Friday, May 16, 2014
Eggshells in the Garden
You will always find eggshells drying on my windowsill. They are the "Jack of All Trades" in the garden. And lucky for me my hens provide a steady supply!
Next time you make an omellete set aside those nutrient rich eggshells, which have many uses and can save you money. About 95 percent of shells are made up of calcium carbonate, also present in sea shells, coral, and limestone. The other 5 percent includes proteins, calcium phosphate, and magnesium carbonate.
Always thoroughly wash your shells and allow them to completely dry. Depending on the job egg shells can be applied in crushed or powdered form. Crush them with a mortar and pestle or in a blender or food processor.
~Add crushed eggshells to the bottom of planting holes, particularly for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. These crops are susceptible to blossom end rot, which is caused by calcium deficiency. While this deficiency is most often caused by improper watering, a steady source of calcium is always a plus. As the eggshells break down, they'll nourish the soil, and your plants.
~Use crushed eggshells to deter slugs, snails, and cutworms. The abrasive, sharp edges of the eggshells keep snails and slugs from crossing the shells to get to the plants. I recently made rings around my precious lettuce starts.
~Add them to your compost to boost calcium levels in your finished pile.
~Rather than using commercial fertilizer, add eggshells to your indoor plants. Add powdered shells directly onto the soil around the base of the plants. Each time you water, the plants will absorb the powder into the soil. This also applies to outdoor potted plants. I plan to add shells to my window boxes this year.
~Keep a mason jar of eggshells covered with water for watering potted plants. Or save water from hard boiled eggs to sprinkle plants with this calcium rich tonic.
~Hens need plenty of calcium to lay thick-shelled eggs. The best source of calcium for a hen is her own egg shell. Add crushed or powdered egg shells to regular feed to provide a boost of nutrients.
~Scattered egg shells can help with cats using your garden as a litter box.
~ If you are feeding birds in your yard, crush up the eggshells and add them to a dish near the feeder. Female birds, particularly those who are getting ready to lay eggs or recently finished laying, require extra calcium.
~Egg shells are also said to keep deer away. Anyone have any luck with this?