Using Eggshells To Start Seeds For Your Garden

by Meghan H

Published January 25, 2019

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Starting seeds in an eggshell doesn’t have to be another Pinterest pin and forget it. It’s an easy and very practical method of starting seeds for us chicken keepers. You probably already have everything you need on hand.

Why would I want to use eggshells to start my seeds?

  • Compostable – eggshells are completely compostable and will break down in the soil and feed your plants.
  • Fertilizer – as the eggshells breakdown in your soil, they are providing your plants with a usable and natural source of calcium. No fertilizer needed!
  • Easy – No transplanting necessary. You don’t have to remove your starts from this starting pot, simply plant the shell into a bigger container, or into the ground if the weather is right.
  • Green/thrifty – Nothing extra to buy from the store and no packaging waste for the landfill.

What type of plants are good to start in eggshells?

  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Herbs
  • Flowers
eggshells from chicks that hatched Meyer Hatchery

What supplies do I need?

  • Eggshells, at least half of the shell intact, rinsed
  • Egg carton as a tray to hold your eggshells – if you have a clear plastic egg carton, this can double as a mini greenhouse.
  • Potting soil or seed starting mix, moistened
  • Seeds
  • Exacto knife (if you want to put in drain holes)
  • Water bottle for misting/watering your seeds
Soil in eggshells using eggshells to start seeds on your homestead Meyer Hatchery

How to start seeds in eggshells

  1. I saved back eggshells from breakfast a couple of days in a row, cracked, rinsed, and laid out on a piece of newspaper to dry.
  2. Next, if you are putting in drain holes, I would recommend doing that now before adding soil. Use your exacto knife like a “drill,” carefully rotating the blade tip around in the same spot to make the holes. This works best with a brand new blade.
  3. Estimate amount of soil needed and mix with water to moisten. Don’t make it soggy. Spoon the dirt into eggshells.
  4. Plant seeds. Don’t put them in too deep, just below the soil and carefully cover up.
  5. Put them in a sunny window.
  6. Don’t let the top dry out – mist every couple of days.
  7. Wait for the magic to happen.
  8. Once your plants sprout, transfer them shell and all into a larger pot. The eggshell will decompose and feed the plants.

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