How to Use Eggshells as Fertilizer for Your Garden Plants

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Klaus Nielsen

Eggshells are not waste, they’re very rich in nutrients and make a great fertilizer for your plants.  There are plenty of reasons why you definitely shouldn’t throw them away – we’ll show you.

Whether you’re a big fan of scrambled eggs, omelets, quiche, or baking, you’ll often have plenty of eggshells left over after cooking. We’ll look at two different ways you can use those eggshells for your plants.

Eggshells as Natural Fertilizer

eggshells as fertilizer
By drawing the nutrients out of the eggshells with water instead of scattering the eggshells on the soil, you can avoid attracting rodents to your garden. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Karolina Grabowska )

Eggshells consist of 90 percent lime. If you like to garden, you can take advantage of this to supply your plants with this important mineral. Lime loosens the soil and ensures that the roots of your plants can optimally absorb nutrients. Store-bought organic fertilizers with a high lime content can be quite expensive. By using eggshells as a fertilizer, you’ll know exactly what you’re feeding your plants with – especially if you use organic eggshells.

Here’s what you need for your DIY Eggshell Fertilizer:

  • Eggshells from one to two organic eggs
  • 1 liter of water

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put the eggshells in a mortar or coffee grinder.
  2. Then crush or grind the eggshells into a powder. The finer the pieces, the better they will eventually decompose in the soil.
  3. Pour the eggshell powder into a bowl and add the water.
  4. Now let the shells sit for twelve hours until the minerals have dissolved from the eggshells.
  5. You can now use the chalky water to water houseplants or garden and balcony plants.

Tip: Depending on how you dye your Easter eggs, you can even use those eggshells as fertilizer or in your garden. Check out our guide to Natural Egg Dye: Easter Egg Dyeing with Organic Ingredients 

Eggshells as Seed Starters

eggshells for plants
When using eggshells as seed starters, be sure to wash the eggshells thoroughly before filling them with soil. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Leoder Liebe)

Due to the fact that they’re biodegradable, eggshells make excellent seed starters. Not only are they the perfect size, once planted, they also end up fertilizing the plant as they break down. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sterilize the deeper halves by baking them in the oven (200F for 30min) or by boiling them on the stove for a couple of minutes
  • Use a nail to create a drainage hole in the bottom of the sterilized shell halves
  • Fill the eggshells up with soil, and place the seeds inside, according to the seed packet instructions
  • Use a spray bottle to gently mist your newly planted seeds, place them in a sunny location and continue to water as necessary
  • Once sprouted, you can plant them (eggshell and all!) into your garden or flower pot. Just be sure to crack the eggshell before planting, so the roots are able to escape.

Storing Eggshells for Later Use

eggshells for plants
When baking, you don’t need to throw your eggshells away. Rinse them out and store them for later use! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Katerina Holmes)

Whether you want to use your eggshells as fertilizer or for seed starters, you’ll have to store them until you have enough to use. For both uses, you’ll need to rinse the shell out with hot water (to eliminate any potential smell) and let it dry.

If you’re saving them to use as seed starters, you can simply pop the washed and dried eggshell halves back into the egg carton until you’re ready to use them.

For eggshell fertilizer, you can break the washed and dried eggshells down until they fit into a container of your choice. Once you’ve saved up enough, you can grind them into powder to use in your garden. If you grind more than you want to use, simply store the eggshell powder in an airtight container along with a silica gel packet to ensure it stays dry. Take out and use it as needed.

Looking for more ways to use food waste in your garden? Check out:

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: 5 Ideen für Eierschalen: Warum sie zu schade für den Müll sind  

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