Myth Busting an Old Wives Tale of Eggshell Benefits

Even though I belong to this massive tech industry by profession, I have an insatiable hunger for plants.

In fancy terms, one might even say I have a “green obsession,” a healthy one. 

My socials always come under flood with plant feeds. I guess when you become a plant parent, the experience of pro-green thumbs rules over you.

Eggs with doodles
Eggs are rich in protein and are beneficial for humans. But does their eggshells benefits plant too?

Once I witnessed a discussion thread online where many debated whether eggshells were any good to plants.

I had not used eggshells before, so I chose not to side but listen. And later, I did my little research.

There were tons of benefits mentioned all over the internet, but only a few caught my mind.

Some of them were “crawling pest control, reduces soil acidity, seed starter tray, and blossom end rot prevention.”

I wanted to give it a whirl because, you know, it wouldn’t hurt if it were true. Also, eggshells always made it to the garbage can before.

That’s how my little experiment with eggshells began!

Phase I: Eggshell Collection

For almost a month, I collected eggshells in a bowl. To my surprise, it was lots of eggshells, but somehow I am still skinny.

During that course of the eggshell collection, I learned something fishy, which apparently solved some queries.

Those dirty eggshells with egg whites surprisingly acted as an open invitation to House flies and other pests.

By now, I  believe people claiming eggshells add more pests if used dirty and uncleaned eggs. 

After noticing this, I gave the eggshells a gentle rinse with warm water to clean off the egg white and left them to dry.

Meanwhile, the eggshells of boiled eggs didn’t need sanitation. I simply tossed the eggshells in a bowl and kept them in the fridge.

Phase II: Getting Eggshells Ready for Use

After a wholesome month of collecting, the time had come to crush those crumbly eggshells.

I had planned to use some eggshells as a seed germination tray, so only a handful survived my wrath. (>.<)

Before mashing the eggshells, I put on gloves and glasses so none of the flying eggshells had a chance of taking revenge.

With the help of a paper bag, I shredded them into smaller pieces. 

mortar and pestle
Little mortar could not crush the eggshells in large amounts on a large scale. So I needed to find some other ways.

Many suggest using a coffee grinder for best results, but I did not have one. So I ended up crushing eggshells with the help of a mortar and pestle.

Later that evening, I bought one mini coffee grinder and gave those eggshells a proper grinding until they turned into fine powder.

Phase III: Using Eggshells 

After all my hard work and patience, I had powdered eggshells ready to unveil the curtain for its benefits.

I carefully sprinkled the powdered eggshells on some plants in a circular fashion.

eggshell powder
You should be careful that eggshell powder must be dry.

While adding eggshells to one of my Tomatoes, I saw Japanese beetles having a buffet Party on my Rose again.

It was very infuriating to see them ruining my beautiful Roses. I immediately threw some eggshell powder over them.

Although I could not see powder perishing in excruciating pain, they did run off, leaving my plant alone.

Besides that, I also used some eggshells as mulch for some plants to test their effectiveness against crawlers.

As I mentioned earlier, I had saved some eggshells to use as a seed starter tray.

Eggshells for seed germination
Eggshells make an ideal seed germination tray.

I used those eggshells to germinate coffee seeds at home. It felt like killing two birds with one stone.

A few plants only got eggshell treatment, while I let others remain with the usual care so that I could gauge the difference.

Now, all I needed to do was to be patient and keep my eyes wide open on the plants for any impacts of eggshells.

Phase IV: My Observations & Results

Every weekend for almost seven months, I have been tending to my plants to analyze changes.

And finally, I conjured up the following results versus expectations.

1. Keeps Pests Away

Unfortunately, eggshells didn’t successfully keep my plants safe from crawling pests.

One evening I saw a slug walking over the eggshell mulch without discomfort. 

At least in my experience, eggshells failed miserably to keep pests like snails and slugs away from my plant.

Meanwhile, I observed my garden had become one of the finest dining places for birds.

Later, I learned that birds like to eat crushed eggshells, and they were taking away the mulched eggshells.

Even though eggshells failed to protect my plants, they satisfied someone else’s hunger.

2. Reduces Soil Acidity

Regarding the reduction of soil acidity, I obtained mixed results from the application of eggshells.

The soil with finely powdered eggshells had reduced soil acidity. But, the Aloe vera soil with eggshell mulch had no change in pH level.

After doing some intensive research, I found it had to do with the decomposition of eggshells.

The finely powdered eggshells decomposed faster, resulting in a reduction of acidity while increasing calcium.

eggshells as a mulch on aloe vera for its benefit
Eggshells as a mulch can add some bright color and may increase the soil porosity.

Meanwhile, the mulch eggshells hadn’t decomposed a bit and did not influence the soil.

Until and unless you use finely grounded eggshells, do not expect a sudden magical change in soil quality.

With that said, adding chunky eggshells helped increase the soil’s porosity while giving away a beautiful accent to the garden. 

3. Seed Starter Tray

I think eggshell as a seed starter is one of the most intriguing ideas of using eggshells I have ever heard of.

Although not all, some of my Coffee seeds did manage to germinate in those eggshells.

As soon as my Coffee seedlings developed firm roots, I transplanted the seedling by gently breaking the eggshell.

By that time, I knew eggshells wouldn’t decompose easily in a short time.

Keeping seedlings in eggshells for too long would mean root bound and no nutrients for seedlings to grow.

Nonetheless, germinating my Coffee seeds in the eggshells did look something interesting.

4. Blossom End Rot Prevention

Before you jump into my observation, you must know blossom end rot does not necessarily happen from calcium deficiency in the soil.

Abnormal calcium imbalance inside the plant causes blossom end rot.

Many professional gardeners suggest blossom end rot due to improper, inconsistent watering habits.

Now, returning to my observation, none of my Tomatoes suffered from blossom end rot.

eggshell powder spread over the plants
Calcium deficiency is not the only culprit behind blossom end rot.

I am unsure if I am fortunate they did not rot or unfortunate for being unable to get results for the experiment.

Therefore, if your plant soil has very low calcium content causing blossom end rot, finely powdered eggshells might help you cure it.

Phase V: Final Verdict

Despite many people dismissing the benefits of eggshells as an old wives’ tale and as useful as a tit on a bull, eggshells do influence soil.

They can bring magic if you crush and grind eggshells till they become very finely powdered ones.

Although eggshells did not live up to all of the benefits, they made my experiment fun and interesting.

Now, the decision is all yours whether your eggshells will make it to the garbage can or will make it to the garden.

If possible, let me know how the eggshells unfold in your gardening adventure in the comment box below.

Happy Gardening!!!

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