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24 Jun 2016

Starting Seedlings in Eggshells

Fiona Rhodes

I tried getting my seedlings started in eggshells for the first time this year and I'd say it has been a great success. It's a really simple process and one that I hope to do with my twins next year. Also a great way to teach your children about    planting, composting and recycling. Nothing goes to waste and you don't need to buy any wasteful plastic modules or pots to gets your seeds going.

Start off by saving up eggshells and their cartons for a few weeks before you intend to start planting. Try to be mindful of how you crack the eggs - I tried to crack just the top third off then discard that bit in the compost bin so I had a fairly large remaining shell.

Take a small pin and poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of each shell, from inside the shell to out. It doesn't matter if you break a few, just chuck them in the compost or save them up to put around your plants in the garden to stop the slugs eating your young plants!

Next fill the eggshell with compost then plant a couple of seeds as per the packet instructions. I experimented with lots of different herbs, tomatoes, varieties of flowers, cucumbers etc.

You can keep the eggshells contained neatly in an egg carton. Just be careful when you water them as the carton can get waterlogged/ disintegrate very easily. These fit neatly on a windowsill and can be moved around easily!

Once the seeds start growing, pull out the weaker of the two and give the strong seedling space to grow. When large enough either transplant into your garden or a larger pot. Just crack the shell slightly and remove a a bit at the bottom so that the roots have space to escape. The shell will decompose over time and add calcium to the soil.


Cherry Tomatoes
I think this was a sunflower

Tomato seedling a few weeks after the seed was planted


Fiona Rhodes / Author & Editor

A blog about running an allotment as a novice gardener in Zurich, Switzerland (with the help of my twin toddlers).

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