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How to Use Food Scraps in Your Garden Without a Compost Heap

Updated on April 12, 2017

Like many people, I used to throw fruit and vegetable scraps and eggshells into the trash. Then I heard about composting kitchen waste. Food scraps contain nutrients that can be used to improve garden soil. I thought this would be a good way to improve soil quality in the garden. And I would be helping the environment by adding less to landfills.

However, when I looked into compost heaps, it was more complex and time consuming than I expected. So, I looked into ways of using food scraps to improve soil quality without going to the trouble of having a compost pile or a worm bin.

You can use food scraps to fertilize your garden without having a compost heap
You can use food scraps to fertilize your garden without having a compost heap

Fertilizing Plants with Food Scraps

You can use rinds, banana peels, apple cores and any bits of vegetables that are left over after food preparation as fertilizer. There are a couple of easy ways to prepare food scraps to fertilize your plants. One thing you can do is take fruit and vegetable scraps and chop them up in a food chopper or blend them in a blender. Add some water to make it more liquid. Then simply pour the mixture around your plants. Cover with some soil. This of course can be a lot of work if you're doing it every day and there's some clean up afterwards.

Another easy method is to chop up fruit and vegetable waste into small pieces and then bury it in a hole in the garden. This is a good option if you have a large planting space. You should dig holes or trenches that are several inches deep to avoid attracting unwanted animals to your garden. Wetting the soil well first can make digging easier. Cover the food scraps very well. Make the food scraps small, so they will decompose faster. This is the method I have been using for several months. I now have rich, dark soil in the areas where I have been burying the food scraps. I use this soil around my plants as a fertilizer. This isn't really that time consuming. And it's a good incentive to spend a few minutes out in the garden in the evening.

It may be helpful to mark off areas that already have buried food scraps to ensure that you're covering all areas of your garden.

Eggshells Are Good for Plants

Like humans, plants need calcium. If you eat a lot of eggs, the leftover eggshells can be a great source of calcium for your garden. You need to crush the eggshells and make them as small as possible, so they will decompose faster. One way to do this is to place the eggshells in a plastic lunch bag and crush them with a hammer. You can then sprinkle them around your plants.

You can also use eggshells as a natural pest control method to help keep slugs, snails and caterpillars away from your plants. They can't easily slither over pieces of eggshell. Break eggshells into pieces and put them around any plants you want to protect.

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    • profile image

      GC 5 years ago

      I do this. It's a great way to improve soil and reduce what goes into the trash.

    • Learn Things Web profile image
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      Learn Things Web 5 years ago from California

      If you rent, a compost heap likely isn't an option. So these methods are a good alternative.

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 5 years ago from Twin Cities

      Wow, I had never considered just blending up food scraps for my gardens! I rent and I don't have a good place to put a compost heap, but this will definitely keep me going until I do have that capability. Excellent suggestion, thanks so much!!