You’re probably reading this because you’re planning to diversify your compost pile or maybe are in the mood to try new things.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Eggshells are all over in almost every household. Once you’re done with the components inside it, you will quickly throw away the eggshells.
So the question remains, Can eggshells be composted? The short answer is “YES” !!
In this article, therefore, we are going to take a look at what it might be like adding eggshells to your compost bin. More importantly, will it help your garden or not?
What is an Eggshell made of?
There’s this fun phrase that kind of makes my day when I think of it ‘who came first?
The hen or the egg?’ Back to the matter at hand, eggshell is the hard surface found on an egg.
It consists of a high concentration of calcium carbonate which is basically a form of calcium.
The rest of the eggshell is made from minerals and proteins. So basically, eggshells are a rich way to add calcium to your garden.
But why would you add calcium to any garden? Or why would you consider calcium carbonate?
Calcium carbonate in eggshells and your garden
Calcium carbonate, also commonly known as garden lime, is a staple in garden, lawn management and fields.
Most homeowners usually try to make an annual application which is advised by other growers or professionals.
Calcium carbonate is available in many forms but if you are going for the composite bin, then you need to find a way to add it to your pile.
The finer the calcium carbonate, the easier it will be for it to sip into your plant.
Calcium carbonate is beneficial to your plants in several ways.
It can fix some of the problems in your garden that regularly end up unnoticed.
However, you should only add calcium carbonate based on the soil analysis.
Too much of calcium carbonate might make the environment inhospitable for your plants.
Benefits of calcium carbonate
⦁ Correcting PH
When it comes to PH, you really need to find the right one for your plants.
There are different ways in which you can increase or reduce your PH levels.
For instance, you can choose to use coffee grounds to lower the PH of your garden.
Don’t even get me started on coffee grounds since that might take a while.
Since that’s a subject for another day, let’s get back on track.
Calcium carbonate is an incredible way to raise the PH in your soil. A large number of plants actually do well in soils that have a PH range between 5 and 7.
Hold on to your eggshells! pic.twitter.com/7KbbFqT9ca
— Compost Revolution (@CompostRevoln) September 25, 2018
However, not all plants require this PH so you need to seek research that further.
All in all, calcium carbonate can integrate well in any soil to give it the level of alkalinity that it requires.
For that reason, if your soil needs an increase in PH, then calcium carbonate is the way to go.
I repeat you need to do this after soil analysis. What’s more, you also need to create a way that works for you to incorporate the calcium carbonate.
Don’t just look for a fertilizer then let it lay on top of the soil.
Continue reading and I’ll show you how to get calcium carbonate well incorporated into your garden soil.
⦁ Source of calcium
As the name suggests, calcium carbonate is a rich source of calcium.
That being said, calcium is an important nutrient that helps to strengthen plant’s cell walls.
Additionally, calcium is also important when it comes to the development of new cells.
When a plant suffers from calcium deficiency, it leads to fruit diseases such as blossom-end rot.
Blossom-end rot is prevalent in peppers and tomatoes.
Therefore, if you are planning to plant tomatoes, you need to find a way to increase the calcium levels in your soil.
But remember to perform soil analysis before you decide to add anything to your garden.
If the soil analysis will reveal that the soil is deficient in calcium, then you need to find a way to supplement the soil.
In some cases, the soil might be deficient in calcium but the PH is over 7.0, then you need to find a way to add calcium without raising the PH. You can try gypsum.
⦁ Reduce the toxicity of metals in your garden.
Calcium carbonate plays important roles in your soil.
One of the crucial ones is it’s potential to mitigate metals in your garden.
Especially heavy metals. However, this is usually a prescribed cause of action.
That’s basically after soil analysis indicates heavy metals are present in levels that can be re mediated.
Meaning that the heavy metals are too high and the only cause of action would be to remove the soil.
Not only are high levels of heavy metals toxic to humans, but they are also toxic to your plant’s well-being.
That being the case, you need to find a way of dealing with such cases.
The best solution is to find a good source of calcium carbonate.
All in all, calcium carbonate doesn’t remove the levels of heavy metals in your soil.
It only helps to tie them together at one point.
This helps since your plants won’t be able to intake the heavy metals. Another action you can also resort to is the use of coffee grounds.
They are able to absorb the heavy metals in your soil that can easily contaminate your soil.
Hence it can be a good idea if you use coffee grounds to completely eliminate or reduce the levels of heavy metals in your soil.
⦁ Increase efficiency of essential nutrients
This is one of the unseen benefits of adding calcium carbonate to your soil.
Since calcium carbonate is able to adjust the PH, it makes other essential nutrients available to the plant.
All of the nutrients are usually in the soil but for one reason or another, they might be unavailable to the plant.
