Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken a special interest in chicken eggs and how you can really make the most of the egg production on your farm. To preventing eggs from freezing to making sure you never have another poopy egg again, there are lots of ways you can keep your eggs fresh and safe.
But what do you do about all the eggshells you have lying around?
Sure, you can throw them out.
But in some places, like Vermont, throwing out perfectly good kitchen waste is now not only frivolous but also illegal.
Luckily, eggshells are super easy to repurpose – especially if you have a garden. Here are a few easy ways you can use eggshells in your garden this season.
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7 Ways to Use Eggshells in the Garden
There are several nutrients inside the humble eggshell that can be harnessed for the greater good in your garden.
Calcium is one of the most important.
In fact, eggshells contain so much calcium that you can use them just like lime in your garden. You’ll need quite a few eggshells to make a difference – usually, about 150 shells per cup of powder.
Eggshells can not only add calcium to the soil, but also other vital nutrients. The best way to add eggshells is to grind them up into a powder and then add them to the planting hole. You can also add them to your favorite compost tea and apply that way.
It’s a great nutrition booster when you are transplanting or repotting plants. You can use eggshells on all plants, but they are most beneficial for eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers, all of which are prone to blossom end rot (a calcium deficiency disorder).
Many people swear by using eggshells as pots for starting plants from seed. You won’t have to worry about pulling fragile roots from the shell, which is often one of the major issues with transplanting tender seedlings. Instead, you can plant the entire thing whole into the garden.
Just make sure you use deep, large eggshell halves for this. You can pop them into a cardboard egg carton for extra support. Before you insert them into the carton, make sure you use a nail to gently pop a hole in the bottom for drainage.
As Pest Control
There are some gardeners who claim that placing eggshells around your garden can help keep certain pests, like slugs, cutworms, and snails, away. I’ve never had much success with this, but it’s worth a try for sure!
The theory behind this method is that these sorts of pests have soft underbellies and don’t like sliding across anything sharp. I guess it would work in a manner similar to diatomaceous earth, another tried-and-true method of keeping pests far away.
Deer are also said to hate the smell of eggshells. Rodents, on the other hand, love them, so keep this in mind.
It will take a lot of eggshells to form a thick layer of mulch, but if you’re willing to invest the time, I commend you! A layer of eggshell mulch will not only look attractive, serving as a striking accent, but it can also deter weeds and help to conserve moisture.
If you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to take the time to use eggshells in any of these ways, consider just adding them to the compost pile. You can add them whole, but they’ll decompose more quickly if you grind them up.
Feed Back to Chickens
Eggshells can be fed to all kinds of birds, but your chickens, in particular, will get a helpful boost of nutrients. Hens require extra calcium, so offering eggshells can be a smart choice. Just make sure you grind them up first so that they are in an unrecognizable form. Otherwise, you might find that your hens start eating their own eggs!
As a Feline Deterrent
If you have a neighborhood cat hanging around your garden, it can be a huge pain. Not only is finding cat poop in the garden unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous, as cat feces is the most common way that toxoplasmosis is spread.
Cats do not like eggshells, though, and sprinkling them around your garden can keep these creatures out.
How to Prepare Eggshells for the Garden
You shouldn’t use eggshells in the garden unless you have properly prepared them first. Eggs are known carriers of salmonella, which is generally not present on uncracked, washed eggs, but it can still happen.
If you plan on using crushed or ground eggshells, place them on a cookie sheet. Then, place them in your oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees. You can pulverize the shells with a mortar and pestle before storing them in an airtight container. You won’t have to worry about any smell or spoilage when you do it this way.
What other uses do you have for eggshells in the garden? Be sure to let me know in the comments!
Want to learn more about raising chickens? Be sure to check out these articles!
- How to Butcher Chickens
- How to Keep Predators Away From Your Chicken
- The Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds
- The Ultimate Guide to the New Hampshire Chicken Breed
- How You Can Make Money Raising Chicken
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