Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose
Photo: Journey Worker Productions, CC SA 3.0 (C)

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Eggshell fertiliser

 A nice healthy bean. For this you need well-nourished plants.

To have well nourished plants, one needs calcium and nutrients.

Here's one way to arrange that - EGGSHELLS.
One thing I started doing a few months ago was to start saving eggshells. I eat a lot of eggs as the second major meal of the day. I read somewhere that calcium (and also trace elements) in eggshells is a good element for plants, and that eggshells rank up there with rock dust as a source of nutrients. However, the eggshells have to be ground in a food processor, and then put in the soil where they will very slowly dissolve when one adds an acidic solution to the soil (for example, when one uses tea leaves as mulch, or adds grey water in the forms of tea-leave-water or vinegar-water that one has used to clean salad leaves). Its not a fast-acting nutrient, but a slow release.

(Unfortunately the water from the boiled eggs isnt really worth much in terms of dissolved calcium, so you have to get the eggshells themselves).

To apply the eggshells this time, I stored the eggshells in the freezer in a ziplock bag. (internet sites advise washing them and cooking the shells in the oven before powdering them, but I think thats just too arduous). When you are ready, take them and blend into fine grains in a food processor (do it with the frozen stuff, it is all ok, and while they are frozen they dont smell at all - its far less smelly than once they thaw). Then add in the pulverised egg shell bits to tea leaves and add as mulch (see photo). I did this a few weeks ago, and it seems to have given some plants a growth spurt.

This is what it looks like -

Another bonus for carpenters (or weirdo blade fanatics) - I have a japanese waterstone for sharpening blades (primarily hand planes and chisels etc, and also cooking knives). One of the hassles of sharpening stones is that they and their surrounds become extremely messy with greyish powdered metal as one sharpens various blades, and creates a messy cleaning and disposal problem. Ive found a simple solution - put your sharpening stone inside the cut-off upturned lid of the egg carton. Its perfect. The grey metal particles just soak into the wet cardboard of the egg carton lid, which, being about 1 cm high, makes a nice little 'reservoir' for the inevitable water that gets spread around when one is sharpening, but not so high as to obscure access to the sharpening stone. Then dispose of the lid once done. The vicinity of where you have been sharpening stays clean - one can even sharpen on a chopping board on the sink-top without making a mess at all.

 (apropos of nothing eggshell related, a flourishing corn plant head from my garden).

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