Idea: Using eggshells as planters to grow seedlings

Posted By on July 2, 2020


Every once in a while an idea triggers me into thinking … “I’m going to try this!”

Last week I stumbled across a Lifehacker post that was worth archiving. Using biodegradable eggshells to start seedlings … and after losing half the $60 in flower flats we purchased this year, I may give this one a try for next year.

  1. Save a few eggshells and cartons
  2. Wash out the eggshells (I’m not sure how critical that is?)
  3. Add a little potting mix to each shell
  4. Premoisten a seed and top off with a little more potting mix
  5. Water and sit in a warm sunny window in early spring
  6. Plant the entire shell in a bed or garden after frost threat
  7. Crush shell as you plant and firm up soil around the new seedling


Planting seeds in eggshells is a fun and environmentally-friendly way to bring your garden, porch, or even the indoors to life while upcycling materials that you might already have on hand.

Growing seeds directly in eggshells has countless benefits. Since the eggshell will naturally decompose once transplanted to your garden or a larger pot, it’s a great way to compost without much effort at all. Eggshells are almost entirely calcium carbonate, which is one of the most essential nutrients for thriving plants. As they break down, the eggshells enrich the soil with calcium and nitrogen, which the plant’s roots will absorb and put to use as it grows.

Everything from flowers to vegetables can be started in eggshells, but our favorite thing to grow is herbs. No matter what you decide on, with just a few raw materials like soil, seeds, and Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, you can easily create your very own eggshell windowsill garden.

What you need to get started

You will need just four essential products for this project. If you recently picked up a carton of Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, you’re already halfway there. Hang onto the carton, then clean out and halve the eggshells inside (don’t forget to save the contents for scrambled eggs!). Don’t worry about cutting the eggshells perfectly: as long as you have at least half of the eggshell, you will be good to grow!

The other two essentials that you’ll need are seeds and seed starting mix, which can both be purchased at your local hardware or home and garden supply store. Ideally, your seed starting mix will be pre-moistened. And since space is limited in your eggshell “pots," we recommend selecting smaller plants like herbs and flowers. Oregano, basil, and thyme are great options to go with.

Start by gathering your supplies:

  • A handful of eggshells, cleaned and halved
  • Egg carton
  • Pre-moistened seed starting mix
  • Seeds for herbs or small flowers

Planting seeds in eggshells

Now that you have the supplies, it’s time to get your hands dirty! Just follow these easy steps to get started.

  • Lay out the eggshells

Place an empty shell in each slot of the egg carton. Since these are seedlings, fighting for space and sunlight won’t be a major issue.

  • Plant the seeds

Using a teaspoon, fill each empty eggshell with the seed starting mix up to the top, leaving a few millimeters of space between the soil and the edge of the shell. After adding the soil, use your finger to create a small hole in the dirt to make room for the seeds. Drop two seeds into each hole and gently cover them with a sprinkling of dirt.

Caring for seedlings

The best location for your egg carton garden is on a windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight. The room should also be relatively warm compared to the rest of your house.

  • Water the seedlings

It is crucial to keep the soil moist without overwatering your seedlings. To prevent overwatering, we recommend using a spray bottle to gently mist each eggshell pot. Keep in mind the shells don’t have drainage holes. Just a few sprays in each pot every two or three days is more than sufficient.

  • Trim the smaller seedlings

After a few weeks, you’ll start to see the seedlings sprout. Since you planted two seeds in each eggshell, you can snip the smaller of each pair with scissors if you’d like.

Transplanting seedlings

When your seedlings grow to a couple inches tall and/or have developed a second pair of leaves, it’s time to transfer them to a more spacious environment like a clay pot or outdoor garden. If you decide to move them to a garden, you will need to carry out an extra crucial step called “hardening off” your plants. This means rubbing your hand gently across the plants to simulate a breeze and gradually leaving them outside for longer periods of time to help them acclimate to the weather outdoors.

When transplanting your seedlings, the first step is filling an adequately large pot or garden bed with the same soil you used for the eggshells. Next, take the eggshell with the plant still inside and very, very gently crush the outside of the egg, enough so some shards of the outer layer of the shell chip off. Next, plant the eggshell inside of the new pot or garden, making sure the top of the shell is completely buried. The eggshell will naturally decompose in the soil, giving your plants extra nutrients. In just a few weeks, it will be time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

See Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs Website


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