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Are Eggshells Really Beneficial in the Garden?



Since spring, I have been collecting eggshells. My family doesn't eat eggs much, and that mostly has to do with me. I only like deviled eggs or hard-boiled eggs. I don't even like to eat them that much. The males in my family mostly like scrambled eggs. Anytime I make them, I have to also make myself an alternative to eat, and this is why we don't eat eggs much.


It took me some time to get to a point that I had enough eggshells to fill up the plate above. My great uncle Lindbergh swore by placing eggshells in the garden around his tomatoes and pepper plants. However, gardeners do not all agree about the potential benefits.


I went ahead and placed my eggshells into a plastic bag and crushed them down. I also placed paper towels over the bag as I was crushing the eggs so I wouldn't feel the sharp edges. Later, I spread them around my pepper and tomato plants.





I still wondered if this was even worth doing. Afterward, I searched the internet, and I found articles for and against eggshells. The biggest con was that it takes time for the eggshells to decompose. If the eggshells are not decomposing, then the plant is not receiving the nutrients from the eggshells. Grounding down the eggshells into a powder was the most common recommendation from gardeners who follow this practice.


The article I liked the most was from the Illinois Extension. Most people know I am an educator, so I was trying to find a more reputable source. In the article, "Using Eggshells in the Garden and Compost" the author shared "The Alabama study (Mitchell, 2005) revealed the coarsely ground eggshells 'were not much better than nothing at all.' However, the finely ground eggshells performed just as well as the pure calcium, both also outperformed the agriculture lime." Essentially the author means that using eggshells is better than using nothing at all, but the eggshells are only effective if it is ground down as powder.


My eggshells will not be effective this year. I'm okay with that. At least I learned something from this research. Since you read this blog post, you now know too.







Remember, anyone can be a gardener. You just need to get ready, get set, and grow!

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