My chickens are gifts that keep on giving. Nothing they create goes to waste. In my previous article about composting chicken poo, I mentioned how even chicken waste isn’t wasted, but put to use in my garden. Egg shells can go into the compost pile, too, and they make an excellent, enriching addition–mine sometimes do–but I also use them for an awesome homemade tomato fertilizer. As my husband says, “it creates monsters out of tomato plants“!
Shannon’s Homemade Monster Tomato Fertilizer recipe:
- 2-3 dozen crush egg shells
- 2 cups bone meal
- 1/2 cup Epsom salts
- 14 crushed aspirin (a natural rooting hormone!)
First, wash your egg shells with soap and water and let them dry completely on a window sill before adding them to the mixture. (You can also bake them for a couple of hours at 100 degrees Fahrenheit if you don’t want to wait.) Make sure they are dry and brittle before using them.
Combine ingredients in a resealable container to keep dry while storing. You’re going to need about 1/4 cup of the mix at the bottom of the new hole you’re putting your tomato plant in. Tomatoes need to be buried deep, so plan on digging hole that will cover 2/3 of the plant. This makes for a strong root system, and a productive plant. Don’t forget to mulch your new plants as well. This will help keep moisture in the ground longer, and since tomatoes are prone to several diseases that live in the soil, mulch helps keep the dirt from splashing up on the bottom of the plant’s leave.
You can use the fertilizer throughout the growing season by side dressing your plant every 6 weeks. Just sprinkle a handful loosely at the base of the plant and water. Enjoy your monster plants this summer–and think about sharing some of your delicious tomatoes with the “girls” that helped them grow.