Trash becomes treasure with recycled eggshells in your garden
Don’t you love it when trash suddenly becomes a treasure? An eggshell is the exterior covering of an egg. The U.S. food industry estimates 150,000 tons of eggshells are wasted every year. Chicken eggshells, which are the primary type of eggshell waste, contain of 93 to 97 percent calcium carbonate, in addition to calcium, nitrogen and phosphoric acid. These nutrients make eggshells an ideal choice for garden use.
Egg prices have now gone way down from previous months. Instead of trashing the eggshells after enjoying many egg and egg dishes, here are some green tips for recycling eggshells to improve the soil for household plants and gardening activities.
Make seedling starters. Poke a hole at the bottom of a large eggshell, then fill with dirt and one or two seeds. Store the eggshell seedlings in an egg carton and place it in a sunny windowsill. Water the seedling as needed. Once the seedlings start to grow, break a bigger hole in the bottom and then plant the seedlings inside their shells in a pot or your garden.
Fertilize your garden soil. Eggshells contain many nutrients, which help make plants healthy. Rinse eggshells. Allow the eggshells to dry or to decrease the decomposition time, dry the eggshells in a low temperature oven. Then grind them using a blender before adding them to the compost or mixing them into the garden soil. The smaller the eggshell pieces, the faster they will break down in the soil.
Make rich calcium water. Soak eggshells to extract the calcium into the water and use the (cooled down water) from your boiled eggs to water plants.
Improve compost. Gardeners frequently add lime to compost to correct acidity problems in garden soil. Lime is made up of calcium carbonate, which is the main nutrient in eggshells. Rather than purchase lime, recycle eggshells to the compost.
Use crushed eggshells to repel insects instead of harmful insecticides. Add egg shells to the soil in your garden to keep slugs, snails, cutworms, and even cats away. The abrasive, sharp edges of the eggshells keep snails and slugs from crossing the shells to get to the plants. Do not grind the shells, but crush the shells by hand so the shells are in pieces.
Or place eggshells in a bowl or large container and grind the eggshells using a pestle, which is a hand-held tool used for mashing or grinding substances The shells should have sharp, rough edges. Warning: When crushing eggshells with your hand, be careful not to cut your hands. Scatter the crushed eggshells around plants affected by snails or slugs. For best results, place the eggshells in a circular pattern around the plants.
Also use crushed eggshells on the bottom of garden containers and pots before adding soil. The eggshells will add calcium to the soil in the containers, provide drainage, and deter cutworms and slugs.