When you make breakfast, you typically toss down your eggshells in the compost – never the trash can! But you might not realize that eggshells can be used in a multitude of ways in the garden.
They’re small in size, but eggshells contain 95% calcium carbonate, which makes them similar to bones and teeth. Eggshells are not only edible – even though they might not taste good -, they’re also great for gardens.
It may be difficult to sort through the misinformation out there about eggshells that doesn’t work. Repurposing eggshells is definitely not a myth, but some of the ways that other articles might tell you to use them are probably a stretch.
We will also discuss the numerous uses for eggshells in your gardens and throughout your home, and also point out which ones might be exaggerated a bit. You don’t want to waste time on things that may not work.
How To Prepare Eggshells For Reuse
Getting the most out of eggshells requires some preparation. They can’t be used as-is. Before we talk about the different ways to reuse eggshells, let’s explain how they can be prepared.
Use warm water to rinse off your eggs after using them for breakfast or baking a cake. Also, make sure to gently scrub the inside of the shell. There is a membrane inside of the shell, which might stick unless you remove it.
Unlike what you might believe, cleaned eggshells do not have a bad odor. They will not stink up your kitchen. After washing the eggshells, place them in a glass jar or bowl. Let them dry completely.
After thoroughly drying the shells, you can crush them with a wooden spoon or other tools. Some people break them by hand, others with portable blenders, coffee grinders, a full-sized blender, a mortar and pestle, and others with the aid of rolling pins.
When it comes to eggshells, you do not always need to crush them, so make sure you know what you are going to do with them before you start breaking.
9 Ways To Use Eggshells In The Garden For Soil, Compost, And As Pest Control
You can use eggshells in numerous ways in the garden and your home. You might be surprised by how many possibilities there are.
Use As A Garden Fertilizer
This Use Is Partly A FACT
Because eggs shells are mostly calcium carbonate, they contribute large amounts of needed calcium to your garden soil. Without enough calcium, your garden’s plant life will not flourish. So, when you add crushed eggshells to your garden, you’re adding huge amounts of important calcium.
How Do You Add Eggshells To The Garden Soil?
It is recommended that you plan to grind the eggshells and mix them into the soil. A blender is a great tool to use because it will not only crush the shells but also turn them into a powder that is much easier to mix into the soil. Plants will have to break down eggsshells for several months before the plants can absorb them.
Adding eggshells to your garden bed will take a long time because they have to be worked into the soil, so it is best to add large amounts in the fall as you prepare your garden for winter.
The eggshells will then break down during the summer, supplying nutrients to the soil. So you’ll add more eggshells in the spring.
What are the benefits of adding eggshells to your garden soil? Here are a few reasons why calcium is so important.
- Helps the plants build healthy cell walls
- Increases the soil’s aeration, letting more air reach the roots
- Improves the soil drainage
- Reduces the acidity of your soil’s pH level.
Start Eggshells To Grow Seedlings Indoors
This Use Of Eggshells Is Primarily A MYTH
You probably saw cute Pinterest posts encouraging you to save your eggshells to start seeds in the spring. In most cases, the instructions say to use half an eggshell, gently poke a hole in the bottom, insert soil, then plant the seeds.
An advantage of this method is that you can plant seedlings and shells directly into the soil. They will decompose over time.
Yes, seeds can be started in eggshells, but that does not make them a good option for starting seeds.
It is not advisable to start seeds in eggshells.
- There may not be enough room for the roots of the seedlings to grow. It might reduce their potential for growth. Why not start in a larger container and not worry about transplanting the seedlings into another container?
- One drainage hole is not sufficient for the soil to not become waterlogged. Water might accumulate in the eggshells.
- The eggshell is strong, so adding a hole to it won’t guarantee that roots will be able to break free. Eggshells aren’t the best choice here.
- Eggshells take months to decompose so if you plant seedlings in them right in the garden, chances are they won’t decompose quickly.
Give Tomato Plants A Calcium Boost
This Use Is Mostly A FACT
Our discussion on the importance of calcium in the soil pointed out that tomatoes are among the vegetables that need more calcium.
The best time to use ground-up eggshell is just before you plant your tomato plants, before they get established.
It would be best if you could add the powder to your soil before planting tomato plants, since it needs time to break down in the dirt.
The best way to grow tomatoes is to grind eggshells and mix them with coffee grounds. This mixture will give your plants an instant boost of calcium and nitrogen.
Create An Eggshell Mulch
This Use Is Mostly A FACT
Creating a 2-inch layer of mulch from eggs would be very time-consuming. If you end up with crushed eggshells, you could use them instead of purchasing commercial mulch from the store.
The eggshell mulch will act like any other mulch; you should crush it into small pieces, but not into powder. You should then spread it over the top of the soil. Not only does it work well, but it also creates an interesting look for your garden beds.
Add Eggshells To Deter Pests
This Use Is Mostly A FACT
Some studies suggest that crushed eggshells do not deter pests, but experts swear by this tactic. In some cases, it is best to trust what experts have observed through experience. Here are some ways you can make use of crushed eggshells.
- Apply it to deter Japanese beetles.
- When added to your garden, crushed eggshells can stop deer from eating your veggies.
- Slugs and snails find moving over crushed shells not appealing.
Give Your Houseplants A Boost
This Use Is Mostly A FACT
Eggshells can provide your houseplants with the nutrients they need, so they don’t suffer from a lack of nutrition.
You can do this by washing your eggshells, crushing them, and placing them in a jar with water. Then cover the eggshells with water, making sure they soak.
By soaking the eggshells in water, you are infusing it with calcium carbonate, which is beneficial to your indoor plants.
Add Eggshells To The Compost Pile
This Use Is Partly A MYTH
You probably haven’t seen this coming, did you? You’re told to add eggshells to the compost, which is true in some respects.
Composting shells will provide your plants with nutrients they will love when it comes time to add the compost to the garden.
Eggshells don’t break down quickly, so calcium and other nutrients have to enter the soil. The problem with this is that it takes several months for them to decompose.
In addition to this, it is also important to note that eggshells have a high sodium content, which means they can be a problem for the compost pile.
Too much sodium in the body is not good for the plants; excess sodium is poisonous to the plants. Don’t release too much!
This shouldn’t discourage you because compost takes months to breakdown and reach its full potentiality anyway. Try to avoid putting eggshells in the compost pile too soon before you intend to use it in your garden beds.
Add To Your Vermicompost
This Use Is A FACT
Worms love crushed eggshells, especially red wigglers, who adore crushed eggshells. That’s why adding them to your vermicompost is a good idea.
It is the rough texture of eggshells that aids in grinding up and digesting other food bits and minerals in the dirt that worms ingest.
Unlike humans, worms do not digest food like we do. Eggshells help your worms do their jobs even better, so throw those in the bin with the worms. You won’t regret it.
Stop Blossom End Rot
This Use Is A MYTH
It is likely you have heard of people using eggshells to prevent blossom end rot in the garden. This occurs commonly in plants such as tomatoes, but it is not possible to use eggshells to prevent blossom end rot.
The main cause of blossom end rot isn’t calcium, though it’s available in your garden soil. It’s inconsistent watering. Shells can’t do anything to fix that!