Skip navigation.

Eggshells in compost?

Last post 27-02-2011 6:29 PM by Digger. 10 replies.

Page 1 of 1 (11 items)

  • 06/02/2011 08:26 PM
    • AlexS
    • Reading
    • 06 Sep 2009
    • 581
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Why oh why do instructions on making compost always include eggshells in the list of things to compost? They take years to break down, and are often the only recognisable ingredient left after everything else is a lovely brown crumbly mulch. Do they have a secret extra value of some kind? I just don't get it. Somebody please explain!

    Alex
  • 07/02/2011 09:09 AM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    The Bogweevil has no trouble in this respect - he seldom sees them again when emptying the bin and never once the compost is incorporated.

     

    Boggy

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 07/02/2011 02:32 PM
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

     We use such a lot of eggs in our family as our daughter has her own baking business. You are right Alex they take ages to break down, but my view on using them is when they are broken up and incorporated into the compost the slugs and snails don't like walking across them and that is why I put them in the compostBig Smile

    -Richard
  • 07/02/2011 04:49 PM
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Hi AlexS,

     Absolutely 100% Yes, do put eggshells in your compost with abandon. Even if you a full time egg eater, they will only ever be a tiny component anyway.

    Eggshells are just good old calcium carbonate crystal in a firm glue of protein that breaks down without a fuss.

    Calcium is an essential plant nutrient & is great for acidic soil.

    Soils that already have a lot of calcium, like chalky soil,  don't need it, but if you are growing plants that like that high pH soil, it makes no difference.

    If you are fanatically struggling to lower the pH of your soil (make it more acidic), lose the eggshells and make sure all your coffee grounds & citrus peel ends up on the heap, but really, you'd have to be an omlette addict with your own hens to get through enough eggshells to make any measureable difference.

    Egg boxes make great free seedling trays - when they are ready for planting out, just separate the segments and maybe pinch out the bottom of each little pocket and put it straight into the soil.

    Have fun and enjoy those eggs,

    Ed

    www.ashridgetrees.co.uk
  • 13/02/2011 02:10 PM
    • catymck
    • surrey
    • 12 Mar 2009
    • 174
    Top 75 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    We had the same problem, so now keep all the eggshells out of the compost and dry a batch out when the oven is on.  We then break them up into little bits and put them around new plants/seedlings to keep the slugs and snails away - it's very effective and very little bother.

  • 13/02/2011 05:57 PM
    • AlexS
    • Reading
    • 06 Sep 2009
    • 581
    Top 25 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Thanks for all the info. I suppose Boggy's right: I notice the eggshells in otherwise perfectly-rotted compost, but once it's incorporated in the borders I don't usually see it again. Half a dozen eggs a week isn't going to alter the soil pH or structure much! Cheers all.

    Alex
  • 26/02/2011 10:20 PM
    • Phot's-Moll
    • The sunny South coast.
    • 06 Jan 2007
    • 4,672
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

     I squish the eggshells when I add them (just bash them a bit with a trowel). I'm not sure if that makes them rot much faster, or if they're just harder to see in little bits, but I never see them in the finished compost.

    http://patsysplot.blogspot.co.uk/
  • 26/02/2011 10:45 PM
    • Digger
    • Northern UK
    • 18 Jul 2005
    • 5,233
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Hmmmmmn "slugs and snails don't like walking across them and that is why" Richard old fruit, I was totally unaware that slugs and/or snails could walk!!!! maybe that's why the barrier of death wasn't 100% successful, I haven't observed this peculiarity can you elaborate some more for me old chap?DevilBig Smile

    digger Devil Sage of the fells
  • 27/02/2011 03:31 PM
    • chriss
    • iwuk
    • 06 May 2009
    • 134
    Top 100 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

     interesting reading all the comments. I would think you'd have to use a heck of a lot of egg shells to make any difference to the ph of the soil. I use the chicken poo in my compost. It's good stuff, once it's well rotted.

  • 27/02/2011 06:08 PM
    • Phot's-Moll
    • The sunny South coast.
    • 06 Jan 2007
    • 4,672
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

     Digger, they only walk at night - I suspect Richard goes out in the garden on his way home from the pub and that's when he spots them doing it!Wink

    http://patsysplot.blogspot.co.uk/
  • 27/02/2011 06:29 PM
    • Digger
    • Northern UK
    • 18 Jul 2005
    • 5,233
    Top 10 Contributor
    Reply | Contact

    Ha HaBig Smile your right Phot's, probably you need a skinfull of beer to see them "walking"Yes

    digger Devil Sage of the fells