Improve Your Garden Soil for FREE Using Kitchen Scraps

Improve your garden soil for free using kitchen scraps on

Learn how to turn kitchen scraps into free food for your plants!

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  Composting is a great way to turn kitchen scraps into rich nutrient-filled soil, but not everyone has the time, willingness or space to make it work. An easier way to add nutrients back into your soil for free is to use kitchen scraps.


  We recently moved and started a new garden where the soil is severely lacking in nutrients so I’ve been saving practically anything I can get my hands on that will improve our soil. Here are a few common scraps that you probably already have on hand that can be added straight into your soil.


YouTube video

Used Coffee Grounds

  Used coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper. They also improve the water drainage and aeration of your soil. Be sure you are using USED coffee grounds as unused grounds may not be good for all plants due to its high nitrogen content.


Ground Eggshells

  Eggshells are high in calcium and also good for keeping slugs at bay since they have sharp edges. Simply rinse them, let them dry and either ground them into a powder or crush them into small pieces. Then sprinkle around your plants before watering.


Banana Peels

  Banana peels are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. They can be cut into small pieces and added directly to your soil for a nutrient boost.


Used Cooking Water

  When you cook things like potatoes, carrots, pasta, etc. save the water for your garden as it it full of nutrients. Simply let it cool and give your plants a healthy drink.


Have you tried adding kitchen scraps to improve your soil? If so, what have you added? I’d love to know!


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  1. Missy, thanks for sharing these gardening tips! We have a patio garden and my tomatoes need calcium. I did not want to add a store bought fertilizer so the eggshells are a perfect solution! I've also never head of the cooking water tip and must try this for watering. I love using up waste!
  2. Using kitchen water for the garden is smart! Do you know if there is a rule of thumb for what cooking water NOT to use? Is it basically the same rules for what you put in a compost pile?
  3. I boil garden scraps like onion skins, asparagus stems, and carrot peels since I haven't gotten my compost pile set up yet. It's similar to using vegi boil water.
    1. I would think it would be best to use regular coffee grounds as the flavored varieties have different chemicals and additives in them that you may not want in your soil.
  4. Hi I use used tea leaves, these help to aerate the soil. They also hold onto the water for a little longer, especially for tomatoes. I reuse tea bags in a similar way. I cut off the string holding the label, I found that I often caught the string & so pulled out the bag & disturbed the soil
  5. Your ideas are great. and I'm going to try them. Can you use these ideas on your landscaping, too. Your music drowns out your voice, and I had to listen to the video more than once.

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