Monday, June 9, 2014

Using Egg Shells

I've been going through a lot of eggs lately and as a result I have a lot of egg shells...much more than my worm bin can use. So I started to look into ways I could use them rather than sending them out with the trash.

Image courtesy of Amenic181 /

If I had chickens, I'd probably just give the shells back to the chickens to eat for additional calcium. But, I have no chickens...yet.

I have a garden, though.

I could crush the shells and spread them around plants to deter slugs. But (thankfully) I don't have a slug problem here.

So I'm drying the shells, crushing them and using them as a calcium soil additive for my tomato plants. The main reason I started gardening was for tomatoes and I'll try anything to boost tomato production and prevent Blossom End Rot. Supposedly, the additional of calcium helps.

I collect the shells in a paper bag and then dry the whole pile in the oven on a large baking sheet. I don't turn the oven on (because the first time I did this I forgot about them and had an awful burnt egg shell smell in my house for days!). I just keep the light on. In the summer, I'll probably just leave them outside in the sun to dry.

Once the shells are dry, it's just a matter of crushing them. I guess you could go so far as to grind them in a food processor or a dedicated coffee grinder, but the "Pickles" think it's kind of fun to smash lots of egg shells with their hands.

We didn't turn them into a powder, but they were pretty finely crushed by the time we were done.

A sprinkle of shells in the bottom of the planting hole and then plant as usual...

Even though I have all my tomato plants in the ground now, I'll continue to save the shells. They'll give me a head start on next year and I'll have them if I find another use for them.

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