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

Fishermen and Scientist Develop Rope-less Gear to Save Whales

Fishermen are testing alternative rope-less gear in order to help an effort to save the critically endangered whale 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.

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?

Believed-Extinct Rio Apaporis Caiman Rediscovered

The believed-extinct Rio Apaporis caiman (Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis) has been captured by Forrest Galante, wildlife biologist and host of Animal Planet’s EXTINCT OR ALIVE, and team, making history once again.

5 Things You Didn't Know Climate Change Could Do

Climate change has some complex effects that you may not even realize exist. Read on to learn more.

Mark Rober and MrBeast Team Up to Plant 20 Million Trees

They're planting 20 million trees, but they're on a deadline. Here's what you need to know to support their cause!

Catching a Glimpse of Comet NEOWISE, a Once in a Lifetime Moment

If you find yourself in a place with clean air and an unobstructed view of the night sky, you will undoubtedly be mesmerized by its starry-depth and beauty.

Baby Raptor Fossil Found in Alaska

Over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, paleontologists found baby velociraptor fossils with big implications.

How a Change in Fishing Practices Saved Coral Reefs

Learn how a change in fishing practices unintentionally preserved the coral reefs of the Lakshadweep archipelago off the coast of India