How to Bake Eggshells for the Garden

Looking for an easy way to add valuable nutrients to your garden? Start by looking in your kitchen trash! Egg shells are a simple and effective way to improve your soil and help your plants thrive. In this post, we’ll explain how to bake egg shells for the garden and why you should be doing it in the first place.

How to Prepare Egg Shells for the Garden

Raw eggshells may contain harmful bacteria, like salmonella. Before using them in your garden, you should make sure that they are well-baked to prevent bad bacteria from ending up in your soil or on your produce. Some people recommend rinsing out the eggshells. I find that this is not necessary as long as you store the shells in the fridge before baking.

Raw egg shells

Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 400º.

Step 2:
Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. This will kill any harmful bacteria, dry out the eggshells for storage, and make them easier to crush. Some eggshells may brown a little in the oven, which is completely normal.

Eggshells to be baked

    Step 3:
    After baking, let your eggshells cool completely. Then crush into small pieces. You can do this by hand in a ziplock bag or with a food processor. (Just be aware that eggshells are sharp and may cause scratches on the bowl of the food processor.) The smaller the pieces the better the calcium will be absorbed.

    Step 4:
    Store them in an air-tight container until ready to use. For long-term storage, store in the freezer.

    Crushed egg shells

    How to Add Egg Shells to the Garden

    When starting or transplanting plants, add to the soil just below the seed or roots. For seedlings, a sprinkle is enough. For more developed plants, add 1-2 T to each planting hole. Give the plants a good watering to help the calcium soak into the soil.

    For already established plants, dig a trench around the base of the plant, add eggshells, cover, and water.

    Benefits of Using Egg Shells

    One of the best ways to care for your garden is to use fertilizers. Egg shells are a great natural source of calcium and other minerals that plants need to grow strong and healthy.

    Plants receive their calcium from the soil. If soil is low in calcium, the plant will become calcium deficient, which can lead to blossom end rot and ruin your produce. This is a common disease seen in tomatoes. A black spot will appear on the underside of the tomato when it begins to develop. Eventually, as the tomato grows and ripens, the spot will spread and rot the entire tomato.

    Using eggshells when starting tomato plants and/or transplanting tomatoes can offer excellent prevention of blossom end rot. Tomatoes aren’t the only plants at risk for the disease, though. Squash and pepper plants are subject as well.

    However, disease prevention is just one of many ways that eggshells can benefit your garden.

    • Calcium can neutralize acidic soil. This is especially important for leafy green or cruciferous vegetables. Acidic soil may be caused by excess water washing out key minerals from the soil or from the use of high-nitrogen fertilizers, but supplementing with calcium from eggshells can help raise the pH of the soil again.
    • Calcium can prevent various plant diseases such as blossom end rot and powdery mildew, as well as prevent heat stress.
    • An increase in calcium can help plants absorb nitrogen and phosphorus better, which also play important roles in plant function.
    • Egg shells can even be used as a natural pesticide! Ground egg shells have similar properties to diatomaceous earth. Both produce razor-sharp particles which affect the respiratory systems and dehydrate the mucous membranes of insects that have to cross it. Sprinkling the crushed shells around the plant can protect against slugs, beetles, and worms. Just keep in mind that it will need to be applied after a good rain because the particles are not effective when wet.

    Adding eggshells to the garden is an easy and affordable way to help you create a healthier garden and make your plants look their best.

    Now that you know how to bake eggshells for the garden, why not give it a try? If you have any questions about the process, feel free to leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.

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