Recycle Eggshells–Make Your Own Organic Eggshell Fertilizer!

If you’r an environmentally-conscious gardener, you might have already come across some ideas to incorporate organic alternatives in your gardening like making your own compost.

But if you haven’t, we’ve got the magic word for you: eggshells.

So what’s the deal with eggshells, you say? Eggshells can be a magic ingredient in helping your plants grow. They’re made of pure calcium carbonate. Calcium is not just essential in helping human bones grow stronger and healthier, it’s also needed to make plants form stronger cellular structures. Hence, eggshells are an easily accessible source of pure calcium for your plants. They’re cheaper and easy to make too. If you and your family are regular egg-eaters, you won’t have any problem gathering enough eggshells for use.

As organic fertilizer, you can use eggshells in two ways: as crushed or powdered form applied directly onto the soil, and as eggshell “tea”. Here’s how.

Crushed or powdered eggshell fertilizer

Wash the eggshells thoroughly, making sure all the sticky residue is removed. Drain and lay them out on a flat, wide container or bowl, and let them dry out in the sun for a whole day. When dry, crush the eggshells using a mortar and pestle until you get tiny bits. If you want to speed things up or make them finer, powderize the eggshells with a blender. A coffee grinder or food processor also works.

To use, mix into your plant’s potting soil or compost. You can also simply sprinkle directly onto the soil around your plants. Eggshells also act as natural repellent for garden slugs and snails. Plus, you don’t have to worry because they don’t smell nasty at all if properly washed and dried.

Eggshell “tea”

To make this, wash, dry, and crush the eggshells as above, then soak them in water for a week. You can add more crushed eggshells to the mix as it steeps. Strain the water into a sterilized jar. Use the calcium-infused water to water your seedlings and plants at least once a week. Store leftover eggshell tea in a cool, dry place.

Source: Raices Cultural Center Blog, SFGate Home Guides