Proper Methods for Using Eggs and Egg Shells in the Garden
Gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers alike know that the key to a vibrant garden lies in the nutrients it receives. Among the vast array of natural fertilisers, eggs and eggshells are significant. So let’s delve into the proper methods for using eggs and eggshells in your garden to enrich your plants and bolster your gardening prowess.
Why Eggs and Egg Shells?
Eggs and eggshells provide a rich source of calcium and other vital nutrients needed for plant growth. In addition, when used correctly, they can act as an excellent, eco-friendly fertiliser that enhances soil fertility and plant health.
The Nutritional Value of Eggs and Egg Shells
Eggshells are about 95% calcium carbonate, a mineral crucial for plant cell growth. The remaining 5% comprises magnesium, potassium, and other trace elements beneficial for plants. In addition, the egg itself, specifically the egg yolk and egg white, carries protein, vitamins, and minerals, which decompose to form a nutrient-rich compost.
How to Use Egg Shells in the Garden
Egg Shell Powder
One of the most effective ways to use eggshells is to grind them into a fine powder. This powder can be mixed directly into the soil, providing a slow-release calcium supplement that will support your plants’ growth over time. I recommend baking the eggs before pulverising, as it allows for a faster breakdown and release of the nutrients. Just throw the eggshells on a pan and put them in the oven after you have baked something and turned the oven off. The residual heat should bake them just about right.
Egg Shell Mulch
Crushed eggshells can serve as a fantastic mulch. Spread them around the base of your plants to deter pests and add nutrients to the soil as they break down.
Eggshells can be the perfect biodegradable seed starters. Fill half an eggshell with soil, plant your seed, and watch it sprout. Once it’s ready, you can plant the whole thing directly into your garden.
Incorporating Eggs into Your Garden
Adding eggs to your compost pile is a fantastic way to recycle nutrients. Over time, they’ll break down and contribute to a nutrient-dense compost.
You can also bury whole eggs or eggshells directly into the soil. As they decompose, they will provide a beneficial nutrient boost to your plants.
The Impact of Eggs and Eggshells on Soil pH
Eggshells can also help to adjust the soil pH level. Though they are not a quick fix, over time, they can help reduce acidity in your garden soil, making it more hospitable for various plants.
Nutrient Components of Eggs
Protein: Eggs are a rich source of protein. As the protein breaks down in the compost, it transforms into amino acids, the building blocks for proteins in plants. These amino acids are crucial for plant growth and development, aiding in photosynthesis and nutrient uptake.
Calcium: This mineral, abundant in eggshells, is essential for developing strong cell walls in plants. Calcium deficiency in plants can lead to disorders like blossom end rot in tomatoes and bell peppers.
Potassium: Found in small amounts in eggs, potassium plays a vital role in regulating plant functions such as water balance, enzyme activity, and photosynthesis. It promotes overall plant health and disease resistance.
Phosphorus: Another nutrient found in eggs, phosphorus is vital to energy transfer and plant storage. It also aids in photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, and transforming solar energy into chemical energy.
Magnesium: In eggshells, magnesium is the central atom in the chlorophyll molecule, making it a vital element for photosynthesis. It also aids in plant respiration and is the activator for many plant enzymes.
Sulphur: This nutrient, found in eggs, is crucial for producing vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes in plants. It also helps form plant proteins and promotes vigorous plant growth.
Zinc: Zinc is a trace element found in eggs. It’s necessary for the synthesis of proteins and the regulation of growth in plants. It also plays a role in the production of growth hormones.
Composting eggs or incorporating them directly into your garden soil can provide your plants with these valuable nutrients. Over time, this practice can lead to healthier, more robust plant growth and a more productive vegetable yield.
In conclusion, using eggs and eggshells in your garden is a beneficial practice that every gardener should consider. It’s an effective way to recycle kitchen waste and a fantastic method to provide your plants with the essential nutrients they require to grow strong and healthy. But remember, it’s all in the application method, so ensure you use these natural fertilisers most effectively.
Seeds and planting
Links and Resources
(These are some of what I use)
mybackyard.ca Seeds Page
Get a Head Start on Spring: The Benefits of Starting Your Seeds Indoors
Saving Vegetable Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening Success
myBackyard.ca Planting Guide
Pollock Tomatoes (North hardy Tomato variety)
Tomatoes (Useful information on starting tomatoes from seed)
Individual seed and plant information is available in the "Gardening Shortcut Links" above under "North Hardy Plants to grow". I have successfully grown all of these, and most I grow year to year.
myBackyard is for recreational purposes only. Plants, mushrooms and berries cannot be 100% identified through this website alone. It is up to the reader to properly identify plants, fungi and trees. Some wild plants, berries and mushrooms are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. Even those listed as edible may cause adverse reactions in individuals.
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