How To Use Eggshells In the Garden
The calcium from eggshells is welcome in garden soil, where it moderates soil acidity while providing
nutrients for plants. Eggshells contain such an abundance of calcium that they can be used almost
You need a lot of eggshells to make a measurable impact. By the time they are
well ground, it takes 150 eggshells to make a cup of coarse eggshell powder.
Tomatoes that have a handful of eggshell meal worked into the planting site are not likely to develop
blossom end rot, and plenty of soil calcium reduces tip burn in cabbage, too.
Yet eggshells are quite useful in adding calcium to homemade fertilizers, or you can simply make
calcium water by steeping dried eggshells in water for a couple of days, and then using the strained
water for your plants, including houseplants. Plants that haven't been repotted for some time often
perk up quickly when given a good drench of eggshell water.
Eggshells are a great way to add calcium to your compost. Because shells have a very high surface
area to volume ratio, they decompose very quickly. Don’t even worry about sterilizing or grinding them
up. Just toss your shells on the pile or into the barrel and turn them under.
Alternately, you can incorporate crumbled eggshell directly into the bottoms of your planting holes in the
During the winter months, distribute your shells over the plot of land where you will plant come
springtime. Once the ground warms up, you can till the shells into the soil. If you are adverse to the idea
of having eggshells on the ground all winter, you can also clean and store the shells until planting
season rolls around.
While calcium is considered a secondary nutrient for plants, your garden will certainly appreciate the
added minerals, especially if you grow tomatoes or peppers as these plants are the most easily affected
If you have problems with slugs and snails in your garden, try sprinkling coarsely-crumbled eggshells
around the plants where these slimy little pests like to dine. The shells’ sharp edges deter snails and
slugs by abrading the sensitive foot of any land mollusc that attempts to cross the barrier. Most snails
and slugs will quickly emigrate from your garden in search of easier pickings.
Because eggshells quickly biodegrade when introduced into soil in the garden, they also double as the
perfect seed-starter pots. When you open your eggs to remove the contents, try to break just a small
hole at the pointier end of the shell. Clean the inside of the eggshells (boiling water works well for this)
and puncture a small drainage hole in the bottom of each empty shell. You can then place them back
into the carton, fill each shell with moist potting soil, and add your seeds. Once the seedlings outgrow
their “pots” you can transplant them shell and all directly into bigger pots or out into the garden.
Both before and after laying eggs, mother birds need more calcium in their diets. Sterilize your
eggshells by baking them at 250°F / 120°C for about ten minutes so the shells are dry, but not brown on
the inside. Then crumble your eggshells well and place them outdoors (in a feeder or even just on the
ground) during the spring and summer. You can also mix the eggshell crumbles with birdseed, suet, or
mealworms in an existing birdfeeder. Either way, your healthy mama birds just might thank you by also
dining on insect pests that may otherwise damage your garden.
If you have deer visiting your garden as if were their own personal buffet every night, scatter some
eggshells around the plants they’re munching on the most. Deer hate the smell of albumin and tend to
stay away from an area that smells like raw eggs. Just be careful using this method as the smell may
actually attract smaller vermin like rodents who like to eat eggs.
Finely-ground eggshells can also be quite pretty. If you have a large family or simply eat a lot of eggs,
boil your shells to sterilize them, crumble, then drop them into a large glass jar for storage. Once you’ve
collected enough shell crumbles, sprinkle them around and in between your plants. Not only will the
eggshells help control pests and eventually add calcium back to the soil, the white color can also be a
beautiful accent to your garden. Add crumbled oyster shells for an even more interesting appearance
with all of the same garden health benefits.
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