I teach gardening workshops several times a year with my friend, Katie, from Riddlelove. We love teaching together, and we both always walk away with new tidbits that we learned from each other. Last fall, she mentioned eggshell powder. I had never heard of it before. Basically, eggshells are an amazing source of calcium. You can use them for all sorts of things, but if you grind them up into powder, you can add them to plants in your garden or even potted plants inside.
The powder is especially useful for tomato and pepper plants that often become calcium deficient. If you’ve ever seen end rot on a tomato, you will know what I’m talking about. It’s not a disease but instead an inbalance of calcium in the plant. It can also happen in cucumbers, melons, and squashes. The ends of the fruit are rotten. One way to solve this is to put eggshell powder around each of these plants.
How To Make the Powder
I save all my eggshells in a bowl. I used to save them in the fridge, but it took up too much space. Now, I just have a large bowl in a drawer that we throw our eggshells into. We don’t rinse them out. You could, but you don’t have to. After the bowl is full, I place all the egg shells on a baking sheet. I usually do this when I am using the oven for another purpose as well. I’ll put the eggshells in the over for just a few minutes to dry them out. It really doesn’t matter what temperature the oven is on. You just want to make sure the eggshells are good and dry.
Once they are dry, put them in the blender and grind them to a fine powder. I then transfer them to a glass mason jar. Be careful to not inhale the powder. It won’t hurt you, but it will make you cough. I leave the lid off the jar to let the powder cool. Sometimes, my Vitamix blender heats up the powder a bit so I want to make sure it is completely cool before I put the lid on. I then store it in my cabinet until the spring when I need it.
I do this all year long and end up saving up several jars full of powder throughout the year. It should keep fine as long as it’s dry and room temperature when you seal the lid. I accidently put a lid on a jar before the powder had cooled. When I opened it later, the powder had gone rancid.
If you are using it in your garden, it is simple. Just add it to the plants that could use some calcium. Sprinkle it around the base of the plant or when you are transplanting seedlings, put some in the hole you put the seedling in. Calcium can be added all throughout the growing season, because it is a slow release fertilizer.
There are also a ton of non-garden related uses for eggshell powder. Have fun looking on Google or Pinterest for other ideas such as face mask powder, DIY sidewalk chalk, food additive for extra calcium, etc.
I, personally, don’t wash my egg shells so I only use the powder for my garden. If I was wanting to use my eggshell powder for face mask or something like that, then I’d rinse my eggs before cracking them so I’d know the shells were nice and clean.
Have fun playing with egg shell powder! It’s a great way to reduce trash (no more throwing away egg shells) and a productive way to add calcium to your garden.
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