Gardening with Eggshells

TEG Project Manager

Garden Addicted
Jul 9, 2012
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Gardening with Eggshells

How do you dispose of all those eggshells that you have lying around? In most cases, eggshells can be repurposed - especially if you keep a garden. In fact, eggshells can be used in your garden in a lot of ways.

1. Fertilizing​

Eggshells contain a number of nutrients that can be used to benefit your garden.

Among the most important nutrients is calcium.

You can use eggshells in your garden just like lime because eggshells are so high in calcium. It takes about 150 eggshells per cup of powder to make a noticeable difference.

In addition to calcium, eggshells can provide other nutrients to the soil. Grinding eggshells into a powder and then adding them to the planting hole is the best way to add them. They can also be added to compost tea and applied that way.

Repotting or transplanting plants? Use this as a nutrition booster. Plants can benefit from the use of eggshells, but those susceptible to bloom end rot (a calcium deficiency disorder) will benefit the most (e.g, eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers.)

2. Seed Starting​

Eggshells are often used for seedlings as pots. It will be easier to transplant fragile seedlings without having to pull fragile roots from the shell, which is usually a problem with transplanting tender seedlings. The entire thing can instead be planted whole in the garden.

If you're going to do this, make sure you use deep, large eggshells. To give them extra support, you can place them in a cardboard egg carton. If you are inserting them into a carton, make sure a hole is punched in the bottom with a nail before putting them in.

Gardening with Eggshells

3. As Pest Control​

Eggshells are said to provide protection from certain pests, such as slugs, cutworms, and snails.

Apparently, these kinds of pests don't like to slide across anything sharp because they have soft underbellies. The method would probably function the same as diatomaceous earth, another proven method of repelling pests.

Eggshells are also thought to be unappealing to deer. Similarly, rodents enjoy them, so keep that in mind.

4. Mulch​

The process of forming a thick layer of eggshell mulch is time-consuming, but I commend you if you're willing to put in the effort! In addition to looking attractive, eggshell mulch can also keep moisture in the ground and discourage weeds.

5. Compost​

Alternatively, you can just add eggshells to the compost pile if you don't feel like using them in any of the other ways. Although they can be added whole, grinding them will speed up their decomposition.

6. Feed Back to Chickens​

You can feed eggshells to any kind of bird, but your chickens will benefit most from the nutrient boost. It makes sense to offer eggshells to hens since they need extra calcium. Ensure that they are ground up first so that they don't recognize them. Otherwise, your chickens might start consuming their own eggs!

7. Feline Deterrent​

A neighborhood stray cat can be a real pain to have in your garden. It's not only unpleasant to find cat feces in the garden, but it can also be dangerous since cat feces are the most common way for toxoplasmosis to spread.

Putting eggshells in your garden can keep cats away, however, since they don't like them.

Preparing Eggshells for the Garden​

Eggshells should not be used in the garden unless they have been properly prepared. Uncracked, washed eggs have a low chance of carrying salmonella, but it still can occur.

Place eggshells on a cookie sheet if you plan to crush or grind them. Bake them at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. If you want to store the shells in an airtight container, pulverize them first in a mortar and pestle. In this way, there will be no odor or spoilage.

In the garden, how else do you utilize eggshells? Do tell.


Garden Master
Oct 15, 2017
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mid-Michigan, USoA
In the garden, how else do you utilize eggshells? Do tell.

i crush them up somewhat after i've dried them out, but i don't bake them. after crushing them up i put some in the worm buckets as i'm putting in other food scraps. since this is my primary fertilizer for the most nutrient hungry plants i grow (tomatoes, onions and red peppers) i put it out in the gardens once a year during me planting out of the starts. after that season is done then i will plant 2nd and 3rd year other crops to rotate through those nutrients so a little goes a long ways. when i am doing garden tasks in future years in those gardens then it gradually gets mixed and spread out more and what is amazing to me is that the worm compost i've added can still be found years later as a noticeable dark and humus laden area. sometimes the eggshell bits remain visible too. i don't want to grind them too fine as then they might wash away a lot easier. the worms might eventually take small pieces into their gizzards and then they will get ground up there.


Garden Addicted
Jun 26, 2021
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Schleiden, Germany USDA 8a
I used to bake and crush them; otherwise, they would remain the shape for years.

So, the crushed eggshells either went to the chickens or the compost heap. :D