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How to Start Seeds in Eggshell Cups

Around this time of year, I like to start seeds using eggshells.  Since egg production is ramping up, we've got eggs to spare, so I have already started saving the shells after I make breakfast.

Eggshells, cracked and rinsed out, then set right back into the egg carton make perfect seed starter cups for sunflowers, tomatoes, cucumbers and other types of vegetables and flowers.

I like to plant my seeds in eggshells so the calcium carbonate in the shells will help nourish the growing plants - plus they make really great "free" seed cups.

And the best part is that you can plant them right in the ground when your seedlings are ready to go outside.

So save a few eggshells after breakfast this week and get planting!

Sunflowers are one of the types of seeds that I love to plant. It's easy and inexpensive to do and the chickens love sunflower

What you Need

An egg carton, egg tray or sectioned tray (I like to use these ceramic egg trays)

Enough eggs to fill the tray or carton

Package of vegetable or flower seeds

Seed starting mix

Safety or sewing pin


Squirt bottle or small pitcher

How to Start Seeds in Eggshells Cups

Poke a hole in the blunt end of the egg with a pin and wiggle it around to enlarge it a bit.  Then carefully crack the top third of the egg and remove it, then rinse the inside and remove the membrane if you wish. 

Arrange the shell 'cups' in your egg carton or tray. Fill each shell 3/4 of the way with seed starting mix.  Put two or three seeds in each 'cup' and press them into the soil. Then cover with a bit more soil. 

Give each cup a light watering and put the tray on a sunny windowsill. Keep the soil moist, and in two to three weeks you should see the seeds start to sprout.  

After the danger of frost has passed in your area, you can plant the cups outside. Just crush the shell a bit with your fingers before planting in the ground to help the plant roots push through. Space the cups 12-16" apart, depending on what type of seed you planted.  

Keep them watered and when the seedlings are 3-4 inches tall, thin out any that you need to. 

The eggshell cups work with lots of types of seeds, but especially those that can suffer blossom end rot like tomatoes. They really benefit from the added calcium the shells provide.

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Originally posted in ©2012 by Fresh Eggs Daily, Inc. All rights reserved.