Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An eggshell experiment

I started my first batch of seeds in mid-February, and I tried something new this year. In the past, I've used the small Jiffy peat discs but didn't think they worked very well. So this year I tried making pots out of newspaper and paper towel rolls. I've seen this done a lot before and thought it must work really well. I mentioned the fun I had making them in this post.

I ran out of toilet paper rolls before I ran out of seeds to start, so next I tried using empty eggshells. I'd seen this done once before. I thought it might not work as well because nobody seemed to really use them. But the curious scientist in me decided to try them out. I wrote about the process in this post.

Then I did a little experiment, and boy was I surprised by the results!

This photo shows four tomato plants. The two on the left are Stupice tomatoes. The two on the right are Saucey tomatoes. The tomato plants in the paper cups were actually started one week before the tomato plants in the eggshells!

Eggshell and paper cup tomatoes

Other than that first week, they spent their whole lives side by side, receiving the same amount of water and sun every day. As you can see, the eggshell tomatoes are much bigger and healthier, and oh, what a beautiful little root ball they have!

Eggshell tomatoes

About two weeks ago I transplanted all of the other peppers and tomatoes from the seed cups into bigger pots, and many of them have really rebounded. They aren't as big as the eggshell plants yet, but they definitely seem to be very happy to be out of the paper pots.

Note to self for next year: Start collecting eggshells in January and throw away all the paper towel rolls!

1 comment:

  1. Ah well, those little paper pots sure looked cute! Very nice to get a followup though, and I'll definitely continue to crumble eggshells into my garden.


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