Saturday, March 23, 2013

Eggshell Seed Starting

A very simple and fun way to start seeds and reduce waste at the same time, is to use eggshells for seed starting.  Rather than starting seeds in a conventional way, we can use egg shells filled with soil.  Seeds can be started in the shell, and then the entire thing can later be planted in the ground.

1.    Collect eggshells, trying to keep around 2/3 intact.  This is easy but just takes a small amount of effort.  Rinse eggshells and store them in an egg carton.

2.    Poke a drain hole in the bottom of eggshells.  (not necessary if they'll be watered gently, but remember to later break a hole if transplanting outside or to a larger pot).

3.    Fill eggs with moist soil or seed starter mix.

4.    Sprinkle soil with seeds.  Some planting options:
    - Indoor sprouts or micro-greens, if you don't plan to replant these.  Lettuce, arugula, watercress, beets, chard, kale, kohlrabi, etc.

    - Plants intended for transplant, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, kale, kohlrabi, marigolds, zinnias, beans, etc.  Basically, any plant that you would start the list is infinite.

    - Cute decorative plants, such as grass or wheat.

5.    Keep watered.  If you did not poke the hole, make sure you don't over-water.

6.    Harvest micro-greens, or later transplant into the ground or a pot, eggshell and all.

Notes on eggshells
Eggshells are a great source of calcium for the garden, and these intact eggshells will be a slow-release mechanism.  Eggshells on top of the soil are a great slug deterrent, so crush all other eggshells and add them to your soil.

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