Save Those Eggshells

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Save Those Eggshells!

EggshellsEggshells are very easy to save for your garden.  If you save them indoors, it’s best to rinse them before placing them in a compost container or plastic bag.  If you forget to rinse your eggs, you’ll know as they put out a very “eggy odor” throughout your kitchen!

Eggshells As “Slow-Release” Calcium Source

Eggshells are an excellent way to introduce calcium into the soil, and organically of course!  However, unless you pulverize your eggshells, they’ll take many months to decompose and release the calcium (calcium carbonate) to the soil.

I don’t have time to pulverize my eggshells, so I consider the be “slow release” calcium contributors to my garden soil.  Most of the time I save up my eggshells throughout the year in a few plastic bags.  Then a crush the shells right in the bags.  Come late fall, I sprinkle the shells onto the beds, add a layer of leaves or straw, and let the garden beds rest of the long winter.

EggshellsIf you have a compost bin or pile, that is another very simple way to compost your eggshells.  Remember, it’s always important to do a soil test in the fall to determine the nutrient levels in your soil.  Do not rely on a few eggshells to ensure that you have enough calcium in your soil.

Calcium is one nutrient that is especially required to prevent Blossom End Rot (BER).  BER most often occurs in your tomatoes and peppers due to the lack of calcium uptake in your plants.  Not only do you need calcium to prevent Blossom End Rot, you also need the correct pH and water content to ensure plant uptake.  Yet another reason to get a soil test (ie check the soil pH).

Eggshells As Seed Starting Pots

Eggshells as seedling potsWell, I still prefer my method of a mini-greenhouse for starting seeds. However, many people will start their seedlings in eggshells.  Just remember to put a hole in the bottom when you “plant your eggshell”.  It may also help to gently crush/break the shell to help the roots escape.  Either transplant them into a bigger pot indoors or if the weather is right, just plant them outdoors directly into your garden.

Eggshells Are An Excellent Source of Calcium For Wild Birds

Just crush your shells to fine pieces and leave them out in a pile by your birdfeeder.  You can also mix the eggshells in with the birdfeed in your feeders  Wild birds require calcium for their shells and are smart enough to partake in a free calcium offer!

Eggshells Are Aesthetically Pleasing When Added to Garden Beds

I don’t tend to grow too many flowers in my garden.  I prefer my “flowers” to be edible, whether they be actual flowers or my favorite “garden flowers” (ie fancy lettuce!).  Eggshells may an excellent contrast in color to the soil.  To me the even distribution of eggshells across a bed, give the bed a bit of “flair” and lightens things up.  It’s almost like you’ve tiled your garden bed.  Not only are gardens practical, but they can also and SHOULD also be fun!!!  Enjoy.