Anyone use EGGS for fertilizer?

naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)June 10, 2009

Today's mail brought a Redbook magazine, okay for fashion and beauty advice and TONS of ads. This issue also had instructions on planting veggies in containers.

It advised "...Fill the pot with 2 inches of potting soil. Place one uncracked raw egg in the pot - as it decomposes, it will serve as a natural fertilizer..."

I'm thinking the egg could well be intact and only rotten inside the shell come fall having provided no nutrients to the plant as all...or you could have a stinky mess. Has anyone used this method or heard of it before? I don't look to Redbook for advice on much of anything and certainly not for gardening, but I did find this method interesting even though I don't plan to try it. They also suggest using a screwdriver instead of your finger to make holes in the soil for planting. Talk about taking away all the fun :)

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jonas302(central mn 4)

sounds stinky but maybe I will try it in a comparison sometime

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:17PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

"Fill the pot with 2 inches of potting soil. Place one uncracked raw egg in the pot..."

Unless I'm growing moss, or possibly grass, I think I want more than 2" of potting MIX. If I am growing moss or grass, I'd rather eat the egg fresh than use it for fertilizer.

Thanks, but I don't think I will subscribe to "Redbook" for gardening tips.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:22AM
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Also, if you have any critters in your yard, they might smell the egg and dig up the pot to get to it. I tried putting banana peels in the soil under potted plants one year and the raccoons thought I had set out a fruit compote just for them. I ended up having to repot a bunch of plants after they had left them scattered around the yard.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:24AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Well, I think it's an odd recommendation, but maybe not entirely unreasonable since a lot of old-time farmers used fish in a planting hole for vegetables. My grandfather did -- he also had a fishing boat that enabled him to sell fish. The culls became fertilizer for the farm. Maybe eggs are just as beneficial to plants -- who knows?

I don't think I'd want to put it in a potted plant soil though.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:48AM
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My sister raises chickens and often puts an egg in the hole when planting tomatoes, they have never had a problem with anything digging them up, but they do live in a big city with not that many wild animals. Although, there is not really any difference between the ones that were planting with eggs and the ones that are not.

I do think it would be weird to not crack the egg, though. Because you really would not want it whole.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:44PM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

This is a good question. I have chickens, and every few days, there's an egg that's cracked or really dirty or otherwise gets rejected for the table. But if was actually helpful for the garden, it would be good to know. Currently, I compost them, for lack of better ideas.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 6:37PM
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Karen Pease

I think they're confusing whole eggs with egg shells, which are a good calcium source (I've even heard from hydroponic growers who dissolve them in vinegar to create calcium acetate, which they use to provide the calcium to their plants).

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:01PM
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All eggs are is proteins, fats, cholesterol, minerals, vitamins

Sounds decent but for potted plants is kinda sketchy unless you have some healthy soil from outside with a lot of biological activity in it to feast on the egg before it rots.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:56PM
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Scroll down a little to the table, itll tell you what eggs are made of

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:58PM
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jessicavanderhoff(7 Md)

I'd be curious to see if it works, but offhand it sounds completely idiotic. I think it would either sit there and do nothing-- eggs last for a really long time, even out of the fridge-- or it would rot and smell. (Especially in potting soil, which would probably lack the bacteria that break down organic material in the ground). Sounds like one of those articles that tells you if you mix olive oil and mayonnaise and leave it on your hair for six hours it'll never be frizzy again. Either someone's a total idiot, or they're having a really good laugh in the break room at the magazine, thinking about people planting chicken eggs and conditioning with rotten mayo. . .

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Haha I read the same article and was just doing a google search to see if there was anything to it. Personally I see no way the shell could break down in any reasonable length of time. Might be worth testing for the scientific ones among us. They also suggested you break the roots apart with your fingers before potting, somthing I never do. I try not to disturb the roots at all.

"Unless I'm growing moss, or possibly grass, I think I want more than 2" of potting MIX."
tdscpa, they meant you put 2" of soil, then the egg, then your plant and the rest of the dirt. A lot more than 2" total.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 4:19PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Roots would break down an egg shell pretty quickly I would imagine.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:31PM
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There is no doubt that any organic mater(eggs, fish, flesh, bone,..) eventually will decompose and can provide some nutrients for the plant life.So this can include an egg, a dead rat, squirrel,...
What is in egg(contents) is some water and protein,
( consisting mainly of these elements: C, H, N, O, S,)
What plants can utilize from those is "N" which is about 1.2% of total. This is not a whole lot for a pot, EVEN if it is fully decomposed on time. A handfull of dry horse or cow manure in place of that egg can provide many times more nutients that are readily available.
You want to make it slow release? Mix it with clay soil, form it as a cooki(hehe, no cholesterol))

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 12:04AM
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sfallen2002(z5 IA)

