This morning I collected several months’ worth of eggshells, put them on a cookie sheet, and baked ’em for 10 minutes at 170 degrees. This dries them up and removes any bacteria. Then I put them in a wooden bowl and ground them up with a pestle. I’ll spread them on my garden beds to provide calcium and other minerals. Broccoli, which I’ve had trouble growing, is said to be fond of ground-up eggshells. But I think I’m improving the soil for next year’s vegetables, not this year’s.
We’re doing several new things in the gardens this year to see what impact they have:
1) I’ve gotten a roll of red plastic mulch, which is said to be great for tomatoes. We’ll see. Different colors of plastic are supposed to benefit different crops.
2) We’ve pruned our three pear trees way back and twice sprayed with dormant oil to deter psylla flies. But there was a surprise rainstorm five hours after I last sprayed, so I may have to spray again. Our pear trees have been a big disappointment, so we’re hoping these tactics will help.
3) We’re going to try growing potatoes above ground in 3-foot-high cylinders, using compost, straw and sand.
4) I’ve created four new beds in partial shade at my community garden, and planted shade-tolerant crops like chard, spinach, beets and carrots there.
5) I’m going to make a garlic spray out of garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, water and dish soap to scare off bugs.
6) I’m going to cover my zucchini plants as soon as the wild chicory plant flowers. I’ve read that this coincides with the time when the squash vine borer moth lays its eggs on the stems of the plants.