Small tomato sprout in egg shell near uncracked egg in box on green background

Photo by: Tashulia


DIY Garden Eco-Friendly Eggsperiment

Looking for a fun, educational, and zero-waste DIY project? Try creating a mini-garden using a convenient kitchen scrap: egg shells!

November 10, 2020

Instead of tossing the egg shell after your next omelet, why not try creating a zero-waste mini garden? This fun, educational DIY project is a good way for younger greenthumbs to get in on the action from the comfort of your home.

Step 1: Preparation



Photo by: Elva Etienne

Elva Etienne

After using your eggs, make sure to wash any leftover bits with water. If you did not crack the egg perfectly, it is okay - as long as there is enough unbroken (at least half) for planting. If you are collecting the eggs over time, you can put the clean, dry eggs in the freezer in an empty egg carton until you are ready for the project.

At this point, also gather your other items for the project. Here is a breakdown of what you need:

  • Egg carton: Another way to recycle! This is a great way for your egg carton to find a second use as a container for all growing seedlings.
  • Egg shells
  • Potting Mix (Or Soil) While you can use commercial potting soil (which traditionally is just topsoil), if possible, try for a seedling starter mix. This will give your seedlings the best possible chance to grow.
  • Seeds
  • Spoon For scooping the dirt
  • Small Spray Bottle For watering the plants
  • Marker

If you wish to decorate your eggs, you should do so after washing but before adding soil. Get creative! Draw silly faces and the new seedlings will look like hair. Continuing with the zero-waste theme, you can use a permanent marker to label what each seedling is on the shell itself. But, you can also create your own decorative labels with paper for your personal perfect window garden aesthetic.

Step 2: Soil



Jose A. Bernat Bacete

Photo by: Jose A. Bernat Bacete

Jose A. Bernat Bacete

Use your spoon to carefully add soil to the inside of the eggshells. Try to make sure the soil almost fills the egg. Leave a little room!

With your spray bottle, mist the soil so that it is moist but not drenched. Please take care not to overwater your seedlings as they grow. Since the egg shell is self-contained, there is no drainage for extra water. Using the spray bottle helps prevent oversaturation, which can drown and suffocate the new roots.

Step 3: Seeds

If you are new to gardening, or a seasoned black thumb, you should try starting with hearty herbs. Basil, cilantro, and mint are good options for first-time gardeners.

Add 2-3 seeds per shell. Once the seeds are added, gently top up each egg with a little soil as needed. Make sure to check seed packets for specific planting depths. Mist again if needed so that topsoil is slightly moist.



Photo taken in Mainz, Germany

Photo by: Petra Flaccus / EyeEm

Petra Flaccus / EyeEm

Step 4: Care



Photo by: Elena Zakharova / EyeEm

Elena Zakharova / EyeEm

Leave your egg carton of seedlings in a sunny, south-facing window. Water as necessary (typically every other day) so that the soil remains slightly wet but not drenched.

Step 5: Growth and Transplantation

Read More

Nature | How to Make DIY Egg Planters 00:58

Opt for a fun, educational, and zero-waste DIY project the whole family can do together. Try creating a mini-garden using a convenient kitchen scrap: egg shells!

As your seedlings sprout, they will begin to crowd each other. Parse down to one by using scissors to trim seedlings to the soil line. You do not need to pull them out, as this can disturb the soil and damage the roots.

Check your seedlings often. If you don’t see anything right away, don’t fret. Seeds first grow down as roots. Next, a green sprout will shoot up with either one or two leaves as the seedling develops its root system. After these leaves, the next set of “true” leaves will grow. It is at this point when your seedlings are ready to transplant.

Create a hole in the bottom of the eggshell (a gentle tap on a hard surface can crack the egg, using your hands to remove extra pieces) and place whole in your prepared container or garden bed. Don’t worry about the egg shell! It will biodegrade over time and provide additional nutrients to your plants!

Next Up

Brain Food: Neural Circuit Holds the Clue to Problem Eating

Some food impulses are hard to resist. The smell of bacon or hot buttered popcorn, the sight of cream cakes or burgers--these can lead to an impulse buy within seconds. Delicious food in any form can trigger a response that bypasses rational thought and wrecks our best intentions.

Plastic Turnaround: Recycling Waste into Wonder Materials

Plastic recycling and pollution are two keystone problems facing society. Despite the popular belief that plastic wrapping or containers can be converted into useful products indefinitely, many can only be recycled once or not at all.

Capturing Alaska: Winter into Spring

The best stories are those that exist around authentic moments. In this case, showing the earliest signs of spring as cracks and textures emerge on a lake in Alaska.

Rising Sun: Solar Power for Green Transformation

Solar power is due for massive expansion over the next 20 years. Its confirmation by the International Energy Agency as the cheapest, fastest growing renewable energy source will see it leapfrog coal and gas-fired power in most countries.

Meet Dogor, Your 18,000-Year-Old Best "Friend"

Dogor may have died 18,000 years ago, but his body has remained perfectly preserved — all-the-way down to the whiskers.

What Fat Bears and Astronauts Have in Common

The mysteries around hibernating bears have intrigued curious children and researchers alike for ages. What is hibernation, what causes it and aren’t bears too big to truly hibernate? And probably most interestingly - could humans do this someday?

Florida’s Python Problem is Threatening the Rest of North America

Dusty Crum has doubled-down on his mission to save America’s ecosystem from the invasive species.

If A Bat Were To Bite You In Your Sleep, You'd Probably Never Know

Rabies is rare, but most cases are associated with bats.

Storm Dennis, When 2 Become 1 Menacing Bomb Cyclone

What is a bomb cyclone? And what’s up with Storm Dennis being such a menace in the UK?

Narwhal: The One With Two Waggly Tails?

Meet Narwhal, an adorable pup with two tails. But how did this anomaly happen? Read on to learn more.