Adding eggshells to your compost

Do I need to pre-treat eggshells before adding them to my garden as compost? I feel like I’m wasting something when I just burn them or throw them out. We have our own chickens, which are pasture raised — and the eggs are wonderful.

Ellie Schubert
Alton, Missouri

No, you don’t need to do a thing. You can just set them out in an old carton until they are nice and dry then crush them and put them in a bucket until you can sprinkle them on your garden or dig them into your compost pile. Crushed egg shells add calcium to the soil and help prevent such problems as blossom end rot in tomatoes and squash. Good for you for thinking of it! Waste not; want not is our motto. — Jackie

Canning chili peppers

I want to know if I can water bath Anaheim chili peppers and be safe? I would use half-pint jars.

Troy Stafford
Gold Hill, Oregon

No, all vegetables and meats MUST be pressure canned. You can pickle peppers such as Anaheims or dry them safely too. When pickling peppers, you will be using a water bath canner. They are awesome, canned, so if you don’t already have a pressure canner, maybe this would be the time to invest. You’ll be so glad you did! — Jackie


  1. I rinse out the shells then put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds then open the door to let the steam out before heating them for another 30 seconds. The shells are very brittle then and I crush them fine.

  2. I also do the same thing with banana peels (see my comment on egg shells). I store the banana peels for the veggie garden in the same quart jar as the egg shells. I don’t add banana peels to my flower gardens but it sure wouldn’t hurt anything if I did.

  3. I have saved egg shells for years. I purchased a cheap coffee grinder at Walmart. After laying my egg shells out to dry, I hand crush them and then put them in the coffee grinder (used for shells only) and store them in a quart canning jar until it’s time to add them to the soil. We have had wonderful success using egg shells in our garden.

    I also keep a quart jar of dried egg shells (crushed by hand only) and sprinkle them around my flower gardens. Using the dried, hand-crushed egg shells around my flowers prevent snails from chewing on my plants. The egg shells are sharp so the snails and/or slugs can’t crawl over the sharp shells. Works wonders for me and it’s all natural, adds calcium to my flowers and keeps the snails and slugs at bay.

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