I’m fairly new to vegetable gardening in the last few years and have learned mostly by reading and by trial and error.
I love it when I come across a new (to me) gardening tip that is cheap and frugal and reusing something I already have in my house. For instance, I have always composted my eggshells, but didn’t know that if your crush them finely or into a powder they can be used in more ways. Almost 98% of the eggshell is calcium carbonate, which is important to fast growing plants such as tomatoes, because the plant depletes the surrounding soil of calcium which is important to cell growth in the plant. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are also susceptible to blossom end rot, which is caused by calcium deficiency. Other plants that benefit from calcium are: apples, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, citrus, conifers, cotton, melons, grapes, legumes, lettuce, peaches, peanuts, pears, and potatoes. Potted plants, vegetable gardens and outdoor trees also benefit from calcium.
You can add the crushed eggshells into the bottom of the planting hole, or grind the shells into a powder and sprinkle around the plant and work into the soil.
Crushed eggshells sprinkled on top of the soil around your outdoor plants also help to deter snails, slugs and cutworms. These pests have soft undersides and don’t like to cross over the sharp edges of the shell to get to your plants and seedlings.
Make sure you wash the eggshells first and allow to dry before crushing/grinding. I’ve started to save my eggshells so I have a good supply before spring planting season starts.
Other ways to use eggshells:
- break and place in the bottom of a plant pot to use instead of stones – they are lighter than stone and good source of nutrition to your plant.
- If you are feeding birds, crush them up and place near a bird feeder. Female egg laying birds, require extra calcium.
- Soak a couple of teaspoons of crushed eggshells in water overnight and use the liquid as an instant calcium boost when watering.