Ways To Use Eggshells In The Garden Plants

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While many routinely discard eggshells after breakfast, our commitment to sustainable gardening compels us to reconsider this practice. As resourceful gardeners, we’re determined to recycle these shells, harnessing their benefits within our gardens and upholding eco-friendly principles. And that’s why we’ll expose some unique ways to use eggshells in the garden in this timely article.

Using eggshells in the garden enriches the soil and helps deter pests (slugs, snails, cutworms). Shells can also be used as seed starters and compost enhancers. Crushed eggshells are preferred before application to maximize their effectiveness and avoid potential issues you may face during any growing season

half cut and crushed brown and white eggshells on table

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Today, I will provide you with a list of benefits when you use your eggshells in your garden and the potential problems eggshells may cause. Remember, eggshells, like coffee grounds, can be acidic when excessively added to the soil.

I will also guide you on adequately preparing eggshells for garden use while discovering creative ways to integrate them into different plant care routines. So, without further ado, let’s get ready to put your eggshells to work on your behalf in your garden.

Humble Highlights

  • Discover how spreading eggshells in your garden can help nourish and promote healthy crop growth so you can help keep your plants growing with abundant yields!
  •  Save money by discovering how to incorporate natural eggshells in your backyard compost to enrich your garden’s soil throughout the year your plants will love.
  •  Stop tossing eggshells in the trash and creating more waste with these 5 innovative and mind-blowing ideas so you can add color, charm, and appeal to any garden -large or small.

Benefits Of Using Eggshells For Garden

In the following sections, you will discover the numerous uses of eggshells, from using these resources as seed starters to crushing them to powder for soil amendments. Each distinct part provides different steps for using your kitchen eggshells — from cleaning them to determining the ideal timing for their use with compost to promote plant growth. 1

Eggshells As Mini Greenhouses: Start Seeds In Eggshells

Half-shells of eggs can serve as biodegradable pots for starting seeds, giving your seeds an ideal environment to germinate and grow early in their development. It is a clever use of eggshells for the garden. Let your eggshells dry under the sun or bake them at 250-275 degrees for thirty minutes to an hour in an oven after cleaning them.

egg shell fertilizer

Using half-shells as seed starters, the best plants to sow include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, melons, broccoli, and cauliflower. Eggshells provide valuable calcium to the early growth of these popular and delicious backyard crops. 2

How to use eggshells as seed starters:

  • Fill them with soil and start cultivating your seeds
  • Once sprouted, transplant into your garden bed or favorite container pot, shell and all
  • Over time, the eggshell will decompose and crack, adding needed calcium directly to the soil around the new crops as it slowly breaks down.

Best Used As A Soil Amendment

Enhance your garden’s soil by incorporating crushed eggshells, which serve as a valuable source of nutrients like calcium and aid in improving soil structure. Moreover, eggshells can help enhance soil texture and drainage of your garden. 

is eggshells good for plants

However, it’s crucial to understand how to utilize eggshells best to maximize their benefits, including:

  • Gather eggshells from your kitchen, rinse them thoroughly to remove any residual egg whites or yolks, and let them air dry thoroughly – in the sun, preferably.
  • Once dry, turn the eggshells into powdered eggshells. Use a mortar, pestle, rolling pin, hammer, or coffee grinder for larger quantities. 3
  • When spreading, mix them evenly into your soil and water to initiate calcium release, and periodically repeat for ongoing soil health and calcium supply based on garden size and plant needs.

While adding eggshells to your garden is an excellent start in amending your soil, plenty of other tried-and-true methods are just as good. Check out my article to discover the many ways to improve your soil fertility.

Eggshells As Fertilizers

Eggshells serve as excellent natural fertilizers for your garden. When finely crushed and incorporated into your garden soil or compost, they become a valuable source of calcium. This calcium gradually releases over time, providing a consistent source of nourishment for your plants throughout the growing season. 

what plants like eggshells

The slow release of calcium from the eggshells is a critical feature that benefits your plants. Unlike some fast-acting fertilizers that can lead to rapid growth spurts followed by nutrient deficiencies, the eggshell’s calcium provides a sustained nourishment source.

This gradual release aligns perfectly with your plants’ growth patterns, ensuring they receive the essential nutrients they need when they need them most. 4

Add Eggshells In Compost

Incorporating eggshells into compost boosts the calcium level within your soil, which is vital for healthy and consistent plant growth. Since it can take months or even years for eggshells to break down (depending on how finely you’ve ground the shells), it is always recommended to crush them before adding them to your compost.

are eggshells good for the garden

Humble Tip:
Keep in mind that eggshells do take time to break down. Generally, it will take several months (3 to 4 months) to break down fully and to have a noticeable impact on soil acidity. So, to save time, consider grinding or crushing them by hand or using a mortar and pestle or a trusty blender for faster decomposition.

