Don’t even think about throwing away your eggshells! Sometimes, you just need to let Humpty-Dumpty crumble and fertilize your garden! Eggshells are chock full of trace elements of calcium and potassium. Specifically, the shell of the egg has 0.3% phosphorus, magnesium, and traces of sodium, potassium, zinc, manganese, iron, and copper. They do not provide all the nutrients your plant needs; however, they are an EGGcellent supplement to your regular fertilizing regime.
Crushed Eggshells For Plants Is Hard To Beat!
Why Use Eggshell Water?
As a much better organic alternative to traditional fertilizers, you could make your own eggshell water (tea) and mix it right into the soil. This organic approach is quick and will deliver rich benefits for both plants and animals living in the microbiome as well.
- Environmentally friendly source of mineral fertilizer for plants
- Allows you to compost material from the kitchen.
- Saves you the cost of fertilizer and prevents chemical burns attributed to using inorganic fertilizer .
How Does It Work?
The Jeff Gillman Experiment
Dr. Jeff Gillman, a researcher and horticulture professor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, and of The Truth About Garden Remedies uprooted the truth on a few of the many garden myth remedies. He boiled an eggshell in a few cups of distilled water just for kicks to see what would happen. After boiling, the shell remained in the water for twenty-four hours. Afterward, he sent the eggshell water to be tested in a lab. The scientific results were crazy! Three elements that increased in low concentrations were sodium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Two other elements also increased with higher readings: Four mg of calcium and potassium content! You may be saying to yourself right now, “Big woop! Four mg is a very small quantity“, but consider that fact that this amount comes out of just one eggshell. Boiling ten eggs will increase your plant’s concentration in all five of these elements!
One of the most efficient ways to get these trace elements into your soil is with eggshells. There are two methods to extract their EGGcentric goodness: whole, which you can put directly on top of the soil (if you don’t share your garden with Bears and Raccoons because they love eggs!); or finely crushed in a tea for a more compostable effect. Basically, boiling eggshells in hot water is a great way to steep out the potassium, calcium, and nutrients from the shell in a soluble form directly into the water. This eggshell tea can work as a nice calcium-potassium shot for your plants, and these minerals can also help raise the soil pH slightly. This soil pH is essential for plants that grow in alkaline conditions since their ability to absorb calcium does not depend on how high (or low) its pH level may be.
Calcium is the most important mineral in a plant’s root development. It strengthens stems and leaves while providing structural support cell walls, it acts as immunity towards disease, it wards off dehydration, and it optimizes your precious plant’s growth potential! A plant’s ability to withstand water loss, and environmental elements such as heat, cold, and frost is dependent upon the mineral potassium. There is even evidence that it can help your plants grow faster and with higher yields.
The Eggs-quisite Recipe
So next time you are making a delish Frittata, dry the empty eggshells. The more eggs, the richer your tea will be. Boil a gallon of water. Rainwater would be my water of choice because it contains a more soluble form of calcium (calcium carbonate) and is saturated with carbon dioxide. Calcium carbonate is actually a crystalline form of calcium that Mother Nature has designed so beautifully. This nurturing, Motherly calcium egg layer is delicate yet strong enough to protect the growing embryo inside. Rainwater harvesting is of great importance and global relevance as it directly impacts the climate crisis as our world experiences drier and longer droughts, depletion of groundwater, and freshwater pollution from saltwater flooding.
Here’s a cute little link on harvesting rainwater, https://www.watercache.com/education/rainwater-harvesting-101.
But I digress…
Now back to my little egg story! Next, use a mortar and pestle to crush up the dry eggshells. Put the eggshells in the boiling water. Let the concoction sit for twenty-four hours. Since water makes up approximately 85% of a plant’s weight, both bottom and top watering will help carry essential nutrients and minerals from the soil to the cells, making the plant healthier, stronger, and more resilient. In comparison, bottom watering plants keeps the soil evenly moist so that the entire root structure gets watered; however, top watering encourages the presence of fungus and gnats while the water can be channeled out of the soil, not being able to reach the entire root structure. Combining both methods together will eliminate these problems. Make sure to trowel and mulch the eggshell remnants deep down into the soil for maximum efficacy.
Speaking of mulching, here are three other kitchen hacks to help condition your soil:
- Banana peel Water– Promotes a healthy bacteria population within the soil and adds the macronutrient, potassium which strengthens the plant.
- Rice water– (no salt or spices added to water) Used as an Insecticide and promotes a healthy bacteria population in the soil.
- Pasta and/or Potato Water– (no salt or spices added to water) Used as an Insecticide, provides starch, promotes a healthy plant growth
Happy Gardening and have an eggs-tra special day!
What’s an egg’s favorite type of coffee?