Get Cracking with Eggshells in Your Garden
As we all know, an eggshell is the hard outer covering of an egg, and typically ends up in the rubbish bin each time one cracks open an egg for cooking. But don’t discard those shells the next time you fry a sunny-side-up or whip up an omelette. They actually have some interesting applications for your gardens and your potted plants.
Eggshells are made up of approximately 95% calcium carbonate crystals held together by a protein matrix. Coincidentally, calcium is an essential plant nutrient. It plays a similar role in plants as it does in the human body, by promoting healthy plant growth and structure. To add more calcium into your plants’ daily ‘diet’, just crush or powder some eggshells before tilling them into the soil. Try not to add large and sharp eggshell pieces to the soil as they will break down slowly, and may also injure plant stems. If you have a compost heap, you can add eggshells to it as well.
According to some gardeners, eggshells may also be useful if you have a problem with snails and slugs. Crushed eggshells can be used as a barrier to deter such soft-bodied creatures from damaging your plants. The conventional gardening wisdom is that these creatures do not like to cross over a line of sharp-edged eggshell shards. To keep them at bay, try spreading crushed eggshells in a circle of at least 6 cm wide and 1 cm thick near the bases of young plants. The only downside is that they may not be as effective against larger snails and slugs.
And finally, eggshells can also be used as containers for growing small plants or raising seedlings. There are endless possibilities. Have your kids paint colourful designs on the eggshell, or use the egg tray as a holder for multiple eggshell planters! And if you are using eggshell containers for seed raising before transplanting to the plant’s final growing location, you can also crush the eggshell with your hands before putting the root ball into the planting hole.
How To Make a Plant Pot from an Eggshell
- Eggs, white or brown
- Plants, saplings or seeds that can be potted up
- Butter knife or teaspoon for cracking egg shells
- Empty bowl and egg holder
- Water and potting soil
Step by Step
Break the eggshell gently near the more pointed end, using the blunt end of a spoon or the tip of a butter knife
Pour the contents of the egg into a bowl (and save it to eat later!)
After rinsing the eggshell with water, put in a thin layer of potting soil. (You may want to pierce a hole at the base of the shell for drainage.)
Plant a small young plant or a seed inside the eggshell and top up with more soil
The finished product
Water the plant and place it in an egg holder. Try using a straw to do the watering!
Other versions of egg pots
Egg containers floating inside wine glasses
Painted Egg Containers
By Lim Jin Hong
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