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When I was a child, I had an elderly neighbor. Everyone called her 'Granny'. She kept chickens in a penned lot in back of her home. When she threw laying mash to her hens, she always included a smattering of crushed eggshells. Now, I know why. When eggs begin to form in a female bird, the bird seeks additional calcium in her diet. This extra calcium helps to strengthen her eggshells.
I wash, crush, and dry eggshells throughout the year. I try to keep at least a pint on hand. When spring arrives and I see new faces outside my window, and hear all those mating calls, I know it's time to add a few eggshells along with the bird seed to the feeders.
Keep a few of those eggshells for another reason. Adding a teaspoon or so to the bottom of the hole when planting tomatoes will do wonders at stopping blossom end rot. You will be supplying a slow release form of calcium which is better than the blossom end rot sprays you buy. The sprays are not cheap. The eggshells are free. Your choice. If you happen to have a bottle of blossom end rot spray around, check the label. You'll find the active ingredient is no more than a liquid form of calcium.
I want to share some things you can use egg shells for. First, I rinse my shells (after cracking them open for meals) and place them on an aluminum pan on top of my toaster.
Then I crush them up and use them mixed into my birdseed in my bird feeders (or in poultry feed, if you raise any poultry or even for pet birds). Birds NEED the calcium for their digestive processing in their gizzards and to produce their own eggs!
I also crush them up in potting soil for my flower pots or in my flower/garden beds for the natural calcium boost it gives them when it breaks down.
Or don't crush up the shells after you crack them open. Instead, add a few teaspoons of soil into each 1/2 egg shell and drop in a seed or two for some indoor plants/flowers. Great project for children to do!
When planting tomato plants in your garden, put a crushed egg shell in the bottom of the hole with a little soil over it before planting the tomato plant. It will benefit from the calcium in the egg all season and it helps to prevent blossom end rot, where ugly spots form on the bottom of the fruit.
Source: Organic Gardening Magazine
By Wayne from Cecilia, KY
Don't throw out eggshells. Crush them up and throw them into your garden. They provide needed calcium to the soil as they decompose and the sharp-edged shells keep snails out of your beds.
Around this time of the year, I begin saving egg cartons and egg shells. The half of the shell is perfect to add a bit of potting soil and then plant your seeds. Place back into the carton which acts like a hothouse.
When your seedlings are ready to transplant, plant the egg shell into the ground after cracking it a bit for drainage. This way, you don't disturb the roots, the "container" is mainly free as you have already used the egg, and it gets the added benefit of calcium. Works for me every time.
By Banty from Chatom, AL
Don't throw those egg shells away! Rinse thoroughly, removing membrane inside, air dry thoroughly and put into a zippered plastic bag. Crush with rolling pin. Store in freezer until ready to add to your garden or compost pile.
Something I learned to do as a teenager, was egg decorating. It took a lot of concentration but was so worth the end results. This is something particularly good for Christmas as you can make some stunning ornaments to hang on the tree, or get a stand for the egg to have as other decorations not associated with the tree at all.
Adding eggshells to your garden and compost is a common all natural way to add key nutrients to the soil. This is a guide about save egg shells for planting tomatoes.
Spreading crushed eggshells around your garden bed in the spring can help kill off cutworms. This is a guide about using egg shells for cutworms.
Some gardeners have good success reducing the slug population in their garden using broken egg shells. This is a guide about use egg shells for slug prevention.
The calcium in crushed egg shells can be beneficial to your indoor pet birds and even the chickens themselves. This is a guide about eggshells for birds.
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By Beth - MA
I am confused as one poster says save egg shells for snails as they eat them for the calcium and the other is saying scatter them to keep the snails away. I want to get rid of the snails so if I scatter egg shells will it attract them to eat the shells or keep them away?
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When using eggs in my cooking, I try to break the shells near one end. The smaller piece of broken shell goes into the compost bowl, the larger part of the shell I put back into the empty egg carton and save for spring when I fill the shells with soil and start my seedlings in them. They are lightweight and easy to move around. When the plants have developed roots and are ready to transplant into the ground you just lift them shell and all and plant them in the garden. The egg shell will fertilize and nourish the plant. It will be off to a good start!
By Deborah from Terre Hill, PA
We also take the egg shells, peelings, that sort of thing, toss them into the blender with a little water and feed our garden all summer. roses in particular love the egg shells and bloom more profusely and longer. (11/18/2009)