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How to grow seedlings in eggshells

You know I’m a big fan of propagation, but meet my newest past time — starting seedlings in eggshells.

It all started with a random photo I saw online — tiny little sprouts poking through the dirt-filled eggshells. “I can totally do that,” I thought. Not to mention, I haven’t been successful at starting seeds outdoors, especially in scorching Arizona heat.

I looked up a few “how-to’s” and much to my delight it seemed fairly simple to start seedlings in eggshells indoors. We bought a lot of transplants for our first-year garden and quickly realized I need to learn to start from seed. It seems much more economical and doable for amateur gardeners (such as myself).

Fast forward about a month, and I’ve started multiple rounds of seedlings indoors. I am trying different methods, spots, containers — you name it. I follow a lot of gardening resources online and all of the info they share give me confidence to expand my gardening skills.

Reasons to save your eggshells

On top of the little seedlings being sooooo cute, starting them in eggshells is a very sustainable practice. Not only does it save you money on seed-starting containers (often in the form of plastic), but the eggshells provide the sprouts with a source of potassium, calcium carbonate and phosphorous as it breaks down in the dirt.

So basically, eggshells serve as a biodegradable, nutrient-filled container for your little seedlings. I hope to have chickens someday, making this practice ultra sustainable.

If starting seeds this way doesn’t seem for you, there’s other ways to use eggshells on houseplants and in the garden. Alternatively, they can be crushed up and placed in the dirt around established plants and I’ve even seen people use “eggshell water” to feed their plants too.

Supplies

  • Eggshells
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Sunny spot

How to start seeds in eggshells

  1. Save eggshells. I usually just set mine back in the carton if they’re cracked at least in half.
  2. Give shells a good wash, you can boil them for good measure.
  3. After they’re dry, label each shell with a marker (or the egg carton itself if they’re all the same seeds).
  4. Fill each shell with dirt, creating a little hole in the middle with your finger.
  5. Place seeds in holes and cover with a thin layer of dirt.
  6. Spritz each eggshell “pot’s” dirt with water so that the soil is damp, but not flooded.
  7. Keep soil damp each day with spray bottle until time to transfer (after two sets of leaves develop).
  8. Place in a sunny spot and watch them sprout!

Happy planting!

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