• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • James Freyr
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke

Using egg shells as seed starting cups?

 
pollinator
Posts: 137
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
40
cat urban cooking bike writing
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sort of an odd question, but I was getting dozens of seeds started indoors ( a few weeks late, I know), and I was wondering if anyone does this? I was thinking punch a hole in the bottom, filling it with seed-starting soil, and then when they’re ready to transplant into the ground, just fracturing the shell so that roots can do what they need to do. Or is this just silly?

Thanks,
Daniel
 
master steward
Posts: 7915
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2297
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think it would work.  One caution is that there isn't much soil in an egg so the transplants may need to go out into the garden when they're still on the small side.  Or pot them up into an ostrich egg...
 
pollinator
Posts: 888
Location: 6a
266
hugelkultur dog forest garden trees cooking woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't used eggshells. I think it would work.  I use egg cartons.  cut the lid off, wrap in cellophane for the water tray and cut each cell off as you plant it.

If you can figure out a way to keep the eggshells upright and keep them from waterlogging.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 1796
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
728
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's some comments based upon my own experience on my homestead plus what I've seen in the gardens of my students....,.

... Seed starting can be done in just about any container, even a plastic ziploc Baggie or between sheets of moist newspaper! But these methods aren't all equal and don't bring the same end results.
... Seedlings grown with squat roots versus deep vertical roots generally do poorer as adult plants. Oh yes, they still produce but not as well.
... Seedlings grown in confined pots, such as eggshells and egg cartons, do not become as robust as those seedlings who had larger and deeper starting pots.
... The smaller the starting pot, the quicker the seedling needs to be either repotted or planted outdoors.

Once upon a time I used the egg carton and egg shell methods. But after comparing it to other methods, I've abandoned it. That's not to say that it can't be used. It depends upon what you have available to work with, what sort of results you expect to see. I have one student who still uses eggshells simply because it is fun for her. It brings her enjoyment. Sometimes that's a good enough reason!
 
master steward
Posts: 3638
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1032
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Everyone has great suggestion.  I wanted to caution the use of egg shells in the garden if you have raccoons.

It is my experience, they will did up the garden to get the egg that the shell makes them think is there.

 
Posts: 34
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It would work but I don't recommend it. The reason is the fact that before the seedling pops its cute little head out of the ground the tap root has gone down about 2 inches below the surface. What egg shell has that much room? Putting a hole in the bottom lets out extra water but the root will not follow it.

The reason I know is that I sprout my seeds in sandy loam. As soon as they pop out I transplant into pony-packs pulling the seedling out of the loam and using a pencil to poke a hole in the soil I'm transplanting into. Sometimes I have to transplant a seedling that hasn't quite come all the way out. The root is two inches long.
 
pollinator
Posts: 144
29
duck forest garden chicken cooking building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jon Sousa wrote:What egg shell has that much room?



I now am hoping some ostrich farmer somewhere uses ostrich egg shells for starting plants. =D

I have duck eggs, which are about 40% larger than chicken eggs, and those *might* work, but only for about three weeks, and their shells are slightly harder than chicken shells - they'd have to be bashed up fairly good for the roots to get through, rather defeating the purpose of not disturbing the roots.
 
Daniel Ackerman
pollinator
Posts: 137
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
40
cat urban cooking bike writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the advice! I’ve decided against it. We have squirrels (or something) that dig  eggshells out of the compost and spread them around the yard. The thought of half my garden going that way gives me heart palpitations.

Cheers!
D
 
Jon Sousa
Posts: 34
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jamin Grey wrote: I now am hoping some ostrich farmer somewhere uses ostrich egg shells for starting plants. =D



An Emu shell will do. They are very large and are a lot easier to find.

I will stick with my sandy loam and transplanting into pony packs asap. I first saw it practiced in a commercial nursery. It saves having to plant too many seeds in the same space. I put a bunch of seeds in some loam (at least 2" deep), water, put on heating pad, and wham-o... one one seed is used in each growing spot. Since the plants a pulled as soon as they are up the root has no time to start branching. It is just a straight root.
 
Daniel Ackerman
pollinator
Posts: 137
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
40
cat urban cooking bike writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of the things that brings me endless amusement is the variety of situations and resources folks on this forum have available to them. I’m on a third of an acre in a small city in eastern Pennsylvania.... and other folks matter of factly have emu eggs around. I love it.

D
 
"To do good, you actually have to do something." -- Yvon Chouinard
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/wiki/139148/Permaculture-Magazine-FREE
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic