|Can You Compost Egg Shells?|
|The opinions shared here are based upon my own experiences working with compost and may not be shared by all.|
|Eggshells in the Compost|
|I hear this question a lot – “Can l compost eggshells?”|
Yes, you can. I use eggshells all the time. I either grind them down for use in the worm food mixes, throw them into the compost heap directly, or add them to my bokashi bins and then add the fermented mixture into the pile later.
There are many debates about how they should be added. For me, l throw them into the compost pile or the bokashi bin as they are in their raw state. Still, when adding them to the worms, l make sure l wash all the shells inside and out and allow them to dry naturally for a day or two before grinding them down to add to the wormeries.
However, l hot compost which can easily attain a heat of around 160°F, which kills off any potential salmonella bacteria.
Hot composting also further eliminates bad smells and mould possibilities. But if you do not and are cold composting or tumbling and are concerned about the smells of the eggs or even pests and vermin, you could, if you wish, wash them and dry and then add them in ‘cleaner’.
Eggshells add calcium and other valuable micronutrients to the compost as they do if you add them directly to your soils in the garden.
Eggshells do break down slowly, so you can, if you wish, crush them or grind them down to a finer particle or even mill them down into a more delicate powder. I blend mine, which breaks them up into tiny pieces when adding to worms foods. But with hot composting, l usually add them in whole, cracked, or marginally crushed, and after ten turns or thirty days, they are mostly gone.
I practice reversing continuous flow hot composting, which means that l am always adding green or brown materials with almost every turn from the base up and my pile’s heat is always hot, so eggshells for me tend to not stay around for too long. The pieces of shell that are left usually end up in the garden or pots.
Any bits of eggshell that do end up in the garden soil help with increased aerations, but over time and this can take a LONG time, they will break down or gradually be consumed by residents in the soils.
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