eggshells

Hey everybody,
dummie me wanting help again. I remember something about being able to recycle eggshells by crushing them up and putting them to plants. can't remember exactly what for though - something about nutrients. can anyone remind me again about it? does it really help?
Thanks, Rae
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can soak them in water (which is sort of stinky to do) or you can take the short route and put them on the surface of the plants or in the potting mix. Calcium is the perk received from eggshells.
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/nyerges44.html (scroll down)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Egg shells are very slow to break down, even in the compost pile. Someone suggested putting them in the microwave for 30 seconds. I tried it, and that makes them very brittle so they can be crushed and spread around very easily.
helco
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

If you leave them a little coarse when you crush them, the sharp edges will serve to kill / deter slugs and snails. Then you get the benefits of the nutrients and the deterrent!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wow, I never thought of that. Imagine all those slugs slithering home with eggshell shards stuck in their slime. OUCH.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Egg shells placed under the surface of the soil around your tomatoes, and other plants bothered by nematodes, will draw an insect (I don't know which one) to eat the membrane in the egg shells. Once they get there they find that they like nematode eggs better and will clean them out. I read that in one of my tomato books, but don't remember which one.
Dwayne

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What is your source for this statement?
The best way to provide calcium to plants via eggshells is to let them dry completely in the sun and if you have a morar and pestal grind them into powder. You can also put them in a plastic bag and roll them with a rolling pin till they are powder.
A much more effective way to provide Ca to soil is in the form of powderd milk. It's very fast.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is kind of funny. Our compost pile looked like something from Jurassic park, and big sheets of newspaper, and pieces of cardboard. My wife is enthusiastic and puts everything that might compost in the pile. Then I read here, that you were suppose to crush the egg shells. Oh how gleefull I was to present that tidbit to her.
The tip about the microwave is great too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

How much and should we till it in?
Any downside?
TIA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Persephone wrote in wrote:

Yeah. Have you priced powdered milk lately??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd take Kay's advice, unless you don't eat eggs.
June 1 Kay Lancaster
(Egg shells) Fair source of calcium. Easy way outdoors, imho, is to make a shallow trench between rows and toss in your eggshells, vegetable scraps from the kitchen, etc, and cover with a little soil. Continue until the trench is filled back in, then dig another.
Rinse the eggshells if you've got raccoons <g>
Kay
- y(lliB) Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 02 Jun 2007 00:31:02 -0700, Persephone wrote:

I usually mix it with water the way the directions tell me to do on the label. Any no frills powdered milk will do. I think mine is a third cup to a quart of water, but it really can be dilute since you aren't drinking it. If you want, just sprinkle it around the root zone and water it in, no tilling necessary.
Another use is in a hand pump sprayer. The lactic acid in the milk will help the foliage keep fungi or mold from forming on the nightshade family, which includes tomato, potato, eggplant, and many ornamental plants.
I don't know of a downside.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gypsum is fast acting, pH neutral and a lot cheaper than milk powder.

Try adding some bicarb soda to that mix (1 Cup milk, 3 teaspoon bicarb) and it helps to allevite Black Spot in roses.

Cost would be one if you needed to use more than a small amount.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why bother? Powdered milk would be more expensive weight for weight than just using dolomite or lime. And if you have a wood burning fire then the ash from the fire also provides calcium.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Dolomite or lime are not readily available the way the milk is and needs to be broken down by microbiota first. It also changes the pH in the soil. Wood ash is entirely too alkaline for tomatoes and I would never use it in soil where I grew food.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't see that as being a problem. All soil amendment takes time and if a garden is in such an urgent and immediate need of a calcium hit then there is something wrong with how that gardener is going about the business of gardening.
However if they did need such an urgent hit of calcium and didn't mind about the increase in pH, then they would probably be better off using wood ash as its impact is immediate.
But if they prefer to use the less cost effective way of doing things, they would be better off using tofu rather than powdered milk as tofu contains 4 times as much calcium as milk.
It also changes the pH

True. However as the application of nitrogen in various forms tends to lower pH then that might also be a good thing. Most keen gardeners have a pH testing kit or can identify from weeds whether they need to lower the pH.

So your soil is already very alkaline?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Fair source of calcium. Easy way outdoors, imho, is to make a shallow trench between rows and toss in your eggshells, vegetable scraps from the kitchen, etc, and cover with a little soil. Continue until the trench is filled back in, then dig another.
Rinse the eggshells if you've got raccoons <g>
Kay
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Only significant use I've seen for eggshells is for feeding chicken hens. Prevents softshell. No, not a hoax. Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Dave" wrote

Agreed. Years ago my mother started keeping chickens and at first the eggs just wouldn't harden, break under the weight of the hen, or dry in all sorts of alien shapes.
A local egg farm finally gave her the answer. She'd break up the shells (after use) a bit, rinse well in water, and let dry. Into a low oven for maybe ten minutes and the shells would break up nicely by hand crushing to be added to the chicken feed. It didn't take long at all until all the hens were laying proper eggs.
OT, but somewhat related: A friend of mine was surprised to find that her MIL, who'd been born and raised in Mexico to missionary parents born and educated in the US, had been using the above technique for years to add to hamburger dishes. Apparently MIL's parents knew quite a lot about the importance of such things, but couldn't buy vitamins and such in remote Mexico. Through their church, they developed a lot of interesting ways to add the extras to their family's food, and in the process taught through example nutrition techniques to their constituents. Cool.
~~ Shelly ~~
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

special birdie bread. She hasn't layed eggs, but in the event she does it depletes their calcium a great deal. Better safe than sorry and she needs the grit anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.