Eggshells have a lot of benefits in the garden. What most people don’t know is that instead of tossing broken eggshells into the trash can, it can be collected for use in keeping pests away from the garden and in making compost.
How can you compost eggshells? A lot of readers have asked this question in the past which is why we decided to come up with this detailed, yet concise guide to help you out.
Although they may be brittle and crack easily, eggshells take a long while to decompose without the right conditions.
Adding eggshells to your soil is a good way to improve the soil’s calcium content. They are also a rich source of potassium, magnesium, and sodium. This makes them a good addition to any soil, which is the reason why many gardeners go through the stress of composting it.
With the right methods, you can compost eggshells with ease. All you need to do is to ensure that they are dried and mixed with the right amount of green and brown materials to speed up the process.
How to Compost Eggshells
There isn’t any science behind the breakdown of eggshells. Let’s not forget that they are tough and would certainly remain in the same state if not properly processed.
The best way to add eggshells to a compost pile is to first wash them and then dry them out in the sun. once dried, you can then grind it into a fine powder. This makes it easy for it to be broken down by the micro-organisms in the soil or compost pile.
Washing the eggshell is important to kill the salmonella bacteria that might be left behind from the chicken. Drying the eggshell before grinding is also important to ensure they compost quickly.
You can also choose to wet the powdered eggshell before adding it to a compost pile. This speeds up the activity of the bacteria needed to begin the decomposition process.
It is impossible to determine how quickly the eggshells will decompose. But if you ensure that other factors are in place, you should be able to see results in a few months.
Adding Eggshells to Soil
You can add eggshells directly to the soil to improve the nutrient content. Yes! Eggshells can be used as fertilizer to improve your garden soil. However, you must process it into the powder form before adding it.
When the soil is deficient in calcium, it causes the ends of the plant to rot. This can be easily avoided by working powdered eggshells directly into the soil.
Acidic soils breakdown eggshells faster compared to other soil types. This is not to say that it cannot be added to soil with a different pH.
It is best to work the powdered eggshell into the soil. This you can do with a trowel, or garden fork. This makes it possible for the soil to easily absorb the nutrients.
Apart from use as fertilizer, eggshells are also helpful in aerating the soil. When the soil lack oxygen, it can also affect the ability of the soil to retain water. This can lead to plant death and reduced yield.
Eggshells also help to improve the structure of your soil. This is something you should be particular about especially if you want to improve on your plant yield.
They provide you with a natural way to improve your soil nutrient and texture without the use of toxic chemicals. This is another reason why it is commonly used in the garden by organic farmers.
Other Uses of Eggshell
Apart from composting, there are other ways you can use eggshells in the garden. And they include:
Eggshells can be used in mulching roses, vegetables, and other tree plants to provide extra nutrients. You would have to grind them into powder first before adding them as a side dressing to your plants.
The best time to use eggshells in mulching plants is immediately the growing season commences. This is the period when the soil needs calcium the most to support the growing plants.
Eggshells are also useful in repelling snails and cutworms from your garden. To use eggshells as snail repellants, you don’t need to grind them into a fine powder.
All you need is to crush them into small pieces and spread them around the plants that are been destroyed by pests.
You can use eggshells as a pest deterrent on plants that attract snails the most such as tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage.
Reduce Disease Infection
Since a deficiency in calcium can result in the rotten of leaves and stunted growth, including eggshells in your soil can be a great way to prevent disease to your plants.
Infections are some of the common problems that reduce your garden yield. Ensuring that your soil doesn’t suffer from any nutrient deficiency is a good way to improve your garden yield.
Food for Birds
If you raise poultry in your farm or backyard, then you can also collect your eggshell to add to their diet.
They are particularly a rich source of calcium to female birds after they lay their eggs. This is why most wild birds consume the shells after they hatch.
Before using eggshells as bird food, you will have to crush them into small pieces and include other seeds to spice things up.
Now that you know how to compost eggshells, you shouldn’t have a problem improving the yield of your garden by using leftover eggshells.
Remember that before adding them to your compost or soil, you need to first ensure they are washed and dried properly. Afterward, you can then grind them into a fine powder before working it into your garden soil.
It takes a while for eggshells to fully breakdown. But you can easily speed things up by ensuring that you balance the ratio of green and brown materials in the compost pile.
You should also ensure that you turn the pile regularly to ensure all parts of the bin gets enough light and moisture.
Have you tried adding eggshells to your compost or garden? We will like to hear from you.