Whether or not you utilize the magic of compost for you garden, you’ve probably never thought about adding eggshells to the mix; those usually get tossed in the trash, never to have a second life. Well believe it or not, these same eggshells can provide your organic garden with some amazing benefits. Whether you crush them up and sprinkle some into the bottom of your planter boxes and garden pots, or throw them in with the compost, eggshells work as a natural pest deterrent and more.
Easy Pest Control
Especially if you have problems with slugs in your garden, eggshells are extremely effective repellants. Simply crumble up a handful of eggshells and sprinkle them around the affected plants. Because the crumbled shells are abrasive to the slugs’ undersides, they will avoid the area completely.
Further reading: Eradicating Garden Pests Without the Use of Chemicals
Add Nutrients to Soil
Eggshells also provide your plants and soil with much-needed nutrients. The eggshells can help certain plants obtain the calcium they need. Add to a compost to help supplement calcium to the final stage, which adds nutrients to plants’ cell walls. Without calcium, some plants like tomatoes and squash will not thrive fully; the fruit will bloom and then fall off prematurely.
Feed Birds and Chickens
Eggshells contain 95% calcium and can be used to feed birds and chickens. Female birds and chickens, particularly those getting ready to lay or just finished laying, need extra calcium to keep going. Be sure to crush them finely, so they no longer look like eggshells—they may start eating their own eggs if they get accustomed to eating eggshells.
Natural Seed Starter Pots
If you crack the eggshell so that you have a usable half or ⅓ of the shell, you can keep this part whole and use it as a miniature starter pot. Even keep your egg carton handy for a convenient and cheap storage container for all your plants that you’re starting from seeds. Do be sure that you clean the eggshells out thoroughly with some boiled water. Once the seedlings start to outgrow their egg-pots, simply transplant them, egg and all, to their new container or to the soil.
For many of us, growing a garden means a lifelong battle with natural critters, including deer that love to munch on anything resembling fruit, leaves, and berries. Deer do not like the smell of eggs, so if you sprinkle some eggshells around their formerly-favorite snacks, they’ll stay away.
Eggshells can also give your garden a nice, unique look. If you and your family go through many eggs on a regular basis, give those eggshells a second life and let them spruce up the look of your garden.
Who knew that eggshells could be good for your garden? If you are maintaining an organic garden, be sure to opt for organic eggs as well, as the shells of those that are non-organic will likely be contaminated (although slightly) with antibiotics and/or hormones.