Eggshells in the Garden: Does Your Soil Need More Calcium?

Hey again, it’s Jason from Fraser Valley Rose Farm It may not be a surprise to you a bit of a garden geek I watch a lot of videos on YouTube about gardening and it seems like I may have seen Maybe a dozen times videos on how to use eggshells in your garden And usually they have a thumbnail that goes something like this. “You won’t believe what happens in your garden when you add eggshells” and Here’s the spoiler: You actually will believe it because almost nothing will happen Certainly, not very quickly. And even the long-term effects are a bit debatable I like to look at the issue of adding egg shells or pulverized eggshells into your garden as a bit of a placebo It’s like a doctor prescribing a sugar pill to somebody to help them feel better about a problem Which they may or may not have it does very little Towards addressing a calcium problem in your plants. And so I want to talk. Let’s look at a eggshells as a red herring here They’re fine. They’re fine to throw into your compost. They’re just like banana peels just like coffee grounds Anything that you want throw into your compost to make a good compost, go ahead But they’re not a solution to calcium deficiencies directly in plants And if you’re going to try to use them that way you have to answer three questions right away: number one Do you have symptoms of calcium deficiency in your plants? Second of all: How do you verify that you do actually have a soil calcium deficiency? and third would eggshells be the solution to that problem? Anyway, so I’m going to go through that in this video. Hang tight Okay, sorry it started to rain outside there. I don’t want to mess up the camera So I had to tuck underneath some cover here, but let’s talk about those symptoms of calcium deficiency So in a tomato, it’s fairly easy to spot So if you’ve got a tomatoes or peppers and you see blossom and rot what that is like a black ring that develops On the end of the fruit where the blossom used to be and of course it rots the fruit That’s a sure sign that calcium was missing at some point when the fruit was beginning to develop So the question is does that mean that you have? deficient calcium in your soil and the short answer to that is “no” more often blossom end rot is related to the Uptake of calcium and not so much available Calcium in the soil. So for instance if you have irregular moisture like let’s say you’ve got a lot of rain and then a dry patch at some point during that period your tomato plant will have trouble bringing up Calcium just from a moisture management point of view and it only takes a short time For a fruit to develop that blossom end rot. So even if the calcium is missing for a short period of time, that’ll do it also in high humidity Situations. So if you’re growing stuff indoors and you’ve got extra high humidity for a long period of time your plants may develop Problems up taking that nutrient so it is not always an issue that your soil is missing the calcium In fact, that’s the least common Version of calcium deficiency. let’s just talk about other plants like if you’re looking at leafy greens like broccoli, or Brassicas or lettuce and you’re looking at the symptoms of calcium deficiency Usually it presents as some of the younger leaves Having problems enlarging early on you’ll see some chlorosis there and eventually if it’s bad enough You’ll see that the tip will abort on the plant now the problem is that that can also be signs of other nutrient deficiencies So can mask itself So just trying to eyeball it based on what’s happening on your plant Can be a hard way to figure out if you need to add calcium to your soil The second way question is: How do you know if your soil has enough calcium and Do I recommend you run out and grab a soil test and I’m a little skeptical on that first of all soil tests have a Mixed track record of figuring out whether available calcium is a problem in your soil What they can tell you and what I would suggest you look at if you do get a soil test is your soil pH So here’s some general rules of thumb if you have a coarse or sandy soil Rather than a heavy or dense or clay soil the coarse in sandy soil usually will have more problems with calcium and the denser clay a soil has to do with cation exchange capacity and so in general You’re more likely to have a problem with a loose or sandy soil also as relates to pH You are much more likely to have a calcium problem with a low pH rather than a neutral or a high pH So if you get that soil test back and it shows that you have a low pH Then not something that you can dig into that’s something you can look at and say well Let’s look at all the nutrients here: most nutrients have better Availability to the plants near a neutral pH. So somewhere around 6.5 through 7 Most of the nutrients have a band of high absorption through your plants. So if you found that you had low pH Adjusting it would be a good thing and most of the time you adjust it with lime or high calcium amendments So that’s what I can say about soil test You know It’s more useful to find out if your pH is low and then you can do the diagnostic in your head about Okay Do I have a coarse or sandy soil and if both of those conditions exist and you want to adjust the pH upwards? That’s probably a pretty decent gardening measure. So the third question is our eggshells the solution to this They certainly won’t hurt if they’re as a part of a balanced compost. It’s not a problem but the fact is that Eggshells are just too small in terms of their weight in terms of how much they would add to your garden To make much of a difference. So if you’re dealing with a garden patch You’re much much better to go with a bulk amendment then with eggshells and let me show you something here These are oyster shells. I picked this up at my local feed store for about 15 dollars. It’s 50 pounds I’ll show you the inside of the bag as well It has just about precisely the same Analysis as eggshells. It even looks the same as eggshells. And if and if you were planning on using this as a way to Deter slugs or snails and egg shells are hard to get a big enough volume to do that then oyster shells are a good way to look at that too, but The difference is that this bag contains the equivalent of almost four thousand eggs. So that’s about the Amount that the average American would eat in 15 years So do you want to spend 15 years? Maybe you have a family maybe it’s only 7 years or you know for years correcting it but if you want to correct your soil pH and therefore Correct. A calcium problem. You probably want to act a little quicker than that So do you want to wait a long time and collect a bunch of eggshells and put them in the microwave? To sterilize them and then pulverize them to a fine powder You know when in your blender and then somebody says hey, why is my strawberry milkshake feel so chunky? So that’s not the best solution usually you’re better off going with something like oyster shells or just lime and if Let me go back and step and say if you’ve seen calcium deficiency problems in your plant and you’re pretty confident That’s what it is and you want to try to correct that fixing your soil calcium is much much slower than Directly applying calcium to your plant so you can apply things like calcium chloride or calcium Nitrate and those things will quickly address a calcium problem in your plant Right now within the season rather than waiting the time that it takes for this stuff to start to change the soil chemistry So I hope this answers some of your questions on Eggshells and calcium particularly if you have any questions about that comments, I’m expecting some comments on this one please drop those below the video and We’ll see what kind of discussion we can have about it. Thank you so much for watching

10 thoughts on “Eggshells in the Garden: Does Your Soil Need More Calcium?

