Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, being rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein.
However, many people are unaware of the fact that the shell of a chicken egg is comprised of about 96% calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals which are bound together by proteins. This means that they can be used s a calcium source in animal feed and as a fertilizer.
Here is how to use eggshells in your garden:
To boost calcium levels in the compost, toss eggshells on the pile or into the barrel and turn them under, or add crumbled eggshell directly into the bottoms of the planting holes in the spring.
During the winter, distribute eggshells over the plot of the land where you plant in the spring, and till them into the soil when the ground warms up. Calcium deficiency easily affects tomatoes and peppers, so these vegetables will certainly appreciate the added minerals.
The American Society of Plant Biologists adds that calcium is crucial to all forms of plant life and is an essential regulator of growth and development.
Therefore, for an extra boost of this nutrient, place a powder made from finely crushed eggshells into a watering can, fill it up, and leave it aside to sit and absorb for several days. Then, use the substance to water plants, like the vegetables and shrubs in your garden.
2. Seed-starter Pots
Eggshells quickly biodegrade when added into the soil in the garden, so they are ideal seed-starter pots. Break just a small hole at the pointier end of the shell, clean the inside, and puncture a small drainage hole in the bottom of each empty shell.
Place the eggshells back into the carton, fill them with moist potting soil, and add the seeds. When the seedlings outgrow the shells, transplant them into bigger pots or in the garden.
Sprinkle coarsely-crumbled eggshells around the plants where you notice slugs and snails, to deter them and keep them at bay.
4. Deer repellent
If your garden is commonly visited by deers, scatter some eggshells around the plants they are munching on the most, and as they detest the albumin taste, you will keep them away.
However, note that you should be careful as, on the other hand, the smell of raw eggs might attract smaller vermin like rodents.
Finely-ground eggshells can also be used as a decoration in the garden. Boil them to sterilize them, crumble, and then drop them into a large glass jar. When you have collected enough, sprinkle them around and in between your plants.
6. Feed the Birds
Mother birds need more calcium in their diets before and after laying eggs. Bake the eggshells at 250°F / 120°C for about ten minutes to sterilize the eggshells, crumble them, and place them outdoors during the spring and summer.
However, note that as eggs are known carriers of salmonella, you should always rinse them well and let them dry in a sunny windowsill before you use them. Their dryness will destroy any salmonella present.
Moreover, the eggshell powder can also be used as a calcium supplement for your dog as well, but in this way, make sure you sterilize them in a 200°F (93°C) oven for 30 minutes.
Then, pulverize the dried eggshells using a mortar and pestle, or grind them in a coffee grinder. In this way, you can keep the crushed eggshells in an airtight container for as long as you need.