Using Eggshells In The Garden

If you like eating eggs, you naturally have masses of eggshells in your compost bin. Most people are unaware that using eggshells in the garden can benefit for many reasons. Eggshells are high in calcium, so many gardeners exploit them to supply more nutrients to the soil.

Therefore, you can take advantage of them in your garden rather than toss them in the kitchen waste or down the bin. If you are curious about what to do with egg shells this garden season, continue reading this post.

What Are Eggshells Made Of?

A wooden table with eggshells.
Eggshells are made up of 95% minerals – specifically calcium carbonate. And this mineral is an essential element for a plant and promotes its healthy growth and structure. Aside from metabolism and enzyme activity, calcium is required to build robust cell walls.

Such as a low amount of lime, the eggshells increase the pH of acidic soil, enhance water penetration, and optimize plant absorption of other nutrients.

Calcium is one, but an egg shell also has a significant amount of sulphur, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium. A ground eggshell meal is declared as an organic fertilizer “generally acceptable under the (rules of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP)) for commercial organic farmers.”

How To Prepare Eggshells for Garden Uses

You’ll need a good quantity of eggshells to apply in your garden.

  1. First, remove the inner and outer membranes of the eggshells. To clean them, rinse them quickly to remove the albumen. Next, lay them out on newspaper to air dry. Then, store them in a bowl or container until you have as much as is necessary to use. About 150 eggshells are needed to fill a cup of coarse eggshell powder.
  2. Eggshells sometimes contain germs, so sanitizing them is better to avoid contamination with salmonella bacteria and other harmful germs. Place eggshells on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer. Heat them at 200F for about 30 minutes. Baking eggshells before using them in your garden helps facilitate the nutrient absorption process by the plant’s roots.
  3. Once you’ve done baking the eggshells, you need to grind them using a rolling pin with the dried shells in a plastic zipper bag, a kitchen hammer, a mortar, pestle, or even by hand. Get them as small as possible.You can even pulverize them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender.
  4. Add apple cider vinegar to pulverized eggshells to make calcium easily attainable in your garden.

Ways To Use Eggshells

Seed Starters

Using eggshells as a seed starter is a fun way to awaken your garden. It is a wise option for seedlings that don’t want their roots disturbed for planting or potting up.

Clean eggshell halves and arrange them in an egg carton. Make a small hole at the bottom of each half shell for drainage. Fill it with seed starting mix and potting soil. Then place two seeds and cover them with some dirt. Pick herbs and other small plants that don’t need room for deep roots.

Place the carton in front of a sunny window. Lightly mist the soil every other day as necessary. Once the seedlings grow true leaves, transplant them to a larger container.

Crushed Eggshells In Compost Pile

A close-up of a bowl of food with eggshells.

As Plant Fertilizer

Eggshell can’t give all the needed nutrients to a plant but can serve as a supplement to your typical fertilizing scheme.

The calcium present in eggshells lowers the soil’s pH levels and strengthens the plant’s root system. As an added nutritional boost for your garden, mix the eggshell powder 1:1 with used coffee grounds, a rich nitrogen source.

Eggshell fertilizer is also excellent for all potted plants, whether outdoors or indoor plants!

Prevent Blossom End Rot

Some fruits will develop a blossom end rot due to calcium deficiency. Adding egg shells as a calcium supplement in the soil can help prevent this. Tomato plants will significantly benefit from the added calcium.

Add 1/2 tbsp. of crushed egg shells on the plant’s base before covering up with garden soil. And this will supply enough minerals and trace elements to a tomato plant gradually and steadily throughout its growing season.

Pest Control

Eggshells curb slugs, snails, beetles, and cutworms. These pests severely damage your garden. Apply powdered eggshells to your garden instead of purchasing diatomaceous earth (a known organic pesticide). The ragged edges will wound the soft-bodied pests.

For slugs, ants, and snails, add egg shells around the base of the plant. And for beetles and other pest insects, you can sprinkle the eggshells straight onto the pest.

You can also use eggs to dissuade deer. But be mindful that although deer detest the smell of eggs, rodents like to eat eggs. Thus, using this material near the house may not be best.

Bird Food

As plants and people, birds also benefit from taking calcium from the eggshells. It is especially true for female birds during spring as they use more calcium for egg-laying. Spring is also the time when birds migrate and select their nesting spots.

You can work with this to lure more insect-eating birds into nesting near your garden. And this is one practice to maintain the right balance between beneficial and destructive critters.

Mix the powdered eggshell into any birdseed mix and place it in a feeding tray or scatter them on the open ground.

Ground Eggshells As Garden Mulch

Mulching your garden with eggshells can offer your plants useable calcium. When you crush those eggshells into small bits and spread them over your garden soil, those pieces help to aerate the soil and improve the water flow. The eggshell mulch will work as effectively as any commercial mulch in preventing weeds.

Another advantage is that eggshells look like pebbles from far away and add decorative elements if you spread them on pots.

Another advantage is that the paper-like white colour and coarse texture create an oddly catchy and unique garden bed. The eggshells look like pebbles from a distance and add decorative features if you scatter them on pots.

Bottom Line

There you have it! You can feed calcium to your plants by using crushed eggshells. There are other usages for leftover eggshells aside from the mentioned uses.

If you utilize dried eggshells for more effortless grinding, your food waste can be efficiently remade into an organic pesticide, compost content, fertilizer, or soil amendment.

Store your eggs shells now!

Curb Wise