How To Use Eggshells In Your Garden - Backyard Boss
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How To Use Eggshells In Your Garden

Eggs tend to be one of the more preferred items for a lovely breakfast or brunch. They can also be extremely useful to your garden. Eggshells are made of calcium carbonate, and you can use them in several ways to help your plants thrive.

If you’re looking for ways to add calcium to your soil, you can’t go wrong with eggshells. Not only does the calcium in eggshells help moderate soil acidity, but it also provides ample nutrients for your plants. So don’t toss them out, instead, make them into compost or an eggshell tea.

Read on down below to find out how to make your DIY fertilizer out of eggshells and what you can use it for.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

Making your eggshell garden fertilizer for free is not very difficult and will only require a mortar and a pestle, mixer, or grinder. Mortar and a pestle is the most classical way, but it is also the one that will take the most time and effort. Moreover, you are not guaranteed the best result in terms of fine powder. A mixer or a grinder will save you a lot of time and will make the perfect powder to use. However, if you want to make your eggshell tea, you will need a few more items:

  • A grinder, a mortar, a pestle, or a mixer
  • A large pot
  • Epsom salt
  • Water
  • A strainer
  • A jar
  • A spray bottle

If you want to make your eggshells into seed starters, you will need:

  • A pin or a thumbtack
  • Seed starting soil
  • Seeds of your choice (preferably flowers and herbs)
  • An egg holder

Making Your Own Eggshell Dry Fertilizer

One of the easiest ways to make your own DIY fertilizer is by using your leftover eggshells and making them into a fine powder.

1. Save and Clean Your Eggshells

collecting eggshells
Image Credit: Simply Vicki via Creative Commons

After you use your eggs to prepare a meal, save the shells. Rinse them with warm water and let them dry in a sunny pot or jar. Make sure you run your finger over the inside of the shell – raw eggs can contain salmonella, which can be dangerous to your plants.

Pro Tip 1: Do not remove the membrane but try to preserve it. Most nutrients are contained in it.

Pro Tip 2: Dried eggshells release no smell, so you can collect as many as you need before crushing them.

2. Crush the Eggshells Into a Powder

crushed eggshells
Image Credit: Ivan Radic via Creative Commons

This is the step that will require you to use the mortar and pestle, mixer, or grinder. While you can simply use your hands to make them into flakes, they will take much longer to decompose, compared to if they are ground into powder.

Pro Tip 1: If you want an easier crushing process, you can bake your shells until they get slightly brown. However, this may result in a lower level of nutrients.

3. Add to Your Plant

eggshells in plant
Image credit: ThamKC via Canva

If you are adding your fertilizer to a new flower or herb, put a few tablespoons into the hole, then put the plant in. Finally, pat the soil around its stem. However, if you add this DIY fertilizer to a grown plant, you should just add the powdered eggshells around its base. There is no need to add soil on top. Alternatively, if you want to transplant into a new pot, mix the fertilizer into your potting soil.

Making Your Own Eggshell Tea

While it may sound simple, there are quite a few steps to making a good eggshell tea:

1. Crack, Rinse, and Dry Eggshells

one eggshell
Image Credit: fancycwabs via Creative Commons

Rinse the eggshells with warm water and let them dry in a sunny spot. Remember not to remove the membrane because most of the nutrients are in it.

2. Crush the Eggshells Loosely

loosely crushed eggshells
Image Credit: Ivan Radic via Creative Commons

For this part, you have to once again crush the eggshells with your hands or make them into powder by using a mortar and a pestle, a grinder, or a mixer.

3. Put the Eggshells Into a Pot

For ease of measurement, 2 tablespoons or 30 grams of crushed eggshells will give you enough to brew a gallon of eggshell tea.

Pro Tip: Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt – it is high in magnesium and sulfate.

4. Fill the Pot With Water and Boil

As we said earlier, add a gallon of water for every 2 tablespoons of eggshells. Bring the water to a boil for a few minutes – this way, they will get jumpstarted and release the nutrients faster.

5. Let the Eggshells Steep

boiling eggs
Image Credit: oskay via Creative Commons

Keep your eggshells and the water covered for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 3-4 days. Throughout this time, all the nutrients will get released into the water.

6. Strain the Water

straining eggshells
Image Credit: plindberg via Creative Commons

Use your strainer and strain the water into a jar or a bottle, then leave it out throughout the night. Make sure you cover the jar or the bottle or keep it in the shade, to ensure that the plants won’t be shocked by a difference in the tea’s temperature.

7. Dilute and Water

Dilute your eggshell tea at a 1:1 ratio and use it once a month.

Seed Starter Eggshells

Eggshells are also excellent seed starters:

1. Crack a Raw Egg and Remove the White and Yolk

cleaned eggshells
Image Credit: Phú Thịnh Co via Creative Commons

Make sure that you crack it ¾ of the way up so that there’s plenty of space for the soil. Then clean the shell out and dry it, as explained previously. Don’t use hard-boiled eggs – their shells will be brittle.

Pro Tip 1: Don’t use painted eggs because the pigments will harm the seedlings.

2. Poke a Small Drainage Hole

hole in an egg shell
Image Credit: Gary Lee Todd, Ph.D. via Creative Commons

Make it at the bottom using a thumbtack or a pin. It is not crucial to do this. However, this way, you ensure that there will be no over-watering. For better accuracy, poke the hole from the inside.

3. Fill the Eggshells With Soil and Add Seeds

soil and plant in eggshell
Image Credit: PersonalCreations.com via Creative Commons

Use seed-starting soil to fill the eggshells, and then sprinkle a couple of seeds on top. Once you have done this, add a little more soil on top. This type of seed starting works best for herbs, such as basil, parsley, and dill.

4. Place Into an Egg Holder, Water Consistently

eggs in egg holder
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After you place the eggs into an egg holder, make sure that they will get plenty of sun. Moreover, it is crucial that you water them consistently and even move them around to ensure they all get equal amounts of sunlight.

5. Transplant Outside

transplanting plants
Image Credit: Distant Hill Gardens via Creative Commons

Once you see that the seedling has got leaves, transplant it outside. Make sure you gently crush the egg so that the roots can poke through.

In Summary

So there you have it! Hopefully, you enjoyed the tutorial. We all know how crucial it is to have healthy and strong plants, and one of the primary nutrients they need is calcium. And what better to get it than to use the eggshells from the eggs we use to cook meals?

Not only is this environmentally friendly, but it is also extremely affordable. Let us know what you think in the comments below and if you liked the article, go ahead and share it with your friends!

Happy Gardening!

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