Crushed eggshells may sound like the last thing you want to use around your plants, but they offer surprising benefits to a wide array of plants. Eggshells are a natural bi-product, and they're rich in nutrients that plants and soil need. Before tossing your eggshells in the garbage, save them for many uses around the garden.
Eggshells are comprised of 93 percent calcium carbonate and 1 percent nitrogen, along with other nutrients that soil needs. Many plants take calcium out of the soil during the growing process. Save your eggshells and dry them out in the oven light or natural sunlight. Crush the shells into a fine powder and spread them around the soil under vegetables, fruit trees and roses to create a natural, nutrient-rich mulch.
Eggshells are a natural pest repellent. Instead of grinding the shells into a fine powder, crush them loosely by hand and leave the sharp edges intact. Spread the shells around plants that are being attacked by snails and cutworms to deter these pests. The sharp eggshells protect broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and other plants that are attractive to snails and worms.
Eggplants, peppers, tomatoes and other plants are susceptible to blossom-end rot, which can be caused by calcium deficiency. These vegetables benefit from crushed eggshells placed directly in the soil around them. Eggshells replace depleted calcium in the soil to protect against this potentially deadly disease.
Many plants are damaged by frosts and cold weather, forcing gardeners to begin growing some plants indoors while they wait for conditions to improve. Eggshells are an inexpensive, easy alternative to pots. Instead of planting your seedlings in large, clay pots, use eggshells. Open the shells at the top and spill out the insides, then thoroughly rinse the shells and allow them to dry. Fill the shells with soil, drop a single seed inside, and you've got small, transportable pots for your seedlings. Once the plants are large enough to be transferred to the garden, simply plant them shell and all. The eggshells will break easily as roots begin to spread and grow, and as the shells break down in the soil they'll release much-needed nourishment to young plants.