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How to prepare eggshells for the garden

If you’re here then you want to use your eggshells in your garden. This is a topic that people feel strongly about. Some will say you must clean eggshells and others with say there is no need. So as with anything on the internet, I will give you some information and then you can make up your own mind. Then you do you.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

If you are looking for ways to use the eggshells in your garden you should check out my post on 3 Ways to use eggshells in the garden (and 3 myths). It should give you some ideas about what you should and shouldn’t do. But before we can get to using them we need to prepare them properly! So let’s get this show on the road.

Fresh duck eggs

I wanted to take this opportunity to show off these gorgeous duck eggs that I got from my friend Teresa over at The Sheltered Valley – Home for wayward animals. Why am I sharing them? Well, #1 the are gorgeous and #2 they make up some of the eggshells I am preparing to use in my garden so it seemed relevant. Did I mention she has donkeys? This is Christopher and he was my favourite (just don’t tell the other donkeys).

Christopher the donkey
Christopher the donkey

His nose feels like velvet and he is adorable. Anyway back to eggshells! I saved mine up in a very large mason jar. See how some of them are all crushed? Yeah, don’t do that. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that sh*t. Keeping the shells as whole as possible. It makes the whole process waaaay easier!

Eggshells in mason jar

Also, I would suggest giving them a quick rinse before popping them in the jar. This helps to remove as much of the albumen (the clear stuff that turns in to the whites when cooked) as possible. So in the spirit of full disclosure, I packed mine so tight in the mason jar that it was damn near impossible to get them out. On top of that, they were all crushed up in little pieces. I then had the bright idea (insert lots of sarcasm here) to put them in a big pot to wash them.

Eggshells on cutting board

Again…unless you are in the position that you current have said jam packed jar of eggshells skip the washing step. Fishing out loads of eggshell pieces and then trying to get them somewhat dry was a nightmare. This is why I suggest giving the eggshells a quick rinse before popping them in the jar.

Drying eggshells in the oven

The next step is to lay them out on a lined cookie sheet. Then they can go into the oven at 200F for about 30 minutes. Essentially we are trying to kill off any of the salmonellae that may be lurking on the eggshells. Once the time is up move the eggshells to a large bowl.

Crushed eggshells in bowl

At this point, you need to crush them as much as possible. Then you can either move them to a mortar and pestle or put them in your food processor. The key is to get them as small as possible. I used my NutriBullet and it worked amazing! This is important regardless of whether you are using them directly in the garden or adding them to your vermicomposting setup.

Powdered eggshells

Once they are ground into a powder you are done. You can now use them in any of these 3 ways to use eggshells in the garden.

Happy gardening!

2 Comments

  • Martine Tomczyk
    September 22, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for your researched help – much appreciated. I used a Ninja (similar to a NutriBullet) and found that the eggshells seriously scratched the plastic lid after a few times. I found a Coffee / Nut grinder survives the process well. The Mortar and Pestle wears me out at the rate I eat eggs.
    Do you think washing out shells and letting them sit in the sun for a few days will suffice?

    Reply
    • Kir
      November 10, 2020 at 12:55 am

      Hi Martine,

      Sorry for the delay in responding! I haven’t noticed any scratches in mine, but then I also have one NutriBullet container just for eggshells. The coffee grinder would work too, just may take a bit longer unless you have a large one. A mortar and pestle would be a good workout though! You could leave them out in the sun if you want, it can be good at killing certain viruses. I would point out that this is an optional step and there are lots of people that will just crush them up. I just like to air on the side of caution which is why I pop them in the oven quickly. 🙂

      Thanks,
      Kir

      Reply

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