Gardeners and vegetable growers are increasingly looking for alternatives to mineral fertilizers when growing vegetables and fruits. Tough conditions and increasingly frequent allergic diseases are forcing homestead plot owners to use natural methods to improve soil fertility.
In fact, nature can take care of itself and therefore has a whole range of tools that, if handled skillfully, will increase yields and improve the flavor of the fruit. The most valuable source of elements needed for fertility – eggshells.
What are its benefits and ways to use eggshells in gardens and nurseries, which we will discuss in this article?
EGGSHELLS – CHEMICAL COMPOSITION
The main chemical element in eggshells is calcium carbonate. The main one, but not the only one. In addition to calcium, shells contain various organic substances, phosphorus, fluorine, copper, iron, and many other elements (27 in total).
Very often, shells are used as a natural source of calcium. And not without reason, because this substance is synthesized in poultry, resulting in the output of inorganic calcium. Therefore, it is much better to use eggshells as a source of calcium than chalk.
EGGSHELLS READY FOR USE IN THE GARDEN
Poultry eggshells are best suited for use as fertilizer. Chickens raised in the wild receive not only adequate nutrition but also sunbathing and eggs, so eggshells have a complete set of nutrients.
Eggshells from factory farms, although they can be a little worse, are also very suitable for use in beds. Also, the shells of raw eggs are best because some valuable substances decay during the cooking process. There is one more nuance – brown eggshells contain more trace elements than white eggshells.
The shells should be washed and dried before use. This is especially true for raw eggs, where it is necessary to remove the inner membrane when washing the eggs. Drying does not require the use of heating equipment – the shells will be safely dried at normal room temperature.
To use the eggshells as fertilizer, you must grind them into a powder. The finer the eggshells are ground, the better – only then will they quickly impart all their useful properties to the soil.
Grinding the shells can be done in different ways – with a mortar, blender, grinder, grinder, or with a rolling pin, rolling the shells between two layers of tarpaulin. The resulting fine powder is best kept in a glass jar with an airtight lid before use.
USING EGGSHELLS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
When planting young seedlings in the ground, make wells of eggshells in powder form. In the prepared hole, pour a handful of eggshells and spray it on the wall. Tomatoes and bell peppers respond very well to such a seasoning. Many varieties of these plants are susceptible to root tip rot in the presence of calcium deficiency.
All types of cabbage, eggplant, and squash will also appreciate the addition of eggshells to the soil. When sowing onions, spinach, lettuce, and beets, sprinkle the powder in the furrows of the bed.
Not all crops like alkaline soil, and since eggshells deoxygenate the soil like chalk, the powder should not be made under beans, strawberries, cucumbers, zucchini, and other squash.
EGGSHELLS FOR PEST AND DISEASE RESISTANCE
Eggshells not only enrich the soil with useful elements but also help fight pests and diseases. When planting cabbage, the powder extracted from the shells prevents the appearance, an unpleasant disease.
Experienced gardeners use coarsely ground eggshells in the control of slugs. To do this, the powder with coarse grains is mixed with 1/1 wood ash and sprinkled between the rows. This becomes an insurmountable obstacle not only for slugs but also for other soil pests.
When picking seedlings, established gardeners powder the seedlings with eggshell powder. Such a measure prevents the plant from developing black legs.
Large pieces of eggshells are placed in the holes when planting and serve to protect the plants from moles.
OTHER WAYS TO USE EGGSHELLS TO PROMOTE PLANT HEALTH
Infusing eggshells to water seedlings and houseplants
Infusion of eggshells is often used to feed seedlings and houseplants. To prepare the liquid fertilizer, pour 5 tablespoons of eggshell powder into 1 liter of boiling water. The mixture is cooled and left to steep in a dark place for 5 days, shaking the container occasionally. There will be an unpleasant smell of hydrogen sulfide during the infusion, but there is nothing you can do about it – eggs are like that.
The resulting infusion can be used to water the shoots of vegetables, flowers, and houseplants. Fertilization is done once a month, alternating with other types of fertilizers.
Amateur flower growers use eggshells as a drainage agent. For this purpose, when planting or transplanting houseplants, a layer of eggshells is laid on the bottom of the pot. For this purpose, the eggshells are not crushed, but simply broken into large pieces of 0.6-0.8inch (1.5-2cm) in size.
Containers for seedlings
Recently, many people have been using eggshells to grow seedlings. To obtain a cup, raw eggs are not split in half and a portion of the shell is carefully removed from their top to form a lid. The eggs are poured out and the shells are washed and dried. The dried shells are placed in a container and filled with soil, in which they are sown.
The shells are convenient for later use – grown seedlings can be planted with the shells in pots or in the open ground. It is enough to crush it a little so that the roots can grow without unnecessary obstacles.
Soil deoxygenation in eggshells
For soil deoxygenation and fertilization, once every 2-3 years (depending on the acidity of the soil), the eggshell powder is sprinkled on the beds dug in autumn at a rate of 1 cup per 1 square meter. The process of releasing nutrients is not rapid, so such activities should be carried out earlier.
Improvement of soil structure
In addition to increasing fertility, the coarse ground powder can also improve soil structure. Due to the long decomposition process of shells, their effect as a soil loosening agent will work for several years.
To enrich the compost pile, the shells on the ground are placed in the compost.
Eggshell is our indispensable free helper in the plot. It is not difficult to prepare it and it will bring many benefits. Fertilizer, soil loosener, means of pest control. These are the main ways of using eggshells.
If you use it to improve soil fertility, please share your experience in the comments of the article.