I like to compost and recycle as much as I can in the garden, and one of the things I decided to recycle are eggshells.
At first, I thought I’d put them to use, crushed, as snail deterrents, but on some research, heard that they are not really effective. Snails secrete a special slime that they “pave their way” with – should I say glide upon? Well, whatever the case, they are able to move fairly easily over crushed eggshells and other dry and poky surfaces. Snails are sneaky things!
My next option was to use the eggshells as a soil amendment. Eggshells comprise around 96% calcium carbonate crystals bound together by proteins, so using them is a great way to add calcium to compost. And that’s what we did.
The first thing to do with the eggshells is to rinse the insides so there’s nothing that will attract ants and other insects. I usually accumulate them on a ledge where they can dry out in the sun and wait until we’re ready to use them.
The next thing is to prepare to add them to compost. Some people throw them in as they are, but if you’ve ever seen a person poke through their ageing compost pile, you’ll see that the eggshells take quite a while to break down. So, some folks crush the eggshells by blitzing them in a blender or some such gadget.
I decided to go old school and use a mortar and pestle. This gave me a combination of small pieces of eggshells as well as a very fine powder that I think is perfect to toss into the compost pile. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
If you don’t want to compost the ground up eggshells, you can also sprinkle and dig them into the earth around tomato and pepper plants, which need more calcium.
Isn’t it great to recycle things in such a useful way? Yes, you can use them in various ornamental ways, but what’s more useful than feeding your plants?