A compost heap is a great way to recycle kitchen waste and improve your garden soil for free. However not everyone has the space needed and depending on where you live, you may want to deter any unwanted furry visitors.
It’s not always necessary to compost kitchen waste before adding it to your soil. So here are a few tips on how you can improve your garden soil without a compost heap using three kitchen scraps you’d normally throw away.
- Rinse out any egg shells you have and allow them to dry for a few days in a bowl on a sunny window sill or by a radiator. When they are dry they crush very easily. This will help them to break down quickly when added to the soil.
- Crushed eggshells improve drainage and the addition of the calcium is excellent for promoting plant growth and preventing blossom end rot in tomatoes and squash plants.
- They are also a good deterrent for slugs and snails. Scatter a generous barrier around any young seedlings that you want to protect to keep the pesky molluscs away. This is apparently the equivalent of us walking barefoot on broken glass.
- Coffee grounds can also be added directly to the soil. They act as a general fertiliser, adding organic matter, improving drainage, water retention and soil aeration. As they break down they will continue to add nitrogen which is so good for plant growth.
- Used coffee grounds will not affect the PH level of your soil unless used in very concentrated amounts. However unused coffee grounds or leftover coffee is always such a wonderful pick-me-up for acid loving plants.
- Coffee grounds also work very well as a mulch around plants. This keeps earthworms very happy as they seem partial to a little caffeine hit too!
- Adding banana skins is another excellent way to improve your garden soil. More, they can be added directly to the ground as long as they are cut up into very small pieces. These will break down faster and allow all the micro-organisms in the soil lots of surface area to work their magic.
- This will create plenty of organic matter resulting in a light, well drained soil which is full of lovely earthworms. Once the banana skins have broken down they will add a powerful cocktail of nutrients; calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphates, potassium and sodium, all of which help plants to grow well and develop their fruit.