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Eggshells in the Garden – Many people are unaware that utilizing eggshells in the garden may assist in a variety of ways. Continue reading if you’re wondering what to do with smashed eggshells (or entire eggshells for that matter). We’ll look at how eggshells may assist your compost, soil, and even keep a few common pests at bay.
Eggshells in Compost
Can eggshells be composted? Yes, you can. Adding eggshells to compost will help provide calcium to the finished compost. This vital nutrient aids in the formation of cell walls in plants. Plants cannot grow as quickly without it, and in the case of certain crops, such as tomatoes and squash, fruit can suffer blossom end rot because there is just not enough building material (calcium) flowing into the plant. Using eggshells in the vegetable garden compost may help avoid this.
While it is not necessary to crush eggshells before composting them, doing so will accelerate the rate at which the eggshells degrade in the compost. You should also consider cleaning your eggshells before composting them to avoid attracting animals and to reduce the small risk of illness that raw eggs offer.
Eggshells in the Garden’s soil
Eggshells may also be put directly into the soil. Many people plant eggshells alongside tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other crops that are vulnerable to blossom end rot. While planting eggshells immediately with plants is unlikely to benefit this season’s plants (since the eggshells will not degrade quickly enough to produce calcium), eggshells in the soil will disintegrate eventually and will help provide calcium straight to the soil.
Using Eggshells in the Garden to Control Pests
Eggshells may also be used in the yard to help repel pests such as slugs, snails, cutworms, and other crawling pests. Crushed eggshells function similarly to diatomaceous earth on these pests. When crawling bugs pass through an area of the garden where crushed eggshells have been distributed, the eggshells create numerous tiny wounds in the pests. As a result of these wounds, the bugs dehydrate and die.
Crushing eggshells for pest management is as simple as throwing your empty eggshells into a food processor for a few seconds or rolling them under a bottle or rolling pin. After crushing the eggshells, scatter them over the parts of your garden where you have slugs and other crawling pests.
Using eggshells in the garden is an excellent method to repurpose something that would otherwise be discarded. You may compost eggshells, add them to soil, or use them as an organic pesticide, which means you’re not just benefiting the environment, but also your garden.
Using Eggshells as Fertilizer
Though nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the most important nutrients for healthy development, calcium is also required for the formation of strong “bones”—a plant’s cell walls. Eggshells, which are made of calcium carbonate, are a great method to get this mineral into the soil.
To prepare the eggshells, crush them using a blender, grinder, or mortar and pestle and till them into the soil. Because it takes many months for eggshells to break down and be absorbed by plant roots, it is best to plough them into the soil in the autumn. More shells may be added to your soil in the spring.
Similarly, finely crushed shells combined with other organic materials at the bottom of a hole can assist freshly planted plants to flourish. (Tomatoes, in particular, adore calcium.) Mix eggshells with coffee grounds, which are high in nitrogen, to create an interesting recycled garden drink. Finally, eggshells will decrease the acidity of your soil and aid in its aeration.
Clean eggshells are safe eggshells
Eggs are recognized carriers of salmonella, which should not be present on uncracked eggs that have been well cleaned, but you never know. Unless the only place the eggshells are going is into the compost bucket, I clean them well and let them dry on a sunny windowsill.
The dryness should kill any bacteria present, but if you want to keep powdered eggshells that are safe for you or your dogs to consume (eggshell powder is also used as a calcium supplement for canines), sterilize them in a 200°F (93°C) oven for 30 minutes. You may then pulverize the dry eggshells using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. Crushed eggshells can be kept indefinitely if stored in an airtight container.
The calcium in eggshells is also beneficial in garden soil, where it reduces soil acidity while giving nutrients to plants. Eggshells contain so much calcium that they may be utilized nearly like lime, but you’d need a lot of them to make a noticeable difference. It takes 150 eggshells to produce a cup of coarse eggshell powder after they’ve been finely crushed. I should know. I create valuable pulverized eggshells and utilize them as a nutritional supplement for certain plants. Tomatoes with a handful of eggshell meal put into the planting site are less prone to suffering from blossom end rot, and enough soil calcium prevents tip burn in cabbage as well.
I’d heard a thousand times that eggshells put on the soil’s surface repel slugs, but when I tried it, the slugs giggled. When several Oregon slug slayers conducted two real experiments, they discovered that a ring of eggshells encouraged slug eating rather than preventing it (see photo at right). It is a misconception that eggshells keep slugs away.
However, eggshells may be used to add calcium to DIY fertilizers, or you can simply create calcium water by steeping dried eggshells in water for a couple of days and then using the filtered water for your plants, even houseplants. Plants that haven’t been repotted in a while typically perk up fast after a thorough soaking in eggshell water.