, Started them off in my own compost and left them to their own devices.
Then as you will see in the next picture I have mixed up Larry Halls growing mix, well as near as I could. This consisted of:-
- My own compost
- Used strawberry compost
- Garden Lime
- Epsom Salts
I then repotted both tomatoes individually into two gallon buckets and watered in well. These will now stay in my greenhouse and I will check on them weekly.
You may notice in each container I have added a Basil plant this is because Basil is a great companion to tomatoes not only on the plate but also in the soil. There seem to be two reasons for this. Firstly when these two plants share the same soil the flavour of the tomato is greatly improved. Secondly the aroma of Basil confuses the insects that attack tomatoes thus protecting the tomato plants.
I have also planted both plants deeper than they were in their original pots this is to encourage stronger and deeper root growth thus hopefully ensuring happier, healthier plants. Once support canes are added so that the growing plants can be tied in, to stop the stems from bending/snapping under the weight of all the fruit that hopefully will be produced.
Once the tomato plants flower I will feed them with home made comfrey tea once a week as I do with all my tomatoes.
One Week On
Both plants look healthy. The Gardeners Delight even has flowers on so this will probably be producing fruit soon.
Do Tomato Plants Benefit From Garden Lime and Epsom salts Results
It is now the end of the season and all I can say is yes tomato plants definitely benefit from garden lime and epsom salts.
I have had more fruit and healthier plants both in the greenhouse and outdoors. I have already ordered my garden lime and epsom salts for next year.
I am confident that you will be as pleased as I am with the results if you decide to try it your self.