I just love turning trash into treasure, don't you?
What a thrill to turn waste into something valuable! It makes me feel smart, thrifty and resourceful.
Today, I will share an easy, free way to nourish your garden plants and help them thrive. And guess what? You probably have everything you need already.
The magic ingredient is: EGG SHELLS.
Yes, those lovely, wonderful, valuable shells that you have been throwing in the trash make a fantastic natural fertilizer.
STOP!!! Don't throw them out anymore!
Why Use Egg Shells
Egg shells are a great source of calcium, which is essential for optimal plant growth. Many plants need a little extra calcium to really thrive, such as:
- Collard Greens
Preventing Blossom End Rot
If you have ever grown tomatoes, you may have struggled with a problem called "Blossom End Rot". You'll notice it primary after periods of heavy rainfall. The fruit will look perfect, except for an ugly black, rotten spot on the bottom ("blossom end") of the tomato.
Adding calcium to the soil can help alleviate Blossom End Rot, as the calcium helps to regulate the plant's water intake.
Nobody has figured out exactly what causes Blossom End Rot or how to completely prevent it, but consistent watering and added calcium seems to be the best solution.
DIY Calcium Fertilizer Instructions
Here's how to make the fertilizer. Easy, peasy!
1. COLLECT THE SHELLS
- I keep a bowl near the stove and throw all the egg shells in there (ummm... this bowl got a little full...).
- They do not need to be washed out, but you certainly can. As you can see from the photo below, I don't wash mine, mostly because I am much too lazy ( I also do not wash the gunk/feathers off our fresh eggs before using them!).
2. DRY THE SHELLS.
- Place the shells in the sunshine for a day or two. OR....
- Bake the egg shells in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, until nice and crispy.
3. GRIND THE SHELLS.
- Place dried egg shells in a blender or food processer and grind until powdery. A few larger pieces is ok.
- Alternatively, they could be crushed by hand - with a mortar and pestle, or placed in a Ziploc bag and rolled over with a rolling pin.
4. STORE THE POWDERED SHELLS.
- Place the powder in jars or buckets and set aside until planting time!
Using Your Fertilizer
At planting time, simply sprinkle the powdered egg shells in the planting hole (about a tbsp. or so), place your plant in the hole and water thoroughly. Done!
If you are looking to purchase plants for your vegetable garden, be sure to check out our selection of heirloom vegetable plants, lovingly raised right on our farm. It the perfect way to bring home part of Three Acre Farm!
Trash to Treasure
Now that you know the secret to turning trash into treasure:
- Be sure to spread the word!
- Share this post to your DIY friends.
- Ask your friends and family to save their eggshells for you.
I'd love hear what you are planting this year and if you've had problems you need help with. I'm here for you.
Bring on the questions!