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Weekend Project: Turn Empty Eggshells Into An Indoor Herb Garden

4/8/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tags: weekend project, diy projects, herbs, eggs, spring, grow herbs

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailEven if it’s still chilly where you live, there’s no denying that spring’s in the air. I’m celebrating with Ken Hoyt’s “hatchlings” garden, planted in eggshells, a lovely combination of two symbols of this hopeful season. This project was featured last spring in Natural Home magazine. You can find more of Ken’s great ideas and projects at

This makes a great hostess gift if you’re invited to Easter dinner or a nice gesture if you just want to say “happy spring!” If you do plan to give it as a gift, allow an extra week or two for the herbs to get going.

You will need: 

• 1 dozen eggs
• Thin towel
• Organic planting mix
• Tweezers
• Seeds (any veggie or herb will work; check seed packet instructions)
• Aluminum foil
• Misting bottle
• A little sunshine 


1. Tap around the circumference of an egg’s small end with a spoon to crack it. Remove top and empty egg. Clean shells with hot water (no soap), air dry and place in egg carton. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. (Save the egg to make omelets later.)

2. To reduce mess, cover egg carton beneath shells with thin towels while adding soil. Scoop planting mix into eggshells. A funnel made from a piece of scrap paper will neatly guide soil.

3. When egg is nearly full of soil, use tweezers to gently place a seed or seeds in the center just below soil surface. When all seeds are “planted,” remove thin towel.

4. Cover carton below shells with aluminum foil to protect it from watering mist. Place in a sunny, warm window and gently mist daily. Remove foil before displaying or giving the starts.

5. Follow the seed packet’s guidelines for planting instructions and sprouting time.

Tip: Don't color the eggshells; dyes could harm seedlings. Paint the carton or add printed tags instead.

 herbs in shells 

This carton of garden 'hatchlings' will deliver fresh food all year. Photo by Taylor Miller 

herbs in shells 2 

You can be as plain or as fancy as you want to be. Photo by primenumbergirl/flickr 

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