How to improve your soil with 5 common kitchen ingredients.

I have written a post about how to make compost here
Not everyone has room in their garden for a compost bin so here are 5 common kitchen waste products that you can use to improve your soil and enjoy healthy plants.

  1. Egg shells
    • Dry the eggshells in a bowl on a sunny window sill. Once they are dry they crush really easily.
    • Crushed eggshells add extra drainage and calcium to your soil. I find they also prevent rot in tomato plants.
    • Work the crushed shell into the soil or add crushed shell to the base of plants to help deter snails and slugs. They don’t like the feel of the crushed shell so should avoid your young seedlings or plants. See my post about deterring these pests organically

here

2. Banana skins

  • Adding cut up banana skins to your soil will help improve drainage as they encourage worms. They rot down quickly leaving lovely crumbly soil.
  • Banana skins add calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphorus, potassium and sodium to your soil which are needed for healthy plant growth.

3. Epsom Salts

  • Magnesium is incredibly low in many people’s diets and has been declining in our vegetables since the 1950’s. Magnesium is needed for enzyme reactions and is a basic requirement in maintaining healthy body functions. Adding Epsom salts to our soil where we grow vegetables will help this.
  • Add Epsom salts to the base of your vegetables; especially cabbages, broccoli, lettuce and peppers.
  • Add to your tomatoes for healthy fruits.
  • If your plant leaves are curly, it may be due to a magnesium deficiency so give Epsom salts a try.  Epsom salts can be added to the watering can too but make sure to water the base of your plants not their leaves.
Using kitchen ingredients for great compost
Coffe Grounds are good for Acid loving plants

3. Coffee Grounds

  • I empty my coffee pods of their coffee grounds and add this to my compost bin. You can also add coffee grounds straight to the soil as a general fertiliser adding Nitrogen.
  • Coffee grounds are particularly good for acid loving plants such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas,  heathers and blueberries.
  • Coffee Grounds work very well as a mulch around plants. Earthworms love them but slugs don’t tend to.

5. Tea Bags

  • Snip open dried tea bags and use their contents in your garden.
  • Use them in the same way as coffee grounds to improve soil.
  • Pop them into your watering can and water the plants with your tea water.

There we have it! I hope you have found these tips useful.

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47 Comments

  • Excellent post! Ross is always digging little holes round the garden for the compost! He is really looking forward to getting chooks (!), but first he needs to build them a palace!!!Thanks for this post. xxx

  • I have switched to making compost at home to recycle the wet waste. I loved your tips and realised i need egg shells. Perhaps my neighbours will give me some!!
    Pssst… I loved the look and feel of your blog. Its very well done. Cheers ☘

  • Great tips! Wish I would have known these at the beginning of summer. It was my first garden ever. It did well, but next summer I will have to apply these tips and my guess is that it will help tremendously! Also, I am new to following your blog you have lots of posts that I could definitely apply to my life and inspire me. Look forward to reading more!

  • These are great tips! We have a compost bin, but I’ve never put any of these straight on the soil. I’ll give it a go 🙂

  • Do you know, yes, I did find this incredibly useful. In fact, it’s just the post I needed as my soil has been awful this year, I’m going to be implementing your tips. Thank you for sharing it with us this week. #bigpinklink

  • I’ve been thinking about starting to compost so I can use it around the yard. I didn’t know coffee grounds were able to be used, that’s so awesome! #GlobalBlogging

    • No but there are loads on the market. We made ours out of oldscafoldingboads. As long as it sits on the earth so the worms can get in, it will be fine. X

      • Okay. I’ll google a bit for research. We are in Ethiopia, so will have to be made or adapted.

        • Ah well you can just make a box shape out of wood. It can be any size you want to fit where you want to put it. It goes straight ionto the ground. We have a lid on ours to stop pests but remember don’t put meat in it otherwise you will get rats. It’s just a giant bow! Good luck. Xx

          • So it has a base at the bottom? Or a hole in? I will definitely not. Put meat in. We have a lot of stray cats here. So a lid is essential. For some reason I thought it would be like a barrel and trying to fit a tap at the bottom. 🙏

          • You can have a barrel shape on but I find a box one better as then you can put more in it! No base at the bottom or a hole. AS long as the worms can get to the material so that they can do their magic. Stupid question but are there enough worms where you live?

          • I think so. We just found 2 in the grass. It’s not a stupid question. The country is huge and very diverse. There’s a big drought in the south and massive problems growing crops. You also have the Danikil Depression, which is salt flats and will become part of the sea eventually. We live in Addis, so at the moment it’s rainy season, which is supposed to end in two weeks. My planting here is all guess work. I’m so used to seasons. If you have any advice on what to grow let me know.

          • I expect you can grow most things? I found this great post for you to kick start your seeds…
            https://www.apieceofrainbow.com/super-fast-way-start-seeds/
            Why not try the easiest vegetables such as beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins/squash, onions, beetroots and peppers.
            Dig in some manure and then cover an area with black plastic. Plant seedlings into holes in the plastic as this helps get rid of pests. My only worry would be the sun and if the black would be too hot? Then once established, cover with netting if you can.
            This is what I shall be doing next year as I have loads of caterpillars this year as I didn’t cover in netting! I quite like the caterpillars as I garden organically but my caulifowers dont!
            I will try to help when I can….just drop me a message.
            Happy gardening.
            x

  • I think it’s great to resuse like this! We have a composter that we put peelings, tea bags etc into. It’s a great job! Thank you for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x

  • We used to put whole tea bags in but then found out they were part plastic! Snipping them open is the way to go! #anythinggoes

  • Hej – I need to share this with my husband! He is the hero of our balcony. I am sure these tips can also be used for improving the soil on our balcony. And my son will love helping. 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

  • So useful and interesting, I would have never known you could use any of these in the garden but then again my gardening knowledge is extremely limited. I would love to get into gardening though, I think it would be a fun thing to do with the kids as they get a bit older xx #BlogCrush

  • Fab post – the soil in my back garden definitely needs some love so I will be trying these
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie

  • Great tips – the epsom salts surprised me – but it makes sense – And I didn’t know I should be snipping my tea bags – great to know!

    • Go for it! How’s that working for you?

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