In most cases, when we talk about eggshell, we are talking about chicken eggs. The egg is surrounded at once by two shells, a hard outer and a soft, soft shell (which in turn also consists of two layers, but now it does not matter).
The shell is a knobby, grainy texture with more than 17,000 pores, at 95% it consists of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).
What is useful for the shell?
Although nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the most important elements for healthy plant growth, calcium is also necessary for the formation of healthy "bones" - the plant cell walls. In addition, up to about 5% of the weight of the eggshell is the soft part of the egg shell, which contains organic substances rich in nitrogen, this film is very useful for plants after its decomposition.
Thus, fertilizing the soil with eggshells can be useful if there is a lack of calcium in the soil. In addition, if you do not even take into account calcium and other useful elements, the shell helps keep the soil loose, which is especially important for some species of houseplants.
Signs of Calcium Deficiency
Young shoots of plants are bent, twisted, the leaves from the tip and the edges may begin to turn yellow. The plant looks sluggish.
First of all, the lack of calcium is noticeable on tomatoes, cauliflower, and apple trees; they can be called indicator plants. Calcium deficiency is most commonly found in light and acidic, peaty and saline soils.
Even if there is enough calcium in the soil, its absorption by plants is affected by many factors: dry and warm weather, moisture fluctuations in the soil, an abundance of potash and magnesium fertilizers.
How to make fertilizer from eggshell?
So, we learned about the benefits of eggshell for plants (and not only, but about this in the next article).
1. Collect the shell
We no longer throw away the shell, but gently wash it with warm water (try to keep the inner film), dry it and put it in a box.
2. Shredding the shell
Eggshell decomposes very poorly in the soil; only the inner soft film, which we mentioned above, quickly decomposes. The shell can remain in the soil for up to three years or more, of course, everything depends on the soil and other factors.Eggshell after 3 years in soil
Therefore, it is wrong to fertilize the beds like this! 🙂
It is necessary to crush the shell into powder!
A pestle, rolling pin, coffee grinder or blender is suitable for this.
3. Methods of fertilizer
- Adding to the wells before planting.
- Sprinkling soil on top (or watering solution)
- Mixing with soil
For which plants to apply fertilizer from eggshell?
It can be said for any. It all depends on the soil. First of all, this fertilizer can be useful for: tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, cabbage, beets, onions, and many others, including indoor plants and even flowers, such as roses.
Eggs are a delicious, healthy and nutritious product. Most people simply throw away the shell, and yet it is a valuable renewable resource that has many uses.
- Break the egg in the upper third and remove it.
You can just break an egg in half, but you get too small containers for seeds.
* It is better not to use colored eggs (Easter eggs) as they contain dyes that can harm delicate seedlings.
- Rinse with warm water and dry the shell.
- Try to make a small drain hole in the bottom of the shell.
This step is optional, but it will help prevent over-watering, which can kill a young plant.
- Fill the shell with moist soil.
To do this without problems, roll a piece of paper with a cone and fill the ground with this funnel, or you can use a teaspoon.
- Pour 2-3 seeds from the top and cover them with a small layer of soil.
The shell as a container for seedlings is most suitable for small plants. If this way to plant large vegetables, such as beans, cucumbers, eggplants, pumpkin, they will require transplantation within 1 week after germination. Excellent for growing in shell: dill, parsley, basil, marigold, etc.
- Place the seedlings on a window sill or in another warm and sunny place.
To do this, you are very useful ordinary box of eggs.
- Water the seeds and wait for them to germinate.
Depending on what seeds you planted, you can see the first shoots in a week. Watering is best with a spray (spray), young plants need care. After some time, you may have to remove extra plants if more than one seedling comes up in the shell to give the maximum space to the strongest plant.
- Replant seedlings as soon as they are ready.
Attention! Before planting, the shell must be carefully crushed in the hand or removed altogether. The fact is that the shell is too small for the development of the root system of an adult plant. As we showed above, it decomposes too long in the soil, so it will prevent further growth of the roots beyond the shell.
When you cook eggs for breakfast, save the shell - this is a great addition to bird food. For many bird species, shredded shells come in handy as an excellent source of calcium, this is especially important for females in the spring when they are just about to lay eggs. In addition, it will help birds eating seeds and insects when digesting food.
- Wash the shells and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven to sterilize, 7-10 minutes at a temperature of 180-200 degrees. Some do it in the microwave.
- Crush the shells and lay them on a flat open surface.
This treat may appeal to swallows, sparrows, finches and many other birds.
If you thus lure the necessary birds to your garden, they can become an excellent protection against pests and create a harmonious environment on the site.
Many believe that the shell helps to get rid of snails and slugs, or at least protects many plants from them. Assuming that sharp edges irritate them and they tend to bypass the shell.
Unfortunately, many amateur experiments in the garden this myth not confirmed.
In the video below you can see that even a knife or a sharp straight razor is not a particular barrier for a slug.
You've probably heard a lot about the benefits of mulching. Eggshell can be used as mulch, it will add bright accents on your site.
It should be noted that for these purposes you will need a lot of shell, it is necessary to cover the soil with a rather thick layer in order to prevent the germination of weeds.
Some gardeners use the shell as a drainage pot for indoor plants. It is hardly a good replacement for expanded clay, but why not!
And how do you use the shell?