I love to make use of things we have in the house for our garden. Particularly food by composting it. This is a great way to build up the best soil. You would be surprised how much waste you can reduce in your kitchen by using it to feed your garden. Instead of throwing out your food scraps, you should start composting but not everything has to be composted before it can go into your garden and some things you never thought of can go right into your garden.
Using Eggshells In Your Garden
You can use eggs shells for a few things in the garden. Eggshells are great for pest control and for adding calcium to your soil to help your plants thrive. While you can compost your eggs shells you can also use them directly in the garden.
To use eggs shells directly in your garden you should prepare them to encourage them to break down faster. To do this start by washing them then roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. This will dry them out fully. You can then crush them into larger chunks to help kill slugs and snails in your garden or opt to turn them into a fine powder that can be used to add calcium to the soil quickly.
A great way to feed plants like tomatoes that need a lot of calcium to grow is to place powdered eggshells directly into the hole with your tomatoes when you plant them into the ground.
Using Banana Peels In Your Garden
Banana peels are a great way to add potassium to your soil. As a family is kids that love bananas we can go through a lot of bananas making them highly obtainable for use. Using banana peels as a fertilizer is easier than you think. Over the winter we compost our banana peels by cutting them up and tossing them into the rotating compost bin where they will break down on warmer days and work their way into compost for the garden.
In the summertime, we will put the banana peels directly into the garden and cut them up into small chunks to help speed up the breakdown. I learned this trick back when I joined a homesteading group when we lived in Florida and I took the time to seek out help with a leaf miner problem. Everyone suggested putting banana peels at the base of my yard-long beans to help them handle the attack. Not only did the beans survive they thrived and banana peels became a normal part of our fertilizer for our garden.
Using Coffee Grounds In The Garden
Used coffee grounds are great for your acid-loving plants. This is a great way to reduce waste and make the most of your kitchen scraps in your garden. There are a few great uses for coffee grounds around the home but my favorite is to put them into the garden to feed our tomatoes and berry plants. While you can put coffee ground right into your compost they make a great fertilizer that can be sprinkled on top of the soil as the day goes on.
Using cooking water in your garden
When straining times that have been cooked in water place the colander over a large mixing bowl to catch the water so you can allow it to cool before using in your garden.
Boiling eggs – The water from boiling eggs has the nutrients that have broken down from the shells in it as well as the vinegar or salt you have added to the water to help make hard boiled eggs easy to peel.
Pasta – The water from pasta is cloudy and usually makes it down the drain because there is nothing else you can do with it but your garden would love the flour and nutrients that make the water cloudy and thick.
Rice – For enriched rice you are generally told to not strain off the water as it can contain most of the adding nutrients but if you do need to strain you can make use of those vitamins and minerals by putting the water in your garden where it can feed your plants.
Vegetable steaming – When you steam your vegetables the water left at the bottom of the pot holds and nutrients that have escaped your vegetables. These nutrients can go back into your garden to nourish your next batch of veggies.
Using Old Spices In Your Garden
I for one love to collect herbs and spices for cooking but dried spices lose their potency after 6 months to a year so the spices I dry and save over the winter get a new home when the scent and flavor begin to go downhill. They go right into my garden to work as pest control. While the fragrance is less potent it can still help to repel insects and unwanted critters that will smell them when they get up close. This is a great use for cinnamon, ground and crushed peppers, mint, oregano, and basil.
Old beer, wine, coffee, and tea
Whether you left your coffee sitting till it got cold and stale or you had a party and ended up with a large batch of old drinks leftover the next morning you can put these to use in your garden. The microbes that ferment beer and wine can help to break down organic matter in your soil, boost your compost, or simply help feed the plants directly in your garden. Old coffee and tea don’t need to go down the drain. You can use these to water acid-loving plants or change the PH anywhere in your garden.
Spoiled milk for your garden.
Your garden needs calcium to thrive and one great way to reduce waste and help to give your plants these nutrients is to put spoiled milk into your garden. The acidic nature or spoiled milk may throw your soil a bit off so if the milk tastes sour stick to giving it to plants that like acid-like your tomatoes that will be more than happy for the acid and calcium.