Eggling versus Real Egg: Fight


While setting up my “Eggling Experience” I thought it would fall more into the spirit of the much loved but long forgotten “The Lab” section of this site if I were to make this into an Eggling versus Real Egg experiment. I made the claim in my introductory post that an Eggling could be closely approximated for free using the shell of a real egg, and so I present to you a wholly unscientific experiment in which I will attempt to back that claim up with anecdotal evidence.

I haven’t done this since high school so bear with me.


A real egg is just as effective as an Eggling ceramic egg when used as a vessel for growing thyme from seed.


      1. Set up an Eggling according to the supplied directions.*
      2. Hard boil a large chicken egg. You can use a raw egg and just plop out the contents but I felt like eating a boiled egg.
      3. Peel off a section from the top and scoop out the contents.
      4. Remove a section from the bottom so that the egg sits flat.
      5. Cut a small square of coffee filter and place in the bottom of the egg to cover the hole. This will keep the dirt from falling out.
      6. Fill the egg with sterile seed-starting mix and a dash of vermicompost (aka worm poo). I was out of potting soil and too involved in the scientific process to go out for some, so I cheated and used soil from another pot. The soil wasn’t sterile but… I added worm castings in an attempt to approximate the Eggling growing medium which is said (in the instructions) to include, “…enough nutrients for plants to grow in it for up to 5 months.”
      7. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil. I used the extra seeds that came with the Eggling kit in an attempt to keep the projects as similar as possible (okay maybe no “as possible.” More like, as possible as I can be bothered without making a special trip to the store for additional supplies).
      8. Water the egg slowly until water begins to drain into the tray from the bottom. I followed the directions outlined by the Eggling so that they followed the same routine.
      9. Place both Eggling and Real Egg in a warm place to germinate. Mine are sat on top of the television awaiting germination.

*The supplied directions were seriously lacking in direction. When setting this up I tried to think like a beginner and I will say that as a fake beginner the lack of instructions left me feeling anxious as to whether I was doing the right thing. Did I make the hole big enough? How long will it take to germinate? How do I care for the plant once it has germinated? How do I prune? How do I transplant it? What happens next? p.s. In step #4 of the instruction pamphlet it is suggested that you shatter the Eggling and add the pieces to the soil of the transplanted plant “as fertilizer.” Dudes, last time I checked ceramic did not qualify as “fertilizer.”

p.s. NaBloPoMo is HARD.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “Eggling versus Real Egg: Fight

  1. Years ago when I had a huge veggie garden, I would start most of my plants in the spring using your egg method…but not as scientific! I would wash and save the eggshells (poked a hole in the bottom with a darning needle) right in the egg carton over the winter and then have ready-made flats all set to go in the spring. The planting part was fun…I gently and slightly cracked the eggshells in my hand and popped the whole thing, shell, seedling and all into the ground.

  2. I predict that the seedlings from the real egg do better. There must be some goodness on the shell that comes from the protein in the egg that will be seeped up through the soil and into the root system of the seedlings.

    … or something.

  3. That sounds awesome! I don’t know what will do better, but I hope the real egg does because I have a bunch of chickens and that would be handy to have something to start seeds in every time they lay an egg.

  4. This is great! I have been searching the web for tips on how to grow thyme from seeds (got some thyme seeds as birthday present) and I just want to get as much information as possible because I want to grow these seeds successfully. I find this experiment useful / helpful and I will start my thyme seeds in a real egg shell.

  5. Ive been doing this for a while after I saw the Egglings being sold at Urban Outfitters. I was able to get the opening on a read egg almost perfect by hammering a nail very lightly in certain places. Then I would make a very small hole on the opposite end and blow through that, expelling the contents of the raw egg into a bowl. I used toiled paper rolls (cut down) as a stand for the eggs because they fit perfectly and then I dont have to crack the bottom. The eggs look and work great!

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