24 comments on “How To Use Sea Shells And Egg Shells In Compost

  1. Great tips, I always add my eggshells to my compost pile. I just didnt’ realize you could add the shells from shellfish to the bin. The shy adolescent part, lol.

    If you go to the beach, collect shells and seaweed. Great for the garden. In fact, get some fish too! Bury them in the soil… great for just about any plant. Shy adolescent part.. i really am a doofus! I can’t help it. Half the time I don’t know what’s going to come out of my fingers when I type. Thanks!

  2. That is great advice. Everytime we have clams or mussels I do this, but I have not made a tea! excellent idea. i will try that, epecially for the tomatoes!!

    Thanks Philip. The tea is great especially when you do it with egg shells.

  3. I actually composted crawfish shells last summer. I just buried them deep in the pile and the broke right down. I water my tomatoes with the water I use to boil eggs in. Works great. Great suggestions on uses for adolescents. hahaha.

    Great suggestion on the water from boiled eggs.. going to add that one.

  4. Another classic post—thanks!!! Love Aunt Debbi’s tip on using the egg water, too. We add crushed eggshells to our compost heap and also put them in the earthworm composter. The earthworms ignore them, but when we put the finished earthworm compost around our tomatoes, they get the calcium hit too!

    Thanks! Next year is the year for me to get an earthworm composter. Perfect to add the egg shells.

  5. Great ideas! I always toss my egg shells into the compost, but they do take quite a while to decompose when they are in big chunks (like I usually leave them). I will have to use your advice next time. I love the idea about the egg cooking water, too. Good stuff! Thanks a bunch.

    I don’t know why.. but it’s really fun to smash the shells up! Cook them and they become very brittle.

  6. I’ve been tossing my egg shells in raw (after crumbling them up) but I wondered about the salmonella risk.

    Hmmm, crawfish shells. I can just see it after the annual family crawfish boil next February going from table to table scraping the shells into a bucket.

    First of all.. I want in on that family crawfish boil. Fantastic. Second… well.. i don’t want to underfreak out about salmonella… but you’re probably fine tossing them into the compost. If you are composting for a long time, and the core is getting hot (160 F and more) you’ll eventually cook the salmonella anyway. But it’s nice to cook the shells, kill the stuff right away, and be able to crush it more easily.

    • So, I’m not trying to start anything, or continue I guess.. These forums seem to get pretty heated. But, killing bacteria, ie: Pasteurization, is a very simple thing to do. The compost pile itself is actually capable of doing it, and doesn’t need to reach such high temperatures as 160.. For instance, BBQ pork, slow roasted or smoked, only has to reach a temp of 145 (a rather modest and easily attained temp in a compost pile), and it only has to be at that temp for around 4-6 hours to be considered safe to eat. (the time is varied, because various states/counties have different preferences.) When composting, even when turning and mixing daily for a ‘fast’ compost, you’re still going to be sitting at that temp for around 2-4 weeks (depending on all kinds of things… temp, humidity, brown/green content, sunshine amount… yeah, like I said, lots..) which is plenty of time to kill off stuff like Escherichia, Shigella, Citrobacter, and yes, Salmonella too. It will pretty much kill most pathogenic microbes, except say, well, Clostridium botulinum, Bacillus anthracis, or Clostridium tetani, which create endospores that are resistant to almost everything except autoclaving (which is why meats and such must be canned in a pressure cooker… Betcha didn’t know you were autoclaving your foods did you?

      Anyway, this long winded reply was meant simply to say “Don’t worry about composting your foods. Regardless of what is it. Composting kills pathogenic bacteria. The bacteria that are left are good, or at least not pathogenic.”

      And keep in mind, were something that could cause anthrax, botulism or tetanus to be composted, well, frankly those bacteria are already in the soil everywhere anyway. Some places just higher/lower than others..

  7. Thats great. I had no idea you could use sea shells for the compost too! Next time I eat some shell fish I will be sure to think about you!!

    Many Thanks!!

  8. Wow! A whole new level to composting. I add crushed egg shells, but never thought of sea shells. And we have plenty of those. Thanks for this!

  9. Same here! I didn’t know about the shellfish part. The way you write is very funny 🙂
    I also steep the skins of potatoes in boiled water and use this to water the tomatoes. Helps against all kinds of diseases…

  10. I’ve always added eggshells to the compost but, even though I crush them up I always find they take ages to break down and I’m left with thousands of bits of eggshells in my garden when I use the compost. Answer: save your eggshells for a few days, pop them in the blender with water and blend them on high. Crunches them into tiny bits which will break down faster and don’t look as obvious when you use the compost.

  11. Thank you for the information. I wo.t use,a plastic bag, but I assure you it will have sides and a bottom. And please don’t kill yourself, I may still need your advice. Lol Thanks again.


  12. I don’t normally leave comments on blogs – but I just had to write to tell you what a great writer you are! Very sharp writing and great compost tips. Keep going!

  13. As a bodybuilder I produce immense quantities of egg shells. I store them up until I’m going to bake something in the oven and just pop them in there alongside. 30 mins at 200C does the job and I crush them down with a pestle and mortar to produce a fine powder. Then it’s onto the compost heap where they degrade nicely.

  14. Instead of firing up the oven to cook my shells, I keep my shells in a baking pan with aluminum foil and pop them into the oven after I’m done cooking dinner. The shells cook in the heat while the oven is cooling down. No energy wasted

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