Since eggs – loaded with vitamins and minerals – are one of the healthiest sources protein on the planet, it should be no surprise that their shells can have many uses as well. The shell of a chicken’s egg is approximately 96% calcium carbonate; on a large industrial scale, eggs can be used for fertilizers or as a source of calcium in feed for animals, but in the average household they are usually just thrown in the trash. There are, however, some great things that eggshells can do around the house and six of them are listed below.
Adding eggshells to your composed pile is a great way to add calcium to the fertilizer you will soon be spreading in your garden. They decompose quickly, so you don’t have to bother to grind them up: it is okay to toss them in just as they are. Another way to use them is in the winter months, where you can distribute the eggshells over the area you intend to cultivate in the spring; till the shells under once the soil is warm and plant as usual.
If you have problems with snails or slugs in your garden, simply spring coarsely ground eggshells around the bases of the plants you wish to protect. The sharp edges of the shells will abrade the feet of snails or slug and deter them from crossing the barrier. After this treatment, you will usually find that they have migrated elsewhere.
Because they decompose quickly, egg shells make great seed starter pots. To prepare them, make sure that you open a small hole at the pointy end of the egg to remove the contents then clean the inside of the egg shells and poke small drainage holes at the bottom. You can put them back in the carton, fill with soil and plant your seeds. These “pots” can be planted directly into the soil once the seeds have germinated and will provide extra fertilizer.
In the spring, during nesting season, female birds need extra calcium. You can provide this by sterilizing egg shells (bake them at 125 degrees for about ten minutes until dry), then grinding them up and mixing them with birdseed or suet. You can then put this enriched feed out for the birds as you normally would.
If you have had problems with deer marauding in your garden at night and eating up your flowers and vegetables, trying scattering egg shells in the areas that they seem to be visiting the most. Deer are repelled by the smell of albumin (the protein in the eggs) and will tend to avoid those areas. Beware, though: sometimes these eggs can attract small mammals like rodents.
Finely-ground eggshells can also be quite a pretty addition to the garden and you can use them around the plants as an accent; not only will it deter pests and provide nutrients, it will improve the appearance of the garden, too.
So don’t toss those eggshells in the trash! There are plenty of uses for them in your yard that will give you a prettier, healthier garden and deter pests in the process.
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