Welcome to the 5th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop! This is the place where authors and bloggers share their favorite gardening tips and fresh recipes AND offer a host of fantastic giveaways! For my stop on the hop, I’m going to share with you the secret to growing AWESOME tomatoes!

Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015Everyone knows plants like worm poop. (At least my readers do!) But did you know they also like stuff that kids need, like calcium and potassium? It’s true, and the reason we drink milk and eat bananas. Because they’re good for us.

Does that mean we should feed our plants milk and bananas? Kinda…but not exactly. It’s best to compost your bananas and peels before adding them to the garden as a nutritional source, because they’ll break down along with your other kitchen scraps and make for a great addition to your garden soil. And rather than putting milk in your garden, how about crushing those eggshells you cracked for breakfast? Did you know that crumbled eggshells are a great source of calcium? Planted in the dirt around your tomato plants, they will help prevent blossom-end rot disease. You know, those ugly black spots that can form on your tomatoes as they ripen?

school tomatoes

It’s due to a lack of calcium in your tomato plant’s diet. So don’t let this happen to you–bury those eggshells around your tomato plants! Better yet, combine them with a sprinkle of Epsom salts for the best effect. Wunderbar!! You can even start your seeds in your eggshells. How cool is that?

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Way cool. And a really fun way to grow tomato sprouts. AND, you simply plant the entire shell and sprout in the ground when you’re ready! It’s one of my favorite ways to plant tomato sprouts. How about you? Any tips to share?

Now for my giveaway… As part of the hop I’m giving away a Burt’s Bees Baby basket and $10 Amazon gift card. Basket includes shampoo & wash, buttermilk lotion, dusting powder, diaper ointment and apricot oil, plus a cute baby comb. I love Burt’s Bees products and know you’ll enjoy this basket, even if you’re not a baby! Except for the ointment–that’s totally for babies.

AIB giveaway

And it’s easy to enter. Simply leave a comment, visit my facebook page, tweet a message or all of the above.

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Now get gardening and get hopping… You have a ton more sites to visit!