BY PATRICIA BIANCA S. TACULAO
Eggs are a staple in any kitchen all around the world. It’s used in many recipes that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But people who love to cook and eat aren’t the only ones who are familiar with eggs. Gardeners are also well-acquainted with eggs, or rather, their shells.
Eggshells contain a significant amount of calcium that helps plants thrive. It develops a strong cellular structure and prevents calcium deficiency, which is visible in young plants.
Calcium deficiency in plants can be determined if their leaves are twisted or have black spots. Even the plant’s growth is also affected since low calcium can cause the plant to be stunted. In fruiting plants, calcium deficiency can be seen when the fruits develop blossom end rot or a thin, dark spot on the bottom of the fruit.
Another benefit why gardeners love eggshells is because the larger shell pieces can deter slugs since the sharp edges irritate their soft bodies.
To better extract the calcium from the shells so that the plants can fully absorb them, gardeners make a natural concoction called eggshell fertilizer tea.
One gardener who uses this type of natural fertilizer is Haydee Escobañez, a 61-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Navotas City. But even though she has stopped teaching for some time now, she vlogs her gardening ventures so that others can be inspired and learn from them as well.
Escobañez shares that one way she keeps her plants healthy is by watering them with eggshell fertilizer tea as often they need to be.
“Ginagawa ko ito upang ‘di mangungulubot ang kanilang mga dahon, maging matibay ang mga sanga, hindi malalagas ang mga bulaklak, at magkakaroon ng maraming bunga,” she said. (I do this so that their leaves won’t wrinkle, develop stronger branches, keep their flowers from wilting, and promote fruiting.)
Here’s how she makes her eggshell fertilizer tea:
First, she collects eggshells from her kitchen scraps. She then exposes these to direct sunlight for three days before she grinds them in a blender to produce a powder.
Afterwards, she roasts them until the shells turn golden brown. Then, she adds them in one gallon of water before boiling it on the stove. For a stronger concentrate, 20 eggshells are advisable to use.
The next day, she waters her chilis, eggplants, and tomatoes with the eggplant tea fertilizer that she made.
When gardening, Escobañez uses natural inputs on her plants to promote growth without having to risk exposing her family to chemicals since they also enjoy looking at her ornamentals as well as eating the fresh produce from the vegetables that grow on her rooftop.
Escobañez also shares how to make eggshell fertilizer tea, among other natural inputs, in her vlogs so that she can present other gardeners with a natural option on how to manage their gardens at home.
So if you’re looking for a good way to dispose of eggshells and you have a garden growing in your home, try making eggshell fertilizer tea. Your plants and the environment will thank you for it.
For more information, visit Haydee’s Garden on Facebook.