Can you compost eggshells? The Short answer to this question is yes, you can compost eggshells. But, there are a few important key points that you need to keep checking if you want your plants to immediately reap all the benefits from eggshells.
Read on to find out these key points for composting eggshells while I’m discussing how to compost eggshells properly.
Can eggshells go in a compost bin?
Unlike other compostable materials such as grass clippings, coffee grounds, sawdust, and straw, which are organic substances. Eggshells, on the other hand, is organic. Eggshells are mineral substances that are mainly made up of Calcium carbonate.
This calcium carbonate, which is technically represented with the formula CaCO3 is a chemical compound that naturally protects the chicken embryo from external harsh environmental conditions such as extreme temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and wind.
The uses of eggshells cannot only be limited to the protection, which they offer. But, the leftover eggshells can also be used to supplement plants with calcium and to correct acidic soil. Calcium, an element that can be found in eggshells is required by plants to build their cell wall.
This cell wall is another living delicate and protection layer in plants’ cell that control and protect the passage of substances in and out of the plants’ cells.
Additionally, eggshells were also shown to help deter pests such as slugs and snails. When the eggshells are crushed and used on a garden bed, the sharp edges of crushed eggshells can wound slugs and snails when they cross over the crushed eggshells Sharp edges while roaming on the garden beds. The wounds may make these pests to dehydrate and then eventually die up.
However, despite all these benefits, composting eggshells is not as simple as you may think up. This is a reason why some people usually avoid eggshells in compost. But, they are making a big mistake. This is because they only need to do a few tweaks and they are done.
The eggshells will release all the nutrients present in them and make them available to the compost or plants.
But, before we go into discussing how to compost eggshells, it will make sense to know, which group of compostable materials eggshells belongs to.
Are eggshells greens and browns?
Generally, good compost is produced by combining and composting different organic matters. These Twp organic matters are called greens and browns.
Greens are nitrogen-rich materials while browns are carbon-rich materials. And looking at eggshells, the main ingredient that is in them is calcium carbonate.
However, this may differ if the eggshells are removed together with some part of egg York. This part of the egg (Egg York) contains a high amount of nitrogen.
To keep it short, we can conclude by classifying eggshells under green compostable materials. This is because they contain nitrogen and they wet or they contain moisture.
With this information in mind, here is how to compost eggshells:
How do you make eggshells compost? Here is what you need to know
Wash the eggshells with boiled water: this is important because it can help remove bacteria or pathogens that may be present on the eggshells.
It was known that a bacteria known as Salmonella do live on chicken eggs and other parts of the chicken. And this is a very important bacteria that cause foodborne diseases.
To prevent this bacteria from spreading, you need to soak the eggshells in boiling water for some minutes to sterilize them.
Dry them under the sun or air drier: after you wash the eggshells with boiling water, spread the eggshells in a clean container such as a tray and place them under the sun to dry.
Grind the eggshells using a coffee grinder: use a coffee grinder to ground the dried eggshells into powder or into smaller pieces.
Mix the ground eggshells with greens: when you finish grinding the eggshells, mix the grounded eggshells with greens such as citrus peels, banana peels, and grass clippings. Mix the ground eggshells with these green compostable materials.
Add the eggshells mixture to the compost: prepare the compost bin. If you do not have one, learn how to make one here from a plastic dustbin at home.
Place the compost bin on a flat and sunny spot. Do not add the greens and eggshells mixture first. You need to add a layer of the brown matter first. This layer will help allow air to get into the compost.
The layer also allows excess water to drain out of the compost so that the compost will not be soggy or stink.
When you layered brown compostable materials in the compost, then follow the brown compostable materials with the ground eggshells and greens mixture. Continue to add these compostable materials in an alternate layer as I described below:
Browns> greens + grinded eggshells> browns> greens + grinded eggshells> browns> greens + grinded eggshells> browns and son.
Continue to add them in this pattern until the compost bin is filled up.
Turn the eggshells compost timely: you need to start turning your eggshells compost after three weeks. This turning can help combine the eggshells properly and then make the eggshells release all their nutrients to the compost.
This turning also helps increase the amount of heat and oxygen circulation in the compost bin, which in turn helps in speeding up the breakdown process and shortens the time at which the compost will finish. It is recommended that you turn your compost at least two to three times a week.
Note: make sure you cover your compost with a lid. This helps conserve heat and quicken the cooking process of the eggshells. It also helps protect pests from messing up with your eggshells compost.
How long does it take for Eggshells to Compost?
Eggshells as earlier stated have a very tough structure, which makes them very hard to be decomposed using a normal composting method. However, if you follow the above step-by-step guide correctly, you can harvest your eggshells compost in 2-6 months.
But, if you just decide to throw them just like how to do when adding other kitchen waste and garden scraps such as grass clippings and bread, your eggshells compost can take a year or more.
Frequently asked Questions
Do eggshells in Compost attracts rats?
Eggshells can attract rats if you added the eggshells without drying them up. You can avoid these rats when you bury the eggshells deep down the compost bin.
You can also dry them up as I explained above and then add them up to the compost.
Can you compost cooked eggs?
Cooked eggs can be very smelly and so when added to the compost, they can attract pests. However, you can avoid this when you add the cooked eggs in small quantities. You also need to bury them in the interior of the compost bin or pile.
How to compost eggshells and coffee grounds?
Coffee grounds are another good compostable materials that are packed with nutrients such as nitrogen. You can make excellent fertilizer when you compost coffee grounds and eggshells.
Composting the eggshells and coffee grounds is very simple, just grind the eggshells and coffee grounds in a coffee grinder and then add them to the compost bin together with browns such as newspapers and grass clippings.
You can alternatively use coffee grounds and eggshells as a fertilizer when you grind both of them into powder and then bury the powder around the base of your garden plants.
Do I have to wash eggshells before composting?
It is not necessary but Washing the eggshells before composting can help sterilize the eggshells from bacteria that may be damaging to the compost later plants.
Are teabags good for compost?
Yes, you can compost tea bags. However, if the package used in packaging the tea is synthetic, you need to remove the package and add only the content of the tea bags.
How do you prepare eggshells from compost?
If you want to prepare eggshells for compost, you need to sterilize them by washing them with boiling water. After washing, you need to dry them up under the sun and then grind the dried eggshells into powder using a coffee grinder. Then, finally, mix the ground eggshells with other green compostable materials such as grass clippings and then compost the mixture.
Can you put rice in compost?
Yes, rice can be composted both uncooked and cooked rice. If you are composting cooked rice, make sure you remove meat, fish, onions, and anything that may make your compost smell and attract pests.
Are coffee grounds good for compost?
Coffee grounds are excellent compostable materials that can supplement plants with nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium. You can use coffee grounds to feed your plants either as compost or steep the coffee grounds in water for 2-3 days. You can use this coffee grounds tea to feed your plants.
I have looked at how to compost eggshells while answering some of your frequently asked questions. I hope you will find this article helpful. Let me know if you have a question in the comments section below.