Eggshell Starter Eggshell Starter

We celebrate the Vernal (or Spring) Equinox today. The sun and earth are celebrating in style with their warmth calling little ones to run about in bare feet and cats to laze in the sun. I believe that I shall fold my laundry outside in the beauty of it all.
We celebrated the first day of spring by starting some of our seeds. I’m not sure how great our garden will be this year as we haven’t a prepared garden plot but we are going to give it a go. With starting seeds in mind, I have been saving eggshells for the past couple of weeks to start my seeds.

I’ve used eggshells for a few years and always find that it works well. Not only are they a free pot, but the calcium in the shells is good for the growing plants, they are the perfect size for starting plants, and they break down completely in the soil while still providing essential nutrients to the plants.

This idea is not in any way original to me, even though I was the first person I know to do it, and I think there are probably plenty of other how-to’s on it but really I just want to share pictures of the fun that we had together. That is, the fun when I remembered to let go of control and not stress about it being done exactly as I would do it.

You will need:

  • Eggshells – when you are using your eggs for cooking, just crack off the top third and save the bottom portion. It’s a good idea to give them a little swish with water but I often forget.
  • Egg carton -to store the egg shells and to hold them once you have planted.
  • Seeds- I ordered my seeds from Hope Seeds this year. They offer local seeds with a commitment local and sustainable agriculture, which includes the avoidance of genetically engineered seeds. I’ve also heard lots of good things about Salt Spring Seeds, based on Vancouver Island.
  • Dirt- I use a seed starting mix.
  • Pen
  • Needle
  • Scissors

How to:

  • This is the step where you should carefully poke just one hole in the bottom of the clean eggshell using the needle. This is for drainage. I forgot. I’ve forgotten before and the seeds have been fine because I just water lightly. So if you remember, great. If you forget, don’t stress.


  • Fill the eggshells with soil. Fill them full and even compact the soil
    just a little. If the soil is dry you might want to lightly wet it (a
    spray bottle works well).
  • Plant your seeds. I usually do one or two seeds per egg, depending on the size of the seed. This is a great opportunity for some math work.

  • Cut
    the most of the top of the egg carton off, leaving enough to write what
    you have planted in the rows. Actually, it would be a good idea to do
    this as the first step but I had some eager planters that got a little
    ahead of themselves.
  • As was
    implied in step four, write above each row what you planted. I try to
    do it as I plant each thing otherwise I forget. I also record it in my
    garden log with the date, how many, and other info that I want to
  • Lightly water. My
    little water girl occasionally soaked them but I wouldn’t recommend
    that too often. The idea with seedlings is to always keep them damp,
    especially as they germinate. I find that a spray bottle works well.
  • Keep
    the egg cartons in a warm sunny location. Once the seedlings have
    sprouted and grown enough to be transplanted in the garden or a larger
    pot, gently crack the shell before planting. It will biodegrade, the
    roots will grow out into the soil and the shell will continue to provide
    calcium to the plant.

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