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Author Topic: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?  (Read 1489 times)

Samu

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Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« on: February 15, 2018, 12:14:03 PM »
I am wondering if I can make use of these normally kitchen discards to good use?
I read more than a few times how our fruit trees need Calcium, as part of their important  nutrients. Seems like Gypsum is the choice materials to use for this purpose, but I also read crushed Drywalls also work, albeit not too conveniently.

Since eggshells contain lots of Calcium, I am wondering if we can also utilize them for our fruit trees? I already started saving the shells and put them in regular blender to form a rough crushed material and spread them under the trees. (after heating it in microwave for about 2 minutes). Is there a pro and con about eggshells...? What is your opinion?
Sam

Ansarac

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 12:24:49 PM »
I'm seeing eggshell, in the soil, for years, which leads me to believe they are mostly inert.

They would conceivably be broken down, in a highly-acidic soil, or mechanically, as when a compost pile is turned-through. Cacti and other rock-loving plants have bacteria, which will allow them to break down stone, and, in theory, the eggshells. 

I find that these processes occur faster, where there is lots of life and input of energy (manual labor.) For instance, I have a mortar and pestle, that is just used for plants.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 12:28:10 PM by Ansarac »

RodneyS

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2018, 01:26:05 PM »
I use eggshells by puttung them in my worm compost bin.  They also provide grit for the worm's gizzards,  The castings work great in the garden

KarenRei

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 02:44:51 PM »
The calcium will slowly leach out; the lower the pH, the faster it will leach out.  You can relatively quickly (a day or two) dissolve the calcium out of egg shells with vinegar; it's a popular science experiment for kids.  The form of calcium is calcium carbonate, the same as chalk/limestone.  So it's like adding limestone to your soil.  Calcium carbonate is specifically sold for use as a fertilizer / soil amendment as "aglime" / "agricultural lime".  It's just limestone / chalk ground very fine to accelerate the dissolution (which is, as mentioned, quite slow when not in an acidic medium).

The short of it?  Yes, put your eggshells in your compost  :)  They won't disappear quickly, but they'll still slowly contribute calcium.  If you want to speed it up, dissolve them in an acid.  For example, phosphoric acid (stone floor/concrete cleaner for strong phosphoric acid, cola for weak phosphoric acid) you'll end up with calcium phosphates, which are common fertilizers for soils that need both calcium and phosphorus.  You can use nitric acid too if you want calcium nitrate, but that's harder to come by than phosphoric  ;)  But if your goal of adding calcium is to raise the pH, then you should either stick to "no acid" or a weak acid (citric, acetic, carbonic, etc).  Either way, those egg shells belong in your compost, not your trash  :)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 02:51:16 PM by KarenRei »
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boxturtle

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 04:16:43 PM »
I too put them in my worm bin and usually is broken down with a week

phantomcrab

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 04:17:49 PM »
Yes. I've been doing it for years.
As a side benefit, birds are attracted to eggshells and they will hang out in your garden area and eat some pests too.
Richard

fruitlovers

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 04:26:35 PM »
Yes definitely good to add eggshells to the compost. They will break down a lot faster if ground down before adding. Only problem is probably you don't have enough eggshells to really make that much of a difference in calcium content. You probably should also add some dolomite as well.
I mostly give the eggshells back to my chickens. They need a lot of calcium in their diet and eat them as needed.
Oscar

Samu

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2018, 05:37:17 PM »
Wow, a lot of positive responses here; from the simple, straight forward to a more scientific answers!  Thank you, all !

So, how would we know how much is enough; or if there's an adverse effect of giving it too much Calcium; then what would the symptoms be?
Sam

fruitlovers

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2018, 07:03:10 PM »
Wow, a lot of positive responses here; from the simple, straight forward to a more scientific answers!  Thank you, all !

So, how would we know how much is enough; or if there's an adverse effect of giving it too much Calcium; then what would the symptoms be?
Unless you have a family of 25+ i wouldn't worry about giving your trees too many eggshells. Also they break down slowly. They are kind of like slow release calcium. As to how much calcium your trees need, that would depend on your existing soil profile and also the types of trees you are applying to?
Oscar

Samu

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 02:27:24 AM »
OK then, all our eggshells now resorted for the trees...without worry. Thanks Oscar!
Sam

Th3_BrazilianShark

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Re: Can we use egg shells for our fruit trees?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 01:37:37 PM »
I grind them using a coffee grinder and sprinkle it over my soil and in my worm🐛 bin. Just dont rinse the eggshells, keep the protein on it.

 

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