Are Eggshells Good For Tomatoes? What Research Says & How to Use

In Brief: Are Eggshells Good For Tomatoes?

Eggshells are a great way to add nutrients for growing tomato plants. It may fertilize the soil and work as mulch. Further, it may be used as a starter pot and added to the compost pile. However, the available studies are inconclusive if eggshells prevent blossom end rot and deter pests. More studies are required in the future.

Are you wondering if you can use eggshells for your tomato plants? I attempt to answer this question in this article.

I have poured in ten years of my gardening experience. Also, I have referred to the views of other experts for better understanding.

Keep reading to know more!

Eggshells For Tomatoes – The Benefits

The crushed eggshells are often popularized for benefitting tomato plants.

Some of these speculations are supported by research, while others are just myths.

Read on to discover if the eggshells are good for tomato plants.

1. Eggshells Help Fertilize The Tomato Plants

The crushed eggshells may be reused as a fertilizer for tomato plants.

It may slowly add calcium to the soil which is a vital nutrient for tomato plants. You may sprinkle the eggshells before the growing season for better results.

I use eggshells as a supplement to my regular fertilizer regime for my tomato plants. Eggshells have a high calcium content that helps in the strength and thickness of plant cell walls.

It thereby regulates the growth and development of plants.

You may first wash the eggshells to remove the bacterial and viral contact. Later, boil them in water for 5 minutes. Then, dry them in sunlight, and crush them. Sprinkle them around the tomato plants before the growing season.

Crushing the eggshells may help in speeding up the decomposition process and releasing the calcium into the soil.

But, remember that eggshells don’t provide all the nutrients that the tomato plants require. You may have to supplement with other fertilizers.

Check out this video on how to use eggshells as a fertilizer:

2. Eggshells Can Be Added to The Compost Pile

Eggshells may be added to the compost pile to balance the nutrient levels in the soil.

But, it will take several months to release the nutrients. Also, adding more eggshells may increase the sodium levels in the soil.

Eggshells are a source of calcium and many essential nutrients required by plants.

Adding eggshells to the compost pile. It may balance the nutrient levels in the soil.

Michigan State University

But, eggshells are identifiable after composting. It may not be preferred by some gardeners. You may dry the eggshells for a few days and crush them before adding them to the compost pile.

Also, eggshells contain a high amount of sodium that is toxic to the plant if released into the compost heap. So, you may have to check for the sodium level in your compost.

Another concern is that if eggshells are contaminated by Salmonella, they may be transferred to the compost and tomato garden.

But, hot composting may kill a variety of pathogens. Also, you may wash the eggshells to avoid
Salmonella infection.

My tomato plants flourished when I used the compost pile with the eggshells.

3. Eggshells Work as Mulch For Tomatoes

The crushed eggshells sprinkled around the tomato plants may work as mulch. They may stop the growth of weeds, retain moisture, and add beauty to your garden.

The crushed eggshells may be used as mulch in your tomato garden. It may help in improving soil health and stopping the growth of weeds.

Also, the white color and fine texture of eggshells provide an accent to my tomato garden when used as mulch.

It is recommended to place the mulch before the flowering season of tomatoes. I found that the soil around the tomato plants was a bit cooler when I sprinkled crushed eggshells.

One drawback is that you may not be able to eat enough eggs to produce eggshells for a two-inch layer of mulch.

But still, eggshells work as mulch for tomato plants.

4. Eggshells As Starter Pots

Eggshells make affordable optimal seed starting containers.

The sprouted seedling may be directly planted into the soil as they are biodegradable. But the eggshells may take time to decompose.

I have use halved eggshells as an alternative to starter pots. It is an inexpensive way to jumpstart the gardening season indoors.

Crack open the eggshell to remove the raw egg. Rinse the eggshells and allow them to dry.

Fill the cracked shells with soil, and plant a tomato seed by slightly pushing it down. Allow the seed to germinate by sprinkling some water.

Many gardeners plant the seedling with an eggshell to the soil. They believe that the eggshells may break in the soil as the tomato roots grow.

