Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Plants need calcium to form strong cell walls. You can add calcium to your soil very inexpensively by recycling your own egg shells. Here's how I do it:
1. Save your egg shells. We keep a container on the counter for this. Broken shells are rinsed and placed in the container. Make sure there is a plenty of air available -- don't crush the shells or cover the container, or it will quickly start to smell nasty!
2. When your container is full, spread them out in a pan or on a cookie sheet, and place them in the oven at a low temperature. I recommend to do this after other baking, as your oven is already warm. I leave them in for up to 2 hours at 125 F, depending on how wet the shells are to begin.
3. When dry, place them in batches (follow the recommendations of your equipment) into your food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. Process until they are as fine as you can get -- larger chunks will break down more slowly than smaller ones.
4. Add these to your garden, especially around brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts), tomatoes, potatoes. All plants in your garden will benefit from the calcium!
5. If you're not planning to add your amendments right away, I place my ground egg shells in a well sealed ziploc bag and store in the freezer. Even though they've been dried, I like to avoid an possibility of unpleasant smells!
Here's to healthy and happy garden plants!