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Gardening 101: How to Use Eggshells in the Garden

Crushed egg shells add valuable nutrients to soil. You can put eggshells in compost, in soil or use them as a kind of organic insecticide, which means that not only are you helping reduce trash, but helping your garden too.

Last fall, I started collecting eggshells after I read an article on Realfarmacy.com that touted their usefulness in the garden, for everything from fertilizer to organic pest control. This spring, I’m using crushed eggshells in the garden five ways:

Above: During the winter, I saved the shells from all the eggs we ate by simply rinsing them and placing them in an open container where they could dry out. (No, they did not smell. Everyone who came to my house and saw them asked me this question.) After my containers were full, I set the kids to pulverizing them into little bits with wooden spoons, thus compacting the shells so that I could collect more.

Eggshell Fertilizer

(C) Gardenoholic

(C) Gardenoholic

Above: When tilled into the soil, ground eggshells provide your plants with calcium.

Though nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are most vital for healthy growth, calcium is also essential for building healthy “bones”—the cell walls of a plant. Composed of calcium carbonate, eggshells are an excellent way to introduce this mineral into the soil. To prep the eggshells, grind with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle and till them into the soil. Because it takes several months for eggshells to break down and be absorbed by a plant’s roots, it is recommended that they be tilled into the soil in fall. More shells can be mixed into your soil in the spring.

By the same token, finely crushed shells mixed with other organic matter at the bottom of a hole will help newly planted plants thrive. (Tomatoes especially love calcium.) For an exciting recycled garden cocktail: try mixing your eggshells with coffee grounds, which are rich in nitrogen.

Read more: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/diy-5-ideas-to-use-eggshells-in-the-garden-pest-control-mulch-fertilizer