Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Recycle Eggshells in Gardening Activities

An eggshell is the exterior covering of an egg. The U.S. food industry accumulates 150,000 tons of eggshell waste every year. Chicken eggshells, which are the primary type of eggshell waste accounted for, are made up of 93 to 97 percent calcium carbonate, in addition to calcium, nitrogen and phosphoric acid. These nutrients make eggshells an ideal choice for garden use. Use these tips to reduce waste and benefit your garden by recycling eggshells in gardening activities.

1-Recycle eggshells to grow seedlings. Eggshells can be used to grow small seedlings indoors. When the seedling is ready to be planted outside, place the shell and seedling directly in the ground. The eggshell will decompose over time and help fertilize the soil.
  • Use large eggshells to start seeds indoors.
  • Poke pin holes in the bottom of half an egg shell.
  • Fill the eggshell half with soil.
  • Place a seed in the soil and cover lightly with soil.
  • Write on the eggshell the type of plant the seedling is. Use a pencil or permanent marker to write on the eggshell.
  • Store the eggshell seedling in an egg carton and place it in a windowsill. Water the seedling as needed.
  • Plant the seedling in the ground when the first set of leaves appear. Lightly crush the egg shell with your hand, and place the eggshell and seedling directly into the ground.
2-Use eggshells to improve compost. Gardeners frequently add lime to compost to correct acidity problems in garden soil. Lime is made up of calcium carbonate, which is the main nutrient in eggshells. Rather than purchase lime, recycle eggshells to amend compost.
Crush eggshells and add them directly to the compost. To increase the decomposition time, dry the eggshells in an oven and grind them using a blender before adding them to the compost.

3-Recycle eggshells as fertilizer for the garden. Eggshells contain calcium, phosphorus, sulfur and potassium, which help make plants healthy.
  • Rinse eggshells. Allow the eggshells to dry, and place them in a bowl or large container.
  • Grind the eggshells using a pestle, which is a hand-held tool used for mashing or grinding substances. If you do not have a pestle, grind the eggshells in a blender. The smaller the eggshell pieces, the faster they will break down in the soil.
  • Add the shells to your garden and mix them into the soil.

4-Add eggshells to the bottom of garden containers and pots. The eggshells will add calcium to the soil in the containers, provide drainage and deter cutworms and slugs.
Place crushed eggshells in the bottom of empty pots before adding soil. Do not grind the eggshells, but crush them by hand so the shells are in pieces.

5-Use recycled eggshells to deter snails and slugs. The abrasive, sharp edges of the eggshells keep snails and slugs from crossing the shells to get to the plants.
  • Crush eggshells into pieces. Do not grind the shells, but crush the shells by hand. The shells should have sharp, rough edges.
  • Scatter the crushed eggshells around plants affected by snails or slugs. For best results, place the eggshells in a circular pattern around the plants.

6-Create egg heads with grass hair. Egg heads are a fun and creative recycling activity for children.
Use large eggshells to make egg heads.
Crack eggs in half and rinse the eggshells. Allow the eggshells to dry.

  • Draw a face on each eggshell using permanent markers or colored pencils. The faces can be funny or resemble characters or animals, such as one-eyed monsters or farm animals.
  • Fill the eggshell with soil and place grass seeds in the soil.
  • Create a stand for the eggshell. Cut a small strip of cardstock paper. Tape the ends of the paper together so it creates a circular stand for the eggshell. Be sure the strip isn't so wide that it obstructs the view of face on the eggshell.
  • Place the eggshell in the stand on a windowsill. Water as needed.
  • Wait for the grass to grow. The eggshell will begin to grow grass, which will resemble green hair. The growth rate for the grass depends on the type of grass seed, but typically begins between 4 and 7 days. Children may cut the grass for a shorter "hairstyle" or allow it grow long to resemble long spikes of hair.

No comments:

Post a Comment