The Cottage Smallholder

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Eggshell fertiliser for your roses and vegetables

eggshellsThe pile of eggshells on the top of the cooker after breaksfast this morning jangled a distant memory. My mother kept a pot beside the cooker for eggshells years ago. She just tossed them in without rinsing. I can see her now, pressing them down and still hear the satisfying crunch as the eggshells were crushed. The pot was quite big, about eight inches high. When it was full she would scatter the broken shells at the base of her rose bushes as a fertiliser.

We tend not to put our eggshells into the compost as they are known to attract rats, so generally they are chucked out with the other rubbish but it seemed such a waste. This morning I decided to save our shells Ã? la mum. They are high in calcium carbonate. They will be a well seasoned free feed for the roses by the time they reach the flower beds. I’m also going to use them in the kitchen garden.

I’ve found a self sufficiency site that outlines how to make fertilisers for your garden. They dry eggshells in their gas oven by the heat of only the pilot light and make into a powder for top dressing in their coffee grinder. They use crushed shells as a slug repellent and coffee grounds as a light top dressing for plants like blueberries that like an “acid” soil. There is also a photo of the author’s pot bellied pig for you to enjoy.

I had a poke around for a suitable container and found a ceramic Thornton’s toffee jar that has lurked in the cupboard for years. I knew that it would come in handy one day (D is grinning broadly) and it has the added bonus of a lid.

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  1. Norma Hall

    Is it good for potato fertilizer? I am planning to farming of potatoes. Eggshell is good for potatoes or not? My friend suggest me using Down to Earth Acid 4-3-6 fertilizer for that. I found fertilizer on

  2. Leilani Sherfy

    Thank you for the wonderful tips, my roses thank you too. When should I put the shells in the garden with compost as I have a good amount now and it is November and cold here in Indiana.

    Thank you

  3. It has been my experience that eggshells do NOT deter slugs or snails. I have watched them crawl over eggshells and apparently savour the albumen left on the shells. Additionally I would need thousands of eggshells to cater for my garden. I do dry them, crush them to powder and add them liberally to my compost bins. Copper bands are also a waste of time. It is often the TINY slugs that do the damage and you can hardly see then among the soil particles and stones. The popular slug pellets simply contain a form of solid alcohol so, at least the slugs die happy.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kathy

    A spray of soapy water works well on greenfly and bugs.

  5. kathy

    i have heard about the eggshell and coffe ground byt i get bugs eating my roses what do you do for thar

  6. Fiona Nevile

    I have a vague memory of my mum doing the tea trick too. As you say, straight from the pot.

  7. urbanyearners

    My English granny put crushed eggshells on her roses in her farmhouse garden in Hawkshead in the Lake District. They did the trick; her roses were magnificent and won some local gardening awards. They had an added boost from the tea she used to give them (without milk) when there was any left over in the pot, along with the leaves. So forget the Growmore, give ’em eggs and tea!

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