Let’s face it, the last thing you need is another job in your busy day. That’s why you’re inclined to throw your eggshells straight in the compost or bin.
Of course, the problem with whole eggshells in the compost is they’re still intact years down the track and your garden misses out on their goodness!
It goes without saying that eggshells bound for the bin are simply wasted in landfill.
What’s so good about eggshells?
You see, eggshells are a powerhouse of minerals - predominantly calcium carbonate but also magnesium and phosphorus. These minerals add value to your soil, which in turn helps plants grow quickly. This is particularly good news for your fruit and vegetables!
However, the downside is that these hardy, mineral-rich eggshells don’t easily break down in the compost like organic kitchen scraps.
Which means that unless you unlock these minerals with an extra little step, your garden won’t immediately benefit.
How to unlock eggshell minerals
Look at it this way, nature designed eggshells to be durable. Therefore, if you want your soil to access their beneficial minerals this decade then you’ll need to help them along by crushing the shells into powder.
It’s easy. Here’s how:
- Collect eggshells
- Rinse thoroughly (to wash away pathogens like salmonella)
- Spread on a tray and bake in the oven (for speed) or the sun until they’re brittle
- Grind into powder with a food processor or old coffee grinder (a rolling pin works too but keep in mind that fine grains absorb faster)
- The powder is ready for the compost or can go in the garden where needed
Other gardening ideas with eggshells
Use as an insecticide (eggshells lacerate and kill pests)
- Rinse and bake eggshells
- Crush into small fragments
- Sprinkle on the garden where pests (like snails and slugs) invade
Eggshells as seedling pots
- Rinse eggshells
- Add seed mix and sow seeds
- When seedlings are ready to plant, gently crush the shell (to allow for growth) before planting whole
That's how the benefits of backyard chickens go beyond your own backyard and help reduce landfill!