Sunday, 27 October 2013

Egg shell fertiliser powder

The next time you crack a few eggs to make breakfast or a baked good, don't toss away the shells. You can crush eggshells and add them directly to the soil in your garden. If you garden, the nutrients found in eggshells provide a source of fertilizer for your plants. Eggshells are primarily made out of calcium carbonate, as well as very small amounts of phosphorus, magnesium and sodium. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, when you use eggshells in your garden you don’t have to worry about going overboard. Keep in mind that eggshells alone won't provide adequate nutrition for plants.

Instructions for egg shell fertiliser powder:
1. After cooking your eggs gather up the broken eggshells. Wash and dry the shells to remove any egg residue. Then put them back into the carton and store it in a dry cool place (the top of the pantry). Collect shells for a month or until you have a few cartons worth, so that you have an adequate supply at planting time.
2. Place 6 shells into a food processor.
I add 500ml or 2 cups of water to help the blender mix it all up.
 Blend until a powder forms.
3. Once the first 6 eggshells are powder, add the next 6 shells into the blender.
Repeat the process until you have crushed all of your eggshells.
4. You may have a bit of froth on the top of the mixture from the egg white particles. When you drain the mixture, catch the liquid and froth in a container and use it as a liquid fertiliser for your plants.  
Pour the egg shell mixture into a sieve and let the water drain away.
5. Let it dry overnight and then you are ready!
6. Stir the powdered shells into the soil or potting mix just before planting. You can use up to five shells per plant. You can also sprinkle a handful of shells into the planting hole before you set a plant root ball in it.
Here are 2 photos of how to use the eggshell fertiliser before I watered it into the soil. One is around a tree and the other is my pumpkins in the vegetable patch.
I sprinkled it lightly all over my vegie patch. However do not add it to potatoes, blueberries and tomatoes as they like a lower pH soil level.

Plants need calcium to thrive. Calcium helps the plants develop a strong cellular structure. Calcium deficiency is visible in young plants, because the leaves are twisted or have black spots. An additional benefit of eggshells in the garden is that larger shells pieces help deter slugs. The sharp edges of the shells irritate the soft bodies of the slugs.
Egg concentrate for plants: While I don’t make the tea, I do use the water I cook eggs in for the garden. To make an eggshell fertilizer tea to use in your garden, boil a pot of water and add 10 clean and dry eggshells to it. For a stronger brew, add the up to 20 eggs shells. Let the shells sit in the water overnight and then strain the water. Pour the concentrate directly onto the soil to give plants a boost of calcium and potassium.

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