Who knew the humble eggshell could add so much soil fertility to your budding garden? One of the most significant factors eggshells play in soil health is the addition of calcium – a nutrient that helps plants in all stages of their growth. Check out the short but highly informative video below explaining how beneficial shells can be for your backyard garden.

Eggshells To The Rescue: Combat Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is a common problem for many backyard gardeners, especially when growing tomatoes, peppers, and other fruiting vegetables. Fortunately, eggshells are a good source of calcium and amend the soil, which helps prevent this prevalent rot. 

Blossom end rot is often caused by a calcium deficiency in plants, leading to the characteristic dark, sunken spots at the blossom end of fruits. By adding crushed eggshells to your soil, you’re addressing this issue at its root, saving yourself a ton of time, money, and heartache. 5

how to make egg shell fertilizer

Below are several easy steps on how to apply eggshells to combat blossom end rot in your green space:

  • Collect and clean kitchen eggshells, then air dry.
  • Once dry, crush or blend the shells into smaller pieces or a fine powder.
  • Search for plants with blossom end rot symptoms, including dark, sunken spots, brown or black lesions, or hard textures.
  • Sprinkle the smaller shells or powder around affected plants to release calcium slowly.
  • Water your garden as usual to activate calcium release.
  • Watch for improvement in affected plants.

This eco-friendly solution eliminates the need for chemical use, ensuring that your green space thrives in the long run, producing healthy and beautiful produce. In fact, this process is particularly beneficial for blueberries and other ericaceous plants due to their calcium-loving traits eggshells provide.

Other Creative Uses For Eggshells In The Garden

Several creative applications for eggshells in gardening can enhance your green space’s aesthetic and functionality. Beyond making eggshells as fertilizer or pest deterrent, eggshells offer a unique medium for crafts and art, allowing you to infuse creativity into your garden’s environment.

how to use eggshells in gardening

Here’s how you can transform your area:

  • Create eggshell crafts by painting and decorating whole or broken shells as garden ornaments.
  • Design intricate eggshell art to hang or nestle from tree branches among your plants.
  • Fashion eggshell bird feeders by filling them with birdseed and hanging them to attract feathered friends.
  • Feeding ground eggshells to birds, whether wild birds or chickens, helps them produce eggs.
  • Use halved shells as tiny planters for succulents or seedlings, adding charm to your garden.
Humble Tip:
After baking or sun-drying eggshells, using your hands to crush them becomes convenient if you don’t have tools such as a mortar and pestle or a grinder. Whether incorporating them as a seed starting medium or mixing them into the soil, once you have learned how to use them properly, you’ll notice the effects on your garden’s plants over time. 6

what plants don't like eggshells

Conclusion

Gardening has always been a pursuit where even the smallest efforts can yield significant results. Rather than simply disposing of eggshells as waste, it is essential to recognize their untapped potential in enhancing your garden. Utilizing eggshells in your garden brings several noteworthy advantages.

Firstly, they contribute to plant health by providing a steady supply of calcium, a vital nutrient that fosters robust and resilient plant growth. Secondly, this practice aligns with environmentally conscious gardening, as it enables the reduction of household waste while adopting eco-friendly methods.

Moreover, incorporating eggshells into your gardening routine is characterized by its simplicity and accessibility. You won’t need to invest in any specialized equipment or possess extensive gardening expertise to reap the benefits of this approach. It is a straightforward and user-friendly method that can be easily integrated into your gardening regimen, making it particularly attractive to beginners seeking uncomplicated yet effective ways to improve their gardens.

So, let’s preserve those eggshells and witness our gardens flourish sustainably!

Do you currently add eggshells to your garden soil to great success? We’d love to hear your method for success. Take a moment and drop us a line in the comment section below.

SOURCES

  1. University Of Illinois Extension, College Of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences – Using Eggshells In The Garden And Compost
  2. IOP Science – Chicken Eggshells As A Soil Amendment And Their Relationship With The Morphological Response Of Mustard Plants (Brassica juncea, L.)
  3. University Of Minnesota, Extension – Coffee Grounds, Eggshells And Epsom Salts In The Home Garden
  4. Michigan State University, MSU Extension – Adding Egg Shells To Compost
  5. Wikipedia – Calcium Deficiency (Plant Disorder)
  6. Horticulture Magazine – 9 Ways To Use Eggshells In The Garden

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