Perhaps you’ve read about it in a gardening magazine, seen it on the telly or even spotted your neighbour using them, and thought to yourself: why would you put eggshells on a garden?
If we told you there was a way to fertilise your soil, help your garden grow and find a use for all those eggshells you chuck in the bid, you’d be all over it, wouldn’t you? Well, this is exactly what we are about to show you!
Here are our top tips for using eggshells in the garden:
Eggshells are made up of calcium which is an important ingredient that can provide nourishment to your garden. It’s a significant botanical nutrient that essentially boosts the ability of your plants to build strong and healthy cell walls.
If your soil has high acidity levels, adding a natural source of calcium could be beneficial, depending on what you’re growing or intend to grow. You can do a simple soil test to check the current levels of calcium already in your soil.
To use eggshells as a garden fertiliser, you should grind them up into a fine powder using a mortar or blender and mix them into your garden soil.
Your eggshell powder can help increase the soil’s aeration, lower your soil’s pH and improve the soil’s drainage.
Using eggshells in the garden as mulch can provide a striking accent to your plant beds. If you collect enough, you can actually apply a thick enough layer to deter weeds. While eggshells will work just as well as any commercial mulch, the trick is collecting enough shells to make a thick enough layer.
This usage has been debated. Some say it works; others say don’t waste your time. But if you are looking for a solution to your garden’s pest problem, crushed up pieces of eggshells scattered around the base of the plants can act as a barrier.
The sharp edges are said to deter soft-bodied pests such as cutworms, those annoying little things that love to chop the heads off your innocent little seedlings. They do NOT, however, deter slugs; this is a myth. Sometimes the residue left inside the eggs can actually attract slugs, which, if you’re a keen gardener, is not something you want to encourage!
If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked so far, it’s worthwhile giving it a go; just make sure you have enough shells to create a significant barrier.
As well as using your eggshells directly on your soil as a fertiliser, you can also add them to your compost. The trick to getting the best results is to grind your eggshells (as described above) before putting them into your compost bin. If you throw them in whole, it can take the eggshells months to break down and release all their beneficial nutrient.
Just like people and plants, birds can also benefit from some calcium in their diet. This is especially true for female birds who need extra calcium before and after laying their eggs. To turn eggshells into bird food, you should first sterilise the shells by boiling them or leaving them in a cooling oven after use. Crush or grind them into fine bits and mix with some birdseed.
Using Eggshells in the Garden – Summary
Eggshells are great for your garden, and while not every trick you see online is true, there are still many ways you can use them to help your plants grow, improve your soil and even to provide nutrients to some wildlife.
Always remember to clean and sterilise eggshells before using them in the garden to achieve the best results. Any residue can be harmful to both the garden or any animal that might consume them.