Using Eggshells in the Garden
Like most gardeners, we do not like waste anything that is good for plant growth, eggshells are included. Anything that will enrich the soil, and help prevent plant disease is worth trying and eggshells to work wonders.
We started using eggshells in the compost many years ago. We have progressed a little and now use them in a number of ways where the valuable calcium makes an impact to plant growth and health.
Tomatoes are one plant that can benefit and this has become a major use.
To make sure that we do not allow any diseases, we collect our eggshells and then place them in the oven for around 30 minutes at around 95 C.
You can also dry them in the sun if you wish. Rather than use then whole, we crush them in a grinder. This allows for quicker release of the calcium.
How do Eggshells help Tomatoes ?
The calcium in eggshells helps to prevent blossom end rot. This is a problem that effects the fruit. It can be caused either by poor watering habits, or calcium deficiency.
One end of the fruit will turn brown and go soft, the problem also occurs in eggplants, capsicums, watermelons and zucchinis!
We use around 1/2 a cup in the planting hole. The crushed eggshells allow quick access to the calcium.
You can also use Eggshells as :
A General fertiliser
- Add eggshells to compost.
- Use them in the soil when planting new plants.
What does not work.
- Eggshells as a snail and slug deterrent. The eggshells actually seem to attract snails and slugs.
- Eggshells as ‘biodegradable’ seedling pots. As the eggshells have no drainage, they can cause problems with to much moisture. You can dry them and make a hole in the bottom. However they tend to crack. it will work, and you can try it, we are not sure it is worth the effort.They may look cute, however a lot of more efficient ways of starting seeds can be found.
Dry the eggshells in the oven and crush them. This helps prevent the possibility of Salmonella, it also allows the calcium to be released more quickly.