How Eggshells Can Improve Your Garden

Broken Eggshells on a White Plate
Tim Grist Photography / Getty Images

If you eat a lot of eggs, you naturally end up with an abundance of eggshells. Instead of throwing them in the trash or down the disposal, you can make good use of them in your garden. Rinse them out and allow them to dry, then crush or powder them, and use them for a variety of purposes. They become a no-cost fertilizer, pest deterrent, cat deterrent, pots for seeds, or chicken feed supplement. And eggshells make a great addition to the compost pile

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    Egg-shell mulch protects edible planting
    L Alfonse / Getty Images

    Prevent blossom end rot by fertilizing your tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants with eggshells. The plants absorb the calcium from the eggshells and grow mostly problem-free. For maximum effect, sprinkle eggshells into each hole before planting. Then sprinkle additional shells around the base of your plants every two weeks.

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    Garden Pest Deterrent

    Garden snail on a plant
    Auscape / Getty Images

    Slugs, snails, and cutworms can do serious damage to your garden. You can protect your plants from these pests by spreading crushed eggshells around your garden. The jagged edges will do a number on the soft bodies of these pests if they try to cross them.

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    Cat Deterrent

    Prowling Outdoor Cat
    Hans Pama

    If a neighborhood cat thinks your garden is his own personal litter box, you need to engage in a little dissuasion. Cats have an aversion to eggshells, and they will keep any wandering kitties out of your garden beds. Just scatter eggshells in the areas that the cats frequent, and after stepping on those shells a few times, they'll decide some other garden is preferable to yours.

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    Making compost from leftovers
    svetikd / Getty Images

    Eggshells are the perfect candidate for composting. They break down quickly, and they add a nice dose of calcium to the soil. Just make sure the shells are dry before you add them to the pile so you don't attract any unwanted critters. If you have a worm compost bin, adding eggshells is a great way to maintain the proper pH level.

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    Seed Pots

    seedling plants in eggshells, eco gardening, montessori, education, reuse concept
    ThitareeSarmkasat / Getty Images

    You don't need to spend money on small pots to start seeds in the spring. Just fill half an eggshell with a tiny bit of potting soil, drop a seed in, and sprinkle with water. If you save your egg cartons, you'll have the perfect container to hold your seed starts until they're ready to plant.

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    Chicken Feed Supplement

    Chickens as pest control in the garden

    Angela England

    If you're one of the many homeowners who keep chickens in their backyard, you want to keep your hens healthy. Hens need plenty of calcium to lay thick-shelled eggs. Add crushed or powdered eggshells to their regular feed to help them get the nutrients that they need. Just don't feed them whole shells; that might make them develop a taste for the ones in their nesting boxes.

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  1. Eggshells in the Garden. University of Illinois Extension Website