The next time you crack a few eggs, don’t toss them instead try some ideas for homemade eggshell fertilizer. If you garden, there are many nutrients found in eggshells that your plants can benefit from. Simply crush them and toss them in your garden.
Eggshells are primarily made out of calcium carbonate, which is the ingredient found in agricultural lime.
Plants need calcium to thrive. Calcium helps the plants develop a strong cellular structure. Calcium deficiency is visible in young plants, because the leaves are twisted or have black spots, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In fruiting plants, such as tomatoes, a lack of calcium is evident when the fruits develop blossom end rot, or a thin, dark spot on the bottom of the fruit. An additional benefit of eggshells in the garden is that larger shell pieces help deter slugs. The sharp edges of the shells irritate the soft bodies of the slugs.
You can also make a homemade eggshell fertilizer tea to use in your garden. Boil a gallon of water, and then add 10 clean and dry eggshells to it. For a stronger brew, add the shells of up to 20 eggs. Let the shells sit in the water overnight, and then strain the water. Pour the concentrate directly onto the soil to give plants a boost of calcium and potassium. This can be done as often as once a week.
A third option is to use your egg shells for seed starters.
- Split the shell in half.
- Clean the shell with warm water and let dry.
- Consider poking a hole with a needle in the bottom of the shell for drainage.
- Fill the shell with soil and plant the seed.
- Place in an egg carton.
- Water and grow the seed.
- Before you plant the egg in the soil, crush it slightly in your hand—enough to break the shell but not so much that the soil loses its shape. This will break the shell up a little and allow the roots to poke through.
- Eggshells are biodegradable. As they decompose, they will release nutrients and calcium into the soil, which will help the young plant grow.
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