However, the eggshell may take a long time to decompose when they are not crushed.

Another drawback is that you may need to transplant the seedling immediately, as they tend to outgrow the small eggshell containers soon.

Check this video to reuse eggshells as starter pots:

Eggshells For Tomatoes – The Myths

Not everything mentioned about eggshells and their benefits to tomato plants is true.

Some methods are not as effective and others do not work at all.

Eggshells Repel Slugs And Snails (Maybe)

It is speculated the crushed eggshells may repel snails and slugs due to their sharp edges. But, some experiments have shown that these pests may cross the eggshells.

So, more scientific studies are required to understand if eggshells deter snails and slugs.

My tomato plants are often troubled by snails and slugs that are very difficult to remove.

It is believed that spreading the crushed eggshells around the tomato plants may repel snails and slugs.

The sharp edges of the crushed eggshells may hurt these creatures and prevent them from attacking the tomato plants.

But, ‘snughelp’ channel has an experiment to prove it otherwise. These creatures do not have trouble crossing the sharp edges of eggshells to satisfy their hunger. Check it out here>

On the other hand, another experiment by “OYR Frugal & Sustainable Organic Gardening”, suggests that finely powdered eggshells may help in preventing slugs. Here is the video on snails and eggshell experiment:

Eggshells May Prevent The Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is caused by irregular watering and calcium insufficiency. Although crushed eggshells add calcium to the soil, they may not correct the transfer of calcium to the developing tomatoes.

So, eggshells may not prevent blossom end rot.

I become distressed when I notice decay on the blossom end of the tomatoes in my garden.

Blossom end rot is a brown, leathery rot developing on the blossom end of the tomato. It is often caused due to calcium insufficiency or overwatering.

Many gardeners often claim that calcium-rich eggshells prevent the occurrence of blossom end rot. But, there are no scientific studies to back the claim.

The tomato plant requires enough calcium to develop a normal fruit. The blossom end rot does not occur due to inadequate calcium in the soil.

It may be because of an insufficient amount of calcium entering the tomatoes due to water transport issues.

So, based on research, the addition of eggshells may not help (as it is expected to) prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes.

How To Use Eggshells For Tomatoes?

You may wash the eggshells to remove odor. Then dry the eggshells and crush them into pieces. The crushed pieces may be spread around the tomato plants.

The different steps in using eggshells for tomato plants are discussed below.

  • I always wash my eggshells to avoid the Salmonella scare. It also removes the lingering odor.
  • Sometimes, I put the eggshells at 300 degrees for 10 minutes or in natural sunlight. It may be ground into powder and sprinkled around tomato plants.
  • You may also simply crush the eggshells with your hands and spread them around the base of the tomato plants. The leftover eggshells may be mixed with bird feed and given to local birds.
  • Some toast the eggshells and mix them with vinegar at a 1:1 ratio. It is kept aside for a month with occasional shaking.
  • About one tablespoon of the dissolved solution may be diluted in a liter of water and sprayed for foliage.

Here is the video on how to use eggshells for tomatoes:

FAQs

What other plants benefit from eggshells?

The crushed eggshells are good for tomatoes. The eggshell-based fertilizer and eggshell tea may also work for cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard, spinach, amaranth, peppers, and eggplants.

Why is vinegar used with eggshells to fertilize the tomatoes?

Eggshells are effectively used to rehabilitate the soils as it is rich in calcium and minerals. But, it may take time to decompose and release nutrients. The vinegar is used to break down the calcium carbonate of eggshells into soluble calcium acetate.

What is eggshell tea?

Eggshell tea is another method of delivering nutrients to tomato plants. You may bring some water to boil, add crushed shells, and allow it to steep and brew eggshell tea. The brewed water may be added to tomato plants.

Final Words

What do you think readers?

Hope this article helps you unravel the different myths about using eggshells for planting tomatoes.

Do you use eggshells for your tomato plants? Let us know your suggestions and feedback. Also, do share the article with your friends and family.

Leave a Comment