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In the olden days, before people bought seeding trays and little peat pots at the nursery, folks sometimes planted seeds in eggshells. This idea actually has some really good things about it.

1. eggshells are free.

2. planting in eggshells adds good nutrients to the soil, strengthening the little plant.

Starting seeds in eggshells now, for later planting in the garden, is so easy a child can do it. As a matter of fact, this makes a good kid project. And isn’t that why we have kids? To create our own private workforce?

Pardon while the Damsel attempts to stop laughing hysterically.

Begin by cutting off the top of the eggshell, fairly close to the top. The Damsel used a sharp, slightly serrated knife, and got it started by gently whacking the knife into the eggshell. Then she carefully cut with a sawing motion until the top was cut off. Your mileage may vary.

Pour the egg into something to reserve for another use. You can wash out the eggshell now if you like, but it’s not necessary. The Damsel just HAD to because of the goober factor.

Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom with a straight pin or some such.

Fill the egg with potting soil and add water until the soil is nice and damp. Plant one or two seeds, your choice, according to the depth the seed packet specifies. (After the sprouts come up, choose the strongest to be the Chosen One. Ruthlessly pull the other one out.)

Set the egg in a nice warm spot, using an egg carton or a ring of paper for it to sit in for stabilization.

Now here’s the cool part…when the sprout is big enough to plant outside (and the weather is right) you can plant it as is, egg and all, into the garden. Some folks say to crush the eggshell a little in your hands right before you plant it, to make sure the roots can make their way out. The eggshell will add nutrients to the soil and your little seedling will be off to a great start.


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  • Love the idea!! heavens, with thirty chickens laying eggs right now, the one thing I have in plenty is eggshells!!

  • Jenni-Hope

    Hey, maybe I could start peas even though my garden isn't ready!

    • the_damsel

      We're hoping to plant peas this afternoon too! And Art says yes on the wood.

  • This is awesome! Do the shells start to smell?

    • the_damsel

      I haven't noticed any eggshelly smell yet. Hope not! Maybe THAT'S the reason to rinse them.

  • Okay…that is like the totally coolest entry ever. I could even start today. Oh wait. I am doing irrigation today.

    • the_damsel

      Wait…you're supposed to be SUPERVISING.

  • I was just reading about this in a magazine the other day. Looks like a great way to start plants. Now to get a garden area ready in our yard (maybe next year after we put up a fence).

  • You Rock…Damsel! Thanks for the tip…I am all over that!

  • Awesome! I've been reading about using newspaper but it seems like eggshells will decompose faster since they are au natural. Maybe if I start my sprouts inside I can actually get some flowers this year!!

  • Shelly

    OK. That is a cool post! I love that idea. My kids and I will be trying this one real soon.

    • the_damsel

      Neat! Let me know how it goes.

  • So cool! I had no idea you could plant seeds IN eggshells (I just used the egg carton!) and then just plop the whole thing in the ground when they're ready, thanks so much for sharing!!!
    (visiting from Casual Blogger Comm.)

  • Meg

    How cool of an idea is that! Wish spring wasn't so far away so I could try it … might even encourage me to actually bake something as well! (visiting from Casual Blogger 'Post of the Week")

  • Pam

    Crushing the shells when you plant is a good idea, they are pretty darn strong and young, developing roots aren't. I feed my egg shells back to the chickens because they do the same thing that oyster shell does, strengthen the new shells and serve as grit in the gizzard. I rinse the shells (or soak them) before feeding them back so the hens don't get a "taste" for eggs. The white in the egg is albium, very nutritious for plants as well as people, I water my house and porch plants with the water the eggs have been soaking in to fertilize them. If the shells sit in water long enough, they get pretty stinky but apparently the stinkier the better. The really smelly stuff goes to the plants on the porch and the smell doesn't last awful long. I wouldn't rinse the shells I was using for planting.

    • the_damsel

      Great info!

  • I need to do this. Of course, it has to wait until I'm back from my "vacation" which is in quotes because I'm going home, and that is never at any time relaxing.

    • the_damsel

      remind me where “home” is? Arizona?