Looking to test out your green thumb? We've got a great way to get you ahead of the game when it comes to preparing your garden and it all comes down to sprouting your seeds. Did you know that you can sprout seedlings in egg shells? It's a trick that we, egg farmers, have been using for a long time and are excited to share a step-by-step with you! Get ready for a delicious harvest right in your own garden with veggies that have been home grown right from the start - with your very own seedlings!
What you need:
- 1 dozen eggs
- Egg carton
- Potting soil
- Permanent marker
Step 1 - Hollow out the egg shells
Using the knife, carefully crack the eggs at the pointed end of the shell. This can be done by gently hitting the shell with the sharper end of the knife to 'chisel off' a 'cap'.
Dump the egg contents into a bowl so that you can use them in cooking for later! If you'd like to freeze your eggs for another time, make sure you separate the yolks and whites as you go. Give the egg shells a little rinse before placing them back in the egg carton.
Wondering what you can do with all 12 of your eggs at once? Here are some tasty frittata options!
- Asparagus, Pepper & Feta Frittata
- Pizza Frittata
- Ham, Cheese & Broccoli Frittata
- Apple, Almond & Cheddar Frittata
Step 2 - Add the soil
Using the carton to hold your empty shells, begin filling with potting soil. Do this over your bowl to limit mess. (Tip: if you crush the tops of the shells in a blender to a fine powder, you can incorporate that into the soil for added nutrients.)
Tip: Make sure to read the potting depth on your individual seed packages! Different seeds will need different depths. For example, for the shells that would hold our pumpkin seeds, we made sure to leave a well of about 1.5cm, whereas as our mint seeds needed only a few millimetres of depth.
Step 3 - Add the seeds and label the shells
Drop in a few seeds into each egg shell. Again, it's important to read spacing requirements on the packets of your seeds. Some egg shells might allow for 1 seed (like in the case of a large pumpkin seed) others will hold several (like carrots) and some will hold even more (like our tiny mint seeds)!
So that you know which seeds are which, make sure you label the shells as you go!
Step 4 - Top off with more soil
Now it's time to cover up the seeds the rest of the way with your potting mix.
Step 5 - Water, sunshine and waiting
Now the last thing that your seedlings need in order to germinate is plenty of water and sunshine. Add water to each shell. You can do this by holding them under a running tap (make sure the tap is just barely trickling so that you have full control over the amount of water added!). You can also use a little watering can if you've got one or even create your own DIY version - a water bottle with a small hole poked in the lid works great.
The wonderful thing about egg cartons is that they tend to fit well on most window sills! This is where we've placed ours. Make sure to continue watering every day or two to ensure that the seeds are getting the moisture they need in order to sprout.
You'll be seeing some sprouts soon! Transplanting tips below.
Are you watching your seedlings grow? Depending on how many varieties of seeds you've planted, you may see them sprout at different rates. Some will make an appearance in as little as a few days, others may take a week. Once you see that the seedlings are well into the sprouting process and have established a good root system (in most cases a week or two), they can be planted outside, weather permitting. Before placing them into your outdoor garden, carefully break the eggs and remove the bottom part of the shell, then place directly into the ground. Do this step out in your garden so you don't have to worry about any mess.
Tip: Are you doing this activity in the spring? Make sure it's warm enough outside for your sprouts to survive! They won't do well with frost. If you suspect chilly weather is on the horizon, you may have to transplant them into a larger pot until they're ready for their new home in your garden.