Find a better source for garden info. Fish ain't eggs.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 9:54PM
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I always heard the for compost, animal matter should be avoided. With that, it seems to me that whole eggs would rot and become fetid for your plants. Eggs shells are a different matter because they add minerals to your soil. I would avoid whole raw eggs!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:02AM
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I heard about âÂÂwhole eggâ method for rooting cuttings.
Before calling this method âÂÂidioticâÂÂ, maybe, people should try it first and see what will happen. The fact that you canâÂÂt envision benefits does not mean there are no benefits.
I remember, few years ago someone from Brugmansia international forum did the experiment with âÂÂwhole eggâ growing method : she took a couple of hard-to-root brugmansia cuttings and planted them in 2 identical pots with the same potting soil: just one pot had a whole egg buried in the soil. In a few weeks, she removed the cuttings from the soil and showed the pictures of both. The difference was amazing: the roots of the âÂÂeggedâ cutting were twice as big and dense as non-âÂÂeggedâ one. She didnâÂÂt invent this method , " she actually heard it from someone else, so this practice is not that new.
And the success was attributed not to the nutrients in the egg, but to the hydrogen sulfide gas (and possibly other gases) that the rotting eggs would constantly emit in the soil somehow stimulating the root development of the plant.

**********added later***********
If you google âÂÂrooting cuttings egg methodâÂÂ, you will find plenty of references to first-hand experiences of people using âÂÂwhole eggâ rooting method.
Here, I found it on Plumeria site as well:

And here is Brugmansia (with comparison pictures):

This post was edited by green_go on Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 18:46

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Is it fair to say that people have been growing plants in containers successfully for a long time without the benefit of whole eggs? So what's the point? Eat the egg, pot the plant. Any potential benefit to the plant would be far less than the benefit from eating the egg.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Hydrogen sulfide has been shown to promote root growth in many ornamental plant cuttings...that said you can buy a huge bucket of sodium hydrosulfide which will break down into hydrogen sulfide for a few dollars without messing with eggs or the proper environment to produce hydrogen sulfide by excluding oxygen from the deep root zone.

That's still more of a novelty for anything grown from seed vs something you're trying to promote root growth with cuttings.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Well, I, for one, am glad that green_go z5a provided such a good explanation and link to the page on rooting with an egg. You might not think it's useful to "waste" an egg on such a silly thing, but I've come upon the problem of having a half dozen eggs go bad on me while having a broken stove/oven.

So while looking for a use for rotten eggs, I found this.

I have a couple of plants that I'd like to root and what better use for those rotten eggs than to help me root my cuttings. At worst, I get no good roots and I'll have to compost the soil, or I get good roots and still have to compost the soil.

I'm glad someone was thinking outside of the ....eggshell

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 2:02PM
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daninthedirt(Cent TX; HZ10, Sunset z30, USDA z8a)

This is just in-situ composting, but with a relatively expensive compost material. A fish or an egg in a hole I can sorta understand. But in a pot?? Ick.

Now, to the extent that hydrogen sulfide helps seedlings, and to the extent that rotten eggs smell like hydrogen sulfide, there are better ways to get hydrogen sulfide than by rotting eggs. Of course, if you rot your egg in a pot that is sitting in the air, your nose will know, as will those of your guests. Might as well drop some septic tank material in the pot as well. That'll make hydrogen sulfide too.

Sure, if you have a bunch of rotten eggs, throw them in the compost heap. Won't hurt.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 3:32PM
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planterjeff(7b Grant Park Atlanta)

Is Salmonella poisoning a possibility when using raw eggs or will the plant naturally cleanse the bacteria?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:00PM
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I would at least break the egg a little bit, if you are wanting some kind of slow break-down, or break it in half and pour the contents into the pot (even mixing it) if you want faster. The reason for this is that I've had whole eggs in a compost bin before, and although I thought I had cracked them all, there were some that remained uncracked for several months until I was using the compost. At that time, I found they were not cracked, anjd proceeded to crack them. It was a horrible smell.

It disappeared soon enough but I would rather not have that smell.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:06PM
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If people can grow plants and trees over dead pets and people, surely a small calcium fertilizer coffin for the easy to decompose egg yolk can't be the end of the world...

Egg not being good for compost is not necessarily same as egg not being good for plant. For example, I know someone who puts ashes into the soil. Many farmers in India start controlled fires to burn dry vegetation and get their ash into the soil, but I don't think it is a good idea to put ash in compost.

If it comes as a recommendation, it is worth keeping open as an option unless disproved.

I don't have much space in my balcony, but given I live on the third floor, there isn't much risk of animals either, so I will try to plant two plants with and without egg and report back.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:30PM
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I came across this information on facebook & thought it would be a great share here.

To make a Concoction (Egg Amino Acid)

Take 2 Organic eggs (without breaking it) in a glass container and soak them entirely with lemon juice. Seal it and keep it away from direct sunlight.
Open the Jar every 3 days to let the gases out.
At the end of 18 day period, you would notice all the calcium has dissolved and settled at the bottom.

You add 250gms of powdered jaggery, stir it (your eggs would have broken down during this period) and store it for a period of 10 days.

What you have is an effective concentrate. You would need to dilute in proportion and store the balance concentrate.
For spraying on vegetables - ratio of 2 ml to 1 lit of water
For pouring on soil - ratio of 100 ml to 3.5 lit of water.

Gives new Vigor to the plant, increasing flowering & gives good fruiting results.

Credit: Sourced from Mr Binuraj Purushothaman.


This post was edited by ashok767 on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 3:51

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:48AM
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I used eggs as fertilizer under my eggplants and got these results :

Yes, a Bad Yoke I know.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:45AM
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