Who knew eggshells make the perfect size seed starters?! They are a natural way to germinate your seeds and they can be planted right into the soil. The eggshells are biodegradable and will supply good nourishment to your soil. Eggshells are also a good line of defense for plants prone to damage by slugs and snails such as tomatoes. So stop throwing out those eggshells. We tried this simple project for our home schooled 1st grader's science project. We saved shells from our own backyard hens and decided to make our eggshell seed starters following a science lesson title, 'What's inside a seed?' You'll Need to gather:
- Egg shells (empty of course!)
- Egg carton
- Planting soil
- Small spoon
1. When cracking the eggshells, slice the top part of the egg (narrower end) with a sharp knife and save the egg contents for later use. 2. Reserve eggshells, rinse well inside and out with water. We boiled the shells for a few minutes to be sure no trace of egg remained. The remaining egg residue foamed when boiled and we simple removed the foam. 3. Rinse eggshells again, and gently place them back in their egg carton to dry. Once dry, gently chip any rough edges of the eggs to desired opening size. 4. Use awl, or wide sharp needle to gently puncture a single hole in the base of the eggshell. This will create a drainage hole for your egg planter. I punctured our shells from the inside against a thin kitchen towel, then reinforced through the back-end to ensure proper drainage could take place. During this step, you may have to remove parts of the thin membrane alongside the eggshell. 5. With a small spoon, gently scoop planting soil into each eggshell to fill. We used a mixture of soil and organic compost from our pile. 6. Plant seeds. We planted radish seeds, two per egg. 7. Water and place in the greenhouse. If you don't have a greenhouse, an area outside in full sun will do. 8. Water as needed and wait. It took just a few days for our seeds to sprout. When the seedlings are ready, just crack the egg and place it directly in the ground. Enjoy!