Putting an Egg in the Hole When Planting Tomatoes – A Garden Tradition with Benefits

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As a seasoned gardener, I’ve marveled at the various techniques passed down through generations to enhance plant growth and productivity. One intriguing practice that caught my attention is the tradition of placing an egg in the hole when planting tomatoes. While it may sound unconventional, this age-old method has garnered a loyal following among gardeners for its purported benefits.

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Putting An Egg In The Hole When Planting Tomatoes

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of planting eggs in tomato holes, exploring its history, potential benefits, expert advice, and FAQs. Whether you’re a gardening novice or a seasoned pro, this article will shed light on this intriguing practice, empowering you to make informed decisions about your gardening endeavors.

The History and Meaning of Planting Eggs in Tomato Holes

The tradition of placing an egg in the hole when planting tomatoes has been practiced for centuries, with its origins shrouded in folklore and superstition. Some believe it originated in Native American cultures, where eggs were seen as symbols of fertility and new life. Others attribute its inception to European settlers who used eggs to deter pests and improve soil quality.

Regardless of its exact origins, this practice has been handed down through generations, with gardeners sharing anecdotes about its effectiveness. Some gardeners swear by its ability to boost tomato growth, while others claim it deters pests and improves soil structure.

The Benefits of Planting Eggs in Tomato Holes

While scientific evidence is limited, countless gardeners have attested to the potential benefits of planting eggs in tomato holes. These purported benefits include:

  • Improved Growth: Eggshells contain calcium, which is essential for healthy tomato plant growth. Calcium helps strengthen cell walls, leading to sturdier plants with increased resistance to diseases.
  • Pest Deterrent: The sulfur content in eggshells acts as a natural pest deterrent. The strong odor of sulfur can repel insects and other pests, protecting your tomatoes from damage.
  • Soil Amendment: Eggshells decompose over time, releasing calcium and other nutrients into the soil. This can improve soil structure, making it more fertile and conducive to tomato growth.
  • Moisture Retention: The porous nature of eggshells allows them to absorb and retain moisture. This can be beneficial in dry climates or during periods of drought, providing tomatoes with essential hydration.

Tips and Expert Advice for Planting Eggs in Tomato Holes

To maximize the potential benefits of planting eggs in tomato holes, consider following these tips and expert advice:

  • Use Fresh Eggs: Opt for fresh, uncooked eggs for best results. Avoid using boiled or processed eggs.
  • Crush the Eggshells: Break the eggshells into small pieces before placing them in the hole. This will increase their surface area, allowing nutrients to leach out more efficiently.
  • Dig a Deep Hole: Plant the tomato seedling in a hole that is at least 12 inches deep. Place the crushed eggshells at the bottom of the hole.
  • Mix with Soil: Gently mix the eggshells with the soil at the bottom of the hole. Cover the eggshells with about 2 inches of soil before planting the tomato seedling.

FAQs on Planting Eggs in Tomato Holes

Q: How many eggs should I put in each hole?

A: One egg per hole is sufficient. Using more than one egg may not provide additional benefits and could potentially attract pests.

Q: What type of tomatoes benefit most from this practice?

A: All types of tomatoes can benefit from planting eggs in their holes, but indeterminate varieties (vines that continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the season) tend to show the most improvement.

Q: Is it necessary to wash the eggshells before using them?

A: Washing the eggshells is not necessary unless they are visibly dirty or contaminated. However, it’s important to remove any egg residue or membrane before crushing the shells.


Putting an egg in the hole when planting tomatoes is an intriguing gardening practice that has been passed down through generations. While scientific evidence for its benefits is limited, many gardeners have reported positive results. By following the tips and expert advice outlined in this article, you can try this technique for yourself and see if it enhances the growth and health of your tomato plants.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, experimenting with different gardening techniques can add a touch of fun and discovery to your gardening journey. Let us know in the comments section if you have any questions or thoughts about planting eggs in tomato holes.

Putting An Egg In The Hole When Planting Tomatoes

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