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The Role Of Calcium In The Garden

 The Role Of Calcium In The Garden 

Calcium is the most abundant mineral on earth. Every living cell is made up of calcium. In it's natural form it is
calcium-carbonate-897112
Crushed seashells yields loads of calcium carbonate!
chalky and white. Calcium can be in anything from Tums tablets to charcoal. Lime is another great source of calcium, but it is in a form plants can take up which is Calcium carbonate CaCO3. Calcium carbonate makes up so many living things that the list goes on and on! Seashells, gypsum, plants, Eggshells, even our teeth, bones, and hair! Calcium is the one of the building blocks for life, All organic gardens will thrive with the addition of calcium because of its life building properties. The craziest thing is that it is almost impossible to add to much of it to the garden! Studies have shown that there is an association with plant and fruit size to the amount of calcium found in the soil. Calcium is however found in every soil, but In my findings I simply cannot get enough of it! 

     The Role of Calcium In The Garden    
Calcium is vital for building strong cell structure. Just like our bones, calcium is the bones for plant structure. The next thing calcium does is help to make larger fruit, and a larger plant. Calcium is a growth regulator for plants, It 
works hand in hand with Nitrogen and builds the structure, while Nitrogen helps to continue the growth. The last thing Calcium does is help to regulate the flow of other nutrients in and out of the cell. In situation where access calcium is in the soil, the plants can uptake more nutrients, and therefor grow faster. Recent studies show that calcium is one of the only nutrients to regulate nutrient flow in and out of the cell. 

  Signs Of Calcium Deficiency             
The first signs of a Calcium deficiency is pitting on the undersides of leaves. The leaves will also begin curling upward and may even crack. This is due to the fact that the leaf cannot stretch, and it bends and curls trying to work around the deficiency. In more noticeable cases commonly seen in tomatoes, the fruit will get a black spot at the flower end. This is called Blossom end rot (BER). This can happen with any fruit or vegetable, and is very easily fixed. 
 

                           

    

Calcium Deficiency in Tomatoes causing (BER)
       

 

fig2
This is the Calcium Cycle!
 

  5 great forms of Calcium for the garden  

1. Leaf/Lawn waste – When composted,lawn waste contains about 9% Calcium by weight
2. Sea Shells- When crushed, any shell contains around 70% calcium
 by weight
3. Antacid tablets – Not my first choice, but in the case of an emergency antacid tablets are pure calcium at around 97% Calcium by weight
 
4. Crushed gypsum  – A slow release form of Calcium, but highly effective at breaking up clay soil as well as provide around 45% Calcium by weight. 
5. Eggshells – When crushed, Eggshells are a slow release form, but free and contain about 70% calcium by weight. 

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