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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saving Egg Shells for the Garden

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.

14 comments:

  1. I know about the eggshells for planting tomatoes, but I never knew that it deterred slugs. And that was interesting about the mother birds needing them. Thanks so much for the information! Now I just need to find someone to save their shells for me!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I have always composted the egg shells, like you, and have used them to deter slugs and such...now I will pulverized them and added to my soil.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    m.

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    1. how exactly do you use them for slugs? My dog's dishes are by my front door & they crawl all over them & my porch & even my front door & sometimes they get inside. I need a remedy.... PLEASE!

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    2. Crush your egg shells - but not too small. The sharp edges are said to deter the snails because they'll not like to crawl over them.

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    3. salt will deter slugs too. Just put some out near your door or dogs dish and they will stay far far away. :)

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  3. I've used egg shells for years to deter slugs. I've found they work so much better than the slug bait, which only seemed to knock the wind out of the little buggers and then they are right back. I don't have problems with slugs when I use egg shells!

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  4. Will this work with duck egg too?

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  5. I sprinkled eggshells around my strawberries and had less slug eaten strawberries. May I link your post to my post about growing strawberries?
    Ann from manymanyhats.blogspot.com

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  6. Slugs? Bury a bowl of beer in the garden near whichever crop they're attracted to so they can crawl into it. They are mesmerized by beer. You'll wake up in the morning to a bowl full of them drowned in the beer.

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  7. When you boil eggs, save the water for feeding your tomatoes. It's rich with calcium. I also use mind to plant seedlings on. I feed them back to my chickens (crush them small. You don't want the chickens eating their own eggs). And I also use the shells all over me garden.....

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  8. May deter cats from urinating and messing in your garden and keep out squirrels - the sharpness of the eff shells hurt their pads on their feet.

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  9. Thanks for these tips! I've put eggshells around tomatoes before, but I didn't know they could be used for so much more! I will have to start saving my shells. I've tried the slug trap with beer before, and all it did was attract more slugs! I had at least 50 drowned ones every night for a week until I ran out of beer! It was gross. So I'll try the eggshells to deter them instead of beer to attract them.

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