Supercharge Your Gardening Soil With Something You Probably Discard
Eggshells Are A Great Source of Calcium for Soil
While all plants need calcium, many vegetable plants, and some fruit plants, especially thrive in soil that is rich in calcium. It's so easy to make your own egg shell fertilizer.
What Does Calcium Do For Plants?
Calcium helps build strong cell walls in plants and is one of the nutrients that help form strong stems to help the plants grow straight.
In this article, I will share with you how I use eggshells to improve the mineral content in my gardening soil.
Simple Steps for Using Eggshells for Soil Enrichment
- Allow eggshells to dry completely
- Crush eggshells into pieces as small as possible
- Sprinkle crushed eggshells on the soil
- Gently turn the crushed eggshells into the top of the soil
Steps with Photos
When you're cooking, set aside eggshells and allow them to dry.
We keep a bowl next to the stove and put our discarded eggshells in the bowl. We keep piling them up until the bowl is full. We let them dry out thoroughly before moving on to Step 2.
Let the eggshells dry completely before crushing them!
Eggs are a binding agent and if the eggshells have wet egg in them when you crush them, it will cause clumping.
Step 2 - Crush Eggshells
I like to crush the eggshells in two steps.
First, I put the eggshells in a recycled container and I use a metal potato masher to crush the shells from large pieces into smallish-medium pieces.
Second, I place the broken eggshells on newspaper or other thick paper to crush it into smaller pieces.
Below, I will cover some different tools I've tried to crush eggshells, and I'll show you the results. Generally, I'll use whatever is on hand and convenient. I always place the eggshells on thick paper prior to crushing them.
Eggshell Crushing Results
Using the small heavy mallet did the best job of crushing the eggshells. I found that it was easier, and less tiring on my arm, to crush the eggshells with the top of the mallet, instead of holding the mallet like a hammer.
The smaller the pieces of eggshell are, the more easily they will break down and be absorbed into the soil. A powder would be ideal.
Step 3 - Sprinkle Crushed Eggshells Over the Soil
I take every opportunity I can to upcycle an item instead of throwing it away, and I found that a cap from a laundry soap bottle makes a really great eggshell scooper. Scoop a little bit of crushed eggshells and sprinkle them over your garden.
Use an old laundry soap cap as a scooper
Step 4 - Gently Turn The Soil To Mix In Eggshells
Using your fingers as a rake, or a spade or a small hand-rake, gently work the eggshells into the soil. If you are preparing a new larger gardening bed, a shovel can be used. Eggshells should mostly disappear as shown in the next photo.
Not too hard, huh?
I get a lot of satisfaction in finding easy ways to reuse every-day items, help keep things out of our landfills and fill my crafty cravings. It's a bonus when it's good for the Earth!
If you aren't going to use all of the crushed eggshells right away, store them in a recycled container with a lid. Funnel the crushed eggshells into the container after crushing them.
Re-apply Eggshells From Time to Time
If you want to keep the soil rich in nutrients, you will need to replenish the soil from time to time. I like to sprinkle crushed eggshells around my garden 2 or 3 times a year.
© 2018 Amber Killinger