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Hatching Spring

By Lisa DeNardo

Each year, in the thick of winter, my chickens tend to get back into the swing of things. Even though it is still freezing cold outside and there is snow, snow and more snow piled up around my homestead, the ladies start regularly laying their eggs. Seeing eggs in such abundance reminds me of one thing…spring. So when it just seems like winter is going to stick around forever, I try my best to keep my mind and my kids preoccupied with springlike thoughts— thoughts like eggs, soil, growing, seeds, plants, green things, sunshine and warmth. One day we decided to combine those thoughts…and created ourselves some eggshell herb gardens.

How to Create Your Eggshell Garden


  • Eggshells
  • An egg carton
  • Sand
  • Some seed-starting soil
  • Seeds
  • Paints and crafty decorations (optional)
  • Somebody looking for something to do
  1. Carefully crack eggs at one end, storing or cooking the contents.

  2. Gently break back the shells to create a nice little planting “pot.”

  3. Rinse the inside and outside of the shell with water.

  4. Let it dry in a safe spot.

  5. Decorate the shells, if inspiration strikes. Be careful not to break them!

  6. Gently place a tablespoon of sand at the bottom of each shell.

  7. Fill each shell with seed-starting soil mix.

  8. Gently moisten the seed-starting mix with water. Let it sit to absorb. Repeat until the soil seems to stay moist, but not wet. (Since there are no drainage holes in the bottom of the shells, it’s very important to never overwater the seeds or seedlings.)

  9. Plant herb seeds according to their packages in each eggshell.

  10. Set the newly planted eggshells back into the egg carton.

  11. Label your egg carton to help you remember what you have planted and where.

  12. Place your egg carton in a warm spot to aid the germination process.

  13. Once your seeds sprout, move the egg carton to a sunny window and watch your seedlings grow.

  14. Once your seedlings are ready to plant outside, gently crush the eggshell in your palms. Then plant each whole egg right into your garden.

I usually do not have things like fluorescent pom-poms and googly eyes lying around my house. Once in a blue moon life requires them, however, such as when you have been stuck inside for too many days in a row. Other than keeping my kids occupied for hours, the decorating step is not really necessary. On the day my children and I planted the seeds, it was nice to give them something fun and creative to do.

In our eggshell gardens we planted herbs such as parsley, dill, oregano, cilantro, thyme, chamomile, basil, sage and rosemary. Remember to keep your seedlings watered, but not too much. Feel free to experiment and plant what you wish. Above anything, enjoy yourself and have fun!