Boost Your Garden's Growth With This Calcium-Rich DIY Eggshell Fertilizer

Eggshells are an excellent way to fertilize your garden while reducing the amount of garbage in your home. Instead of tossing them in the trash, you're finding an eco-friendly way to reuse them. While this is a popular way to provide calcium to your plants, many people are missing a crucial step when preparing the leftover shells. You can't just crush them and throw them into the soil. As TikTok user @rachel_loaf explains, you have to mix them with distilled white vinegar to extract the calcium from the eggshells. Forgetting this step prevents your garden from ever absorbing the nutrients you attempted to give them.

Plants benefit from eggshells because they're high in calcium. It's an essential mineral that builds cell tissue. That way, your garden grows larger and more robust. Without calcium in the soil, certain plants will develop blossom end rot. This is when the flowers that would later turn into fruit break down and rot.

You don't want this to happen because then all the hard work you spend caring for your garden will leave you with little to nothing available to harvest. Calcium deficiency usually affects tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and zucchini. By learning the right way to reuse eggshells as fertilizer, you can save money, the planet, and your garden.

Mix your eggshells with distilled white vinegar

Adding vinegar is the essential step to using eggshells as fertilizer. Without it, TikTok user Rachel explains that your plants won't be able to access the calcium you're trying to give them. If you simply threw the shells into the garden as a soil amendment, it would take up to a year for your garden to break them down and use the nutrients. You need to make the calcium water-soluble so it's readily available to your plants.

Distilled white vinegar is the answer to this problem because it's a weak acid. It's made from three percent acetic acid, which will break down the eggshells. Although, they need to be crushed into a fine powder before this process for it to work. When you mix the two together, a chemical reaction occurs. The solution will begin to fizz because carbon dioxide gas escapes as the calcium becomes water-soluble. Then you'll be left with a potent fertilizer that you need to dilute in water before using in your garden.

Your plants need the vinegar to absorb the calcium

Before you can use eggshells as calcium-rich fertilizer for your plants, you need to eat some eggs. Every time you make a meal, save the shells in a container. Once you have a large stockpile, you're ready to make some fertilizer. First, you'll need to wash the eggshells by rinsing them with some water.

Some people prefer to remove the inner membrane, but in the comment section of her TikTok video, Rachel responds that she's not too fussy to include this extra step. Then leave the eggshells on a sunny windowsill to dry. If it's a rainy day or you don't have the spare time to wait, you can opt to line them on a baking sheet and leave them in the oven at a low temperature.

When they're completely dry, you're ready to crush them up. A food processor works best because it can easily turn the eggshells into a fine powder. Then measure two tablespoons of the eggshells into a bowl and add two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Mix them together and let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes. After the time is up, dilute your fertilizer in one gallon of water. Using it in your garden is super simple. All you have to do is pour the water directly into the soil around your plants.