If you like to eat a lot of eggs, then you will end up with tonnes of leftover eggshells. But did you know those eggshells you normally discard actually make excellent additions to your garden?
That is because the shells are packed to the brim with calcium, a nutrient that plants love but that can be hard to add to your soil.
So next time you bake a cake or poach a few eggs, don’t chuck the shells straight in the bin, save them and make use of every part of the egg.
With that in mind, here are 5 great uses for eggshells in the garden or allotment.
Keep Slugs Off Vulnerable Plants
Some people swear by this organic slug control method, and others will tell you it doesn’t work.
The idea is that the sharp edges of the eggshell irritate the soft underbelly of slugs and snails, so they won’t crawl over it.
The jury is out on how effective it is, but you have nothing to lose. And as the eggshells break down, they will add vital calcium to your soil.
Add To Your Compost
Eggshells can be composted. Let me rephrase that, eggshells should be composted!
They are a great source of calcium, which can be lacking in homemade composts.
Not only that, they break down surprisingly quickly when they have been crushed. So after your next fry-up, whip out the pestle and mortar and grind those eggshells into a fine powder.
Crushing your egg shells before adding them to your compost is a vital step, if you do not crush them then they can take a really long time to break down.
This has led to some people believing that they are not suitable for composting, but they very much are.
You can crush them with a pestle and motar if you want to go really fine or just do what I do and use your hands.
Make Homemade Fertiliser
For the same reasons you would add eggshells to your compost, they also make an excellent fertiliser.
Crush the eggshells up fine and sprinkle them around the base of your target plant.
This can work well for preventing blossom end rot in tomatoes which is caused by a lack of calcium, something eggshells are packed with. I feel like I might have said that before.
Using a pestle and motar is the best way to crush your eggshells down into a fine poweder.
The finer the powder you end up with then the quicker it will be broken down into the soil and accessible to your plants.
Use For Starting Seeds
Alright, this one is a bit gimmicky, but eggshells actually make fun little seed starters.
Use half a shell and fill with a little seed compost before sowing your seeds.
Couple the eggshells with an egg box and have ready-made holders for your tiny seed starters.
Kids love this, so why not try growing cress in the eggs for a fun activity with your little ones?
Make a Calcium Rich Mulch
Again with the calcium. Break eggshells up with your hands, but not into a fine powder this time, and apply as mulch.
You will be adding calcium to the soil, creating a slug barrier, and, if you have enough eggs, maybe even stopping some weeds from coming through the soil.
I count that as a win win win!
The effectiveness of the slug barrier is up for debate, as a lot of things are in gardening!
Some people say the eggshells create an unpleasant surface for the slugs to crawl over, and as such, they will avoid going over them, eve if there is a tasty treat on the other side.
Other people say they do nothing and have seen slugs traversing the eggshells with ease.
As with a lot of things in the garden, my adivce is simple, test it out for yourself and see what happens, there is very little to loose by using eggshells as a slug detterent.
And even if the experiment fails, and you find slug damage on your plants, then at the very least you have added some calcium to your soil!