One of those reasons is the change in PH. If the PH levels are not conducive, the plant might not be able to absorb the nutrients from the soil.
That is why the right PH is essential for your plant to grow.
Make sure you know the needs of your plant before you decide to plant it.
In that case, calcium carbonate is important in making the essential nutrients available to your plant.
When the PH changes, some of the nutrients are made available for absorption.
⦁ Addition of Magnesium
When you see the word calcium carbonate, there’s no place where you can find magnesium.
So how will calcium carbonate add magnesium in your garden?
Well, the answer is pretty simple. In calcium carbonate, there’s some presence of magnesium.
In most cases, the levels of magnesium are present in calcium carbonate.
Or the material used to deliver calcium carbonate has some traces of magnesium. For instance, eggshells. Magnesium is an essential element in the development of most plants.
Typically, it can be found in lime or calcium carbonate sources.
If you need your plants to grow properly, aside from adding other essential minerals, you need some bit of magnesium in your soil.
That is because magnesium is crucial in photosynthesis of plants and it can be found as an element of chlorophyll molecules.
As such, any plant that has green leaves is in need of additional magnesium in its soil.
Plants that lack magnesium typically, show signs in its lower leaves.
Majority of plants need a PH between 5.5 and 6.5 to able to access all nutrients in the soil.
Others might need a much higher PH or lower. The soil analysis will dictate which nutrients you need to add or reduce in your soil.
Now that you know the need for calcium carbonate in your plants, let’s learn how to use eggshells in your farm.
We will also discuss other uses of eggshells in your farm beside using it as fertilizer.
Eggshells and Gardening
Using Eggshells as fertilizer and a source of calcium carbonate
It’s no secret that eggshells are a good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals for instance calcium carbonate among others. Calcium, as you have seen before, is one of the vital needs of your farm.
You can use eggshells since they are an excellent choice of calcium carbonate.
To prepare eggshells for use, grind them in a grinder or use a mortar and pestle. This will make sure that the eggshells are in fine particles.
Also, finely crushed shells mixed with other organic matter at the bottom of the hole is good since it helps new plants thrive better.
For instance, tomato love calcium.
To make this even more exciting, you can mix the eggshells with coffee grounds to deliver a better cocktail of minerals and vitamins.
The coffee grounds will increase the levels of nitrogen in your soil since it’s one of the vital elements for growth.
More importantly, eggshells are a good way to reduce acidity in your soil.
This will help in the aeration of your garden.
You can also add eggshells to your composite pile and use it as fertilizer in your garden.
Using Eggshells as a place a temporary nursery
Since eggshells are biodegradable, they are an excellent place to start a nursery.
And that is why you should recycle your eggshells especially the ones that are deeper.
Before using them as nurseries, sterilize them in your oven for about thirty minutes.
The next step, you should make a hole at the bottom which will act as a drainage system. Afterward, add soil in your shells then seeds. That will depend on the packaging of your seeds.
After the sprout appears, plant the eggshells plus the seeds right into the soil.
The eggshells will degrade after some time hence becoming a good source of calcium. Very easy right?
Eggshells as Pest Control
Funny enough eggshells are an amazing way to deter pests.
For instance, if you always have a problem with deer, eggshells can be used to repel them.
They detest the smells of eggshells. However, you should also note that while deer have a deep hate for eggshells, rodents love the smell.
With that in mind, this might not be a good idea especially if there’s a house near your garden. Other gardeners also consider eggshells as a way to repels slugs and snails.
However, recent researches show that this might not be true.
All the same, if you have any success with repelling either snails or slugs using eggshell, we’d be curious to know about it.
You can leave a comment down below.
Eggshells as mulch
When it comes to using eggshells as mulch, you might not need to crush them to finer pieces.
They are better off used in large pieces. The eggshells in your garden will provide a striking accent.
If you gather enough eggshells, you might even make a thicker layer that will inhibit the growth of weeds.
The best part is that eggshells are degradable so you don’t have to worry about their disposal.
Eggshells as bird food
The eggshells in your garden might be a good source of food for birds.
That is because it will add a bit of calcium in their diet. Especially the female birds need a high level of calcium before and after they lay their eggs.
Therefore, if you have birds in your garden, you can use this as a source of food. To make them conducive for birds, you need to crush them and add your favorite seed.
That concludes our experiment involving the use of eggshells in your garden.
Remember, there are different ways to prepare eggshells depending on how you are planning to use it in your garden.
My favorite part when it comes to using eggshells is the fact that it’s degradable and is a good source of calcium.
You should also note that before opting to add calcium through the use of eggshells, conduct a soil analysis or get assistance from a professional. That’s it, guys. Stay tuned for more gardening tips and ideas.