Did you know that these common household kitchen scraps can naturally improve your garden soil? Check them out below…
Improving your garden soil should always be an ongoing mission for sustainable gardeners. The better your soil, the more healthy and productive your garden will be – and the less work you will have to do!
Contrary to what most people think, many commercial fertilizers don’t actually improve your garden soil. Most petroleum-based chemical fertilizers provide only a few specific nutrients (specifically nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), instead of the full spectrum of nutrients that a truly healthy soil needs. Once your plants use up these nutrients, there isn’t anything left to feed the beneficial microbes your soil needs to be healthy. (In fact, over-application of these fertilizers may even harm or kill the microbes over time, leading to depleted or “dead” soil in which few things will grow without adding still more chemical fertilizers.)
For truly healthy soil, you need to feed not only your plants, but also the millions of microbes and bacteria in the soil, which in turn, help your plants better absorb the nutrients you are giving them.
So what do you feed your soil? Kitchen scraps make a great natural and healthy addition! Compost is also wonderful and filled with microbial activity, but it does take a while to make good compost. If you’re just getting started with your garden, or haven’t started composting yet, you can add these 7 ingredients directly to your soil. It’s easy, inexpensive, and will start to improve your garden soil very quickly.
Banana peels are extremely high in potassium and also contain sulfur and phosphorus. Chopping up some peels and putting them around the base of your vegetable plants will help with root development, increase the flower blooms on your plants, and your fruit yield.
Chicken feathers are very nitrogen-rich. Collecting some feathers from around your coop…and adding them to your soil will provide the nitrogen necessary for nice green leaves and healthy plants….
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, making them an excellent general fertilizer when you sprinkle them around the base of your plants or work them into the soil prior to planting.
…Not only will adding some crushed eggshells to the hole when you plant tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables that require high calcium levels help to prevent blossom end rot, sprinkling some around the stems of your plants may deter slugs.
Epsom salts are extremely high in magnesium which helps seed germination and the absorption of other nutrients. Mixing some Epsom salts into your garden soil will help your seeds sprout. Diluting the Epsom salts with water and spraying the mix onto plant leaves should result in greener leaves, bushier plants and more flowers.
Lobster or Shrimp Shells
Tossing your discarded shellfish shells in the garden not only adds nitrogen and phosphorus, they will make your acidic soil slightly more alkaline, which is more conducive to growing most vegetables.
If you have a wood stove or fire pit, saving the ashes and scattering them on your garden will help to neutralize acidic soil and also add calcium to your soil….