Well, dear friends, any new year comes with a good load of very wise and virtuous resolutions which are meant to radically improve our life.
On my personal long list ( which I will not confess entirely even under torture) there is one which says : I will try to eliminate all vile, chemical pesticides and harsh fertilizers and try (a conditional is due) to use only nature friendly stuff - mostly home concocted remedies, which should harm only the bad bugs and be friendly to all the rest...
You might agree, that this is quite a challenge, since I live in the very heart of a town - and there are quite few ladybugs and Co. willing to cross the asphalt jungle in order to install themselves on my terrace and dine on my personal aphids... I have tried, believe me! I developed a special, super friendly attitude towards ladybugs and sand bees and other helpful insects, but their presence is really very thin...
You might remember that I had quite some nuisances with sawflies last year and one can do very unwise things when really desperate, so I hope that this year I will be less visited by them.
But pesticides aside, I will also try to feed all my plants as naturally as possible. Since I do not own horses or other manure manufacturing animals (cats do not count even if they are just too willing to help out ;-) ), I introduced broiled horn and dried blood - I know it sounds quite scarry but it does wonders! I use ocassionaly coffe grounds and this year's big entry are ground eggshells.
This is a novelty for me - I have never used them before, but a combination of massive use of Pintrest (where this recipe apears in almost every gardening board) and a large egg consumtion during the past festivities, brought me to try this fertilizer.
The procedure is child easy - you let your eggshells dry out a couple of days and then you throw them in a blender and mix them as finely as you can. I tried to crush them by hand but the results were not aesthetically pleasing, since you have to disperse a handfull of the shells on the soil in your containers or arround the plant you want to feed.
So trust me, the finer the granulation the more discreet the effect, afterall you do not wish to transform your garden into a compost pile!
Before starting this new fertilizing method, I looked up for the chemical benefits of eggshells just to know what I was giving my plants:
“In addition to the calcium, the eggshells contain about 1% nitrogen, about a half-percent phosphoric acid, and other trace elements that make them a practical fertilizer. Calcium is an essential plant nutrient which plays a fundamental part in cell manufacture and growth. Most roots must have some calcium at the growing tips. Plant growth removes large quantities of calcium from the soil, and calcium must be replenished, so this is an ideal way to recycle your eggshells.” – Back Woods Home Magazine
You can use both cooked and raw eggshells, but make sure you do not give them to acid soil loving plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas, hostas, hydrangeas and camelias. For all the rest it is supposed to do a fairly good job, it is easy and clean and on top of everything it is a natural way of eliminating organic rubbish for those who cannot or will not get into serious composting!
This is it and I will keep you informed about the results!
I would love to get feedback from you if you have tried this before.
PS. Eggshells are supposed to work as a slug reppellent too!
PPS. I tried eggshell tea (shells macerated in water) but I find the foul egg smell not really appealing so I will stick with the method above.