The Benefits of Eggshells in Garden Soil

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Eggshells in garden soil have lots of benefits. Have you tried this yet? Eggshells are a cheap and beneficial garden soil additive you should take advantage of. Why its a good idea and how to use them . This byproduct of your breakfast is loaded with calcium carbonate, an essential nutrient for the soil. . Eggshells are easily compostable, but on their own they take several months to adequately compose. The best way to make them usable for soil is to grind them up into powder. 

The best way to use them effectively…When you accumulate enough of them. We have laying hens so this is a no-brainer for me to save those shells after I am done with the consumption. 

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eggshell benefits

The first thing you need to do is to sterilize the shells when you have enough in your collection. Here’s how:I rinse them out and let them dry and store them in an empty coffee can (with holes punched in top for ventilation)

Then I put them on and spread them out on a cookie sheet on a low temp oven setting (about 175-200F very low) and leave them in there for half an hour. You can also sterilize them in a pot of boiling water on the stovetop, but I prefer this method. 

eggshells

They will crack more easily and I use a tool like this pestle and bowl to break them up into small fragments. You could also use a coffee grinder or mini food processor (e.g a tool like the Magic Bullet) can work too.

It usually takes awhile, but they need to be in as small a particles as possible. I sprinkle them into my garden beds.  As a side note, broken eggshell fragments can also be saved for use in craft projects. Not to mention, if you can break an egg carefully so that it splits evenly down the middle, you could use them as seedling starters. Set those aside, too, while you’re at it.

Part of the problem is the length of time it takes for the shells to break down to be useful. One hack I learned about is adding white vinegar to the broken shells. Allow the shell fragments to steep in the vinegar solution for a few days, then pulverize in a blender (or the Magic Bullet device which is what I use)  Add two tablespoons of this mixture to your normal watering can or compartment (don’t use full strength – vinegar is too acidic),

eggshell water for plants

It has a chalky,cloudy look to it. Use this mixture to water your plants as you normally do. it speeds up the usefulness of calcium, and gives your plants a boost! I see a difference, you will, too.

Eggshells are a good source of calcium carbonate, copper, zinc and magnesium. Signs of a calcium deficiency include: curling leaves, burned tips, lack of growth

They can benefit the soil Ph…by lowering the acidity. Many crop plants that prefer less acidic soil will get a whole lot of improvement in growth and better foliage output. Tomato plants especially can get a boost, as they are prone to blossom end rot if there is a lack of calcium in the soil.

That’s me below sprinkling some of that eggshell powder into my crops…After water saturation (or when it rains) the ground up eggshell powder can really do what it does best as a nutrient.

Eggshells can help deter pests…especially the soft-bodied, ground-dwelling type, like slugs…but it’s important that you sterilize them first or they could attract the wrong kind of wildlife, such as raccoons on the prowl.Crop plants that can benefit include: tomatoes, peppers, (all the nightshades, basically) squash, potatoes, eggplants,, chard, lettuce.

Plants that are more likely to thrive in alkaline conditions, (6 or greater ph) should not be receiving supplementation of eggshells…these include: Radishes, carrots, cabbage, blueberries, parsley.

Now you know the benefits of eggshells and how to use them best, let’s see you try it too for your plants.

 

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