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Have you ever wondered how to use eggshells in the garden? Most homesteaders have chickens and a vegetable garden. And most homesteaders like to utilize everything they have on hand. So in this article I will explain a couple of different ways of how I use eggshells in the garden.
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Baking the eggshells helps to dry them out fully, especially the membrane inside the egg. Drying out the membrane, allows you to crush up the eggs more easily. I place the eggs on a cookie sheet, and put them in the oven on low, around 250-275 degrees, for about an hour. After they have been in for an hour or so, pull them out and let them cool.
You can throw the eggshells in a blender at this point and it will grind them into a fine dust super quickly. I prefer to just mash the eggshells with a large wide spoon. It is actually quite satisfying to do this. Something about the sound, I don’t know! I just really enjoy it.
Once you’ve gotten them broken down into smaller bits, then mound the pile of bits up, and continue mashing them down with the spoon until they are all around the same consistent size. I then store them in a quart size mason jar until I am ready to use them.
Another great thing you can do with these crushed up eggshells, is feed them back to your chickens in place of oyster shell. It increases their calcium intake to make for nice hard eggshells! Funny how that works. Circle of life I suppose. 🙂
I use the eggshells when I am planting my peppers and tomatoes into their final pots that they will live in for the summer. I will add 1 heaping TBSN of the eggshells along with 1 TBSN of Epsom salts, into the hole I have dug in the pot, or in the ground. Stir them around a bit, than plant your tomato or pepper plant.
The eggshells will add extra calcium into the soil, which can help prevent blossom end rot. Epsom salts add extra magnesium. I have heard mixed reviews on using eggshells to deter snails and slugs. I prefer to use Sluggo for that. Another easier way to use your eggshells, is to just throw them in your compost. That way when you use the compost in the garden later, that calcium will be added to your soil.
To make fertilizer with your eggshells, it is best to have them as fine as possible. Then add the crushed eggshells to warm water and let sit out in the sun for a bit. The warm water will leach out some of the calcium from the eggs.
Add some epsom salts to this solution and a little fish emulsion fertilizer, and you have a great spray on fertilizer. Use this once a month to give your plants an extra boost of goodness. If none of the above ideas appeal to you, at the very least, throw those eggshells in the compost! As you can see, there are lots of ways to use eggshells in the garden!