  1. Symptom de Calcium Deficiency: Lodging Crops. Wisconsin garden told me to use powdered milk. Walmart WAS selling the 64 oz bags for $1.74 I went back and the bags were $15.88! I glad I got quite a few bags at $1.74. Nice riding mower! I got (12) roses at $6.99 USD each! End of season sales ROCK!!! I love the amount de sunflowers you planted! I shoulda done that:-) I sold the blender on Craigslist, lol. I add lime slowly to my "Mediterranean Garden" where I keep my lavender and French Lilac, Edward J. Gardner.

  2. Excellent πŸ‘. I have been collecting eggshells and pulverizing them in my coffee grinder. All winter long! I usually put them out on the roots of my outside deck pot veggie garden. I had no idea if it was working. I thought the leaves of my tomato plants were greener and the tomatoes redder. But no science here. Well sure nipped my YouTube watching to shame. Thank you Jason!

  3. Egg shells are good to feed your soil food web. It's not for the plants more for the microbes to feed on. Which helps better the soil to make better flowers. The roses themselves dont use the eggshells.

  4. I put my egg shells into the compost bin. To add calcium to my Tomatoes, I crush into a powder, two indigestion tablets per 1 gallon can and give it a good stir to make sure it's dissolved. Each of these tablets is crammed pack full of Calcium & Magnesium. That should keep your Toms & Peppers happy for months. Then it's just a matter of normal watering and feeding. Love you channel, very informative, thank you.

  5. You are right, eggshells, oyster shells will not fix the problem of calcium deficiency. It will take years for them to dissolve in the soil. But they will make the soil loose and light, which is always good.
    This is one of the recipes I found on YouTube and used it in my garden: You take 200g of chalk, or dolomite, and slowly and gradually mix it with 1 liter of table vinegar. Wait until the reaction is done and add the mixture into 10 liters of water. Vinegar brings calcium to a soluble form, calcium acetate. I normally add this concoction after normal watering. Right away, the calcium can be absorbed by plants.

  6. πŸŒ»πŸŒ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸŒΎπŸŒ» Hi Jason πŸ˜€ in order to put things in perspective, make some calculations πŸ‘ hitting a nerve in the Metric System …
    Would I trust a β€œBag Grower” writing β€˜Kg.’ ? Well no really, since it is β€˜kg’ (not Capital K and no . after) I know no big difference, but … like som meters is using PH on the scale, when its reall pH, and so on. AnywayS your egg’s shells are like 6.25 g? about 1/10 of the egg (more or less) and you eat one egg a day, or so … ok … well this is a Joke, hope you get it – but Im not joking here πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
    I made the calculations some years ago. From my standard egg shells, dried and clean – I would use 74 pcs in order to replace the Ca Im removing from the vineyard, harvesting 1000 kg of grapes (in average). I get about 80% juice and using 3/4 bottles, so I will get about 1000 bottles of wine from that same area in the field. But if I eat one egg a day, I will have enough for 4 parcels, or I could share, but I cant drink 3 bot (2.73872..) a day … I dont relly know I never tried blink
    We have a tendency to say if A leads to B, and B->C then C is bc of A. But that is not allways true. So what should I do now, sell some wine in order to buy Oyster Shells in stead? Mmm that will give me Ca for the next 54.054054 years, really πŸ€” so I could stop eating eggs and have better Cholestrol leves OMG!! Thats a treat blink but Im out in the Sun all day so I need it to convert to vit D3 in my skin …
    Im using egg shell in vinegar to foliar feeding the plants but that in an other story …
    And btw I dont have to sterilize my eggs shells, since we dont have probs with salmonella 😜 but you have a point here, we could stop running around like hens without a head, when wachting youtube πŸ˜πŸ˜œπŸ‘πŸ˜±

  7. Here the price for 25 kg oyster shells is eq to CAD $25 … or I could take some sea shells from the fjord, and they will brake down – if needed / low soil pH. Dont get me wrong – Im testing oyster shells im my vineyard, in order to see (taste) any difference in performance of the vines. The reason is .. wines from Germany (special district) is said to have a special taste of the ground (not β€œterroir”) but in my book, plants just dont eat the rocks, they take up nutrients which are dissolved / ions. So one cannot taste β€œthe rocks” in the wine, sorry. But the cgange in micro climate will change the biology in the soil – and we know some grapes yeast is actually living inside the plants tissue, and out side of cause. Id say yeast and fermentation has the bigger impact on taste. But dont tell this to others 😜
    Sure plants leak out Protons H+ in order to exchange ions in soil / bed rock.
    I guess the idea comes from the Use what is next to you principle. And if you are not blessed with a oyster bank on top of the mountains, use your egg shells. But where to chickens get the Calcium from when? Or if Im using chicken manure … could I blend the bones from a chicken .. or a fish?
    my head πŸ’« LOL

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