How to Use Eggshells in a Garden

Nitrogen, potassium, and calcium are essential nutrients necessary for all plants’ overall growth. Eggshells are rich in calcium and can be used regularly to introduce this essential mineral to garden soil. Use crushed eggshells in your garden and reap many of their benefits.

Wondering how you can use eggshells in a garden? Read on to know about how eggshells can be used to benefit your garden in a variety of ways.

Mulch

Mulch is an extra layer applied on top of the soil to conserve soil moisture, improve fertility, and reduce weed growth. If you live in a dry region, adding eggshells on top of the soil can help retain moisture for longer periods and reduce watering frequency. A thick layer of shells can easily deter weeds.

Maintain Soil pH

Eggshells not only help in making the soil loose and aerated but also help reduce the acidity in the soil. The abundant calcium present in eggshells is a fantastic replacement for lime, providing the soil with the essential nutrient and moderating soil acidity.

In most cases, eggshells help improve the soil pH and increase or decrease it to a neutral level. For example, lavender does not enjoy acidic soil. If the soil in your region is acidic, mix eggshells in it to make the soil neutral and tolerable for the plant to grow properly.

Control Pests

Slugs and snails can cause damage, especially around vegetables and fruits. You can apply crushed shells around the plants as their hard and sharp corners make the soft-bodied slugs and snails unable to move freely. Apart from slugs and snails, deer too hate the smell of albumen.

use crushed eggshells to lessen the number of snails in your garden
You can use crushed eggshells to lessen the number of snails in your garden

However, be careful while using eggshells near your house as rodents love them. If it is a problem in your area, we would suggest not using it near home gardens. Instead, you can use neem oil to get rid of pests.

Attract Birds

Since eggshells are rich in calcium, birds too benefit by feeding on them. To prepare bird food, sterilize the shells, crush them, and add them to bird seed. Birds will love this mix as females need extra calcium before and after laying eggs. Birds also feed on unwanted pests, keeping them at bay.

Feed Plants

Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium and plants need calcium to maintain healthy cell walls. Introduce calcium carbonate to the soil by putting crushed eggshells on top of the regular garden soil. Plants like tomatoes love calcium and can benefit greatly from eggshells, which essentially act as a type of organic fertiliser.

use eggshells to boost the nutrients in your garden
Instead of discarding the eggshells, use them to boost the nutrients in your garden

To introduce nitrogen to the soil, you can mix crushed eggshells with coffee grounds. Both act as fantastic organic fertilizers. Eggshells take several months to break down and absorb into the soil. To make it easier for them to absorb faster into the soil, grind them in a mixer to break down the shells into finer particles.

We recommend tilling the eggshells into the soil in fall or spring. By summer or winter, the shells will break down and the nutrients will start getting used by the plant. You can use these crushed shells with organic matter at the bottom of the soil to help the plants grow better.

No Waste Seed Trays

Eggshells are biodegradable and make for wonderful seed starting trays. After breaking the eggs, save the deep shells and sterilize them by boiling and baking them in an oven for half an hour or so.

Once they cool down, make a hole at the bottom for drainage and add soil and seeds that you wish to start growing. Using eggshells is an excellent DIY activity for kids too. This way, you prevent waste and use the calcium-rich shells to grow more plants.

create mini pots using eggshells as a fun DIY activity with your kids
You can create mini pots using eggshells as a fun DIY activity with your kids

Some people also suggest directly placing the seeds and eggshells in the soil. Since eggshells are organic, they will decompose and provide the plant with the necessary nutrients without transplanting the plants. You have to be a bit careful while growing the seeds directly in the soil with eggshells as it might take longer for the shells to decompose and break down.

Prevent Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot causes black spots on the bottom of tomatoes, pepper, eggplants, and squash. Eggshells help prevent this disease which happens due to a lack of calcium. Plants that do not get sufficient calcium become susceptible to blossom end rot.

You can use eggshells to prevent this fruit-destroying disease in calcium-loving plants. But, make sure you use only dry eggshells after drying them in the oven and processing them into smaller pieces.

Benefits of Nutrients in Eggshells

Eggshells contain nutrients such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. The average composition is 95 percent calcium carbonate, 0.3% phosphorus and magnesium, and small quantities of zinc, sodium, potassium, manganese, and iron.

Eggshells are a fantastic replacement for agricultural lime. Using crushed eggshells in gardens helps reduce soil acidity which is exactly what lime does. The nutrient levels might be low in eggshells but otherwise treated as waste, they are wonderful organic fertilizers and soil acidity neutralizers.

It would be a shame to throw away these nutrients, right? There are so many millions of eggshells taking up space in landfills all over the world. It makes so much more sense to crush and use them in gardens. Vegetable plants like tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, and broccoli thrive in nitrogen-rich soils.

Final Thoughts

Eggshells have high calcium, making them ideal to introduce this essential mineral to the soil. Increase the calcium content in your soil and keep the cell walls of your plants healthy and structured. Do not overuse them in your soil as excessive eggshells stop affecting the soil pH after a point.

We hope our guide on how to use eggshells in a garden has helped you know all about them and you will use them too. Now that you know all about putting eggshells to use in gardens, it is time you crush and use them regularly in your home garden to keep the soil healthy and full of nutrients.

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