No Compost Required: Instantly Fertilize Plants With These 3 Kitchen Scraps

By: Nicole Willner, Planet Green  | 

Phillip Danze/istockphoto
Phillip Danze/istockphoto
DCL

We all know compost, or "black gold" as some like to call it, is an ideal mate to your plant soil. Composting also reduces the amount of trash volume you send to landfills, and consequently the amount of harmful methane emissions released in to our atmosphere. But not everyone has the space or sheer willingness to have an outdoor compost pile or worm bin. If you want to reap the benefits of this natural fertilizer but don't have the patience or compost heap, you can immediately use these three food scraps to nourish potted or garden soil and tremendously improve plant growth.

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Banana Peel

Filled with potassium, this disposable skin helps plants grow flowers and fruit when used as an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers. You can literally plant the whole peel under the soil near the roots of the plant such as a rose bush, or just throw the peel on top of the soil and let it decompose. If you are afraid of attracting pests or animals, try liquefying the banana scrap in a blender with one quart of water before pouring it on to your plant or bush.

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Coffee Grounds

Just like you may need that cup of coffee to energize your day, our plants need the nitrogen and minerals found in used coffee grounds to boost their life. Other natural elements that sustain plant growth such as calcium, copper and potassium are also found in our caffeine byproduct. Some experts suggest using the grounds only on acid loving plants or on alkaline soil, Start slowly by mixing modest amounts in to your potted plants or garden-try 1 tablespoon for pots and one cup for gardens. I also suggest drying the grounds before using them so there is no concern over mold growth.

Sustainable Enterprises suggests sprinkling used grounds around plants before watering for a slow-release nitrogen, or dilute with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer.

Egg Shells

Those plants really are apart of the family—you can feed your household scrambled eggs, then feed your plants with the leftover eggshells. The soil around potted plants, your vegetable garden and outdoor trees will get an incredible boost from the shells calcium composition, which is almost 98 percent of the shell.

First wash and dry out the eggshells. Then, place them in a bag or blender and crush them in to a powder-like consistency. Simply sprinkle the eggshell powder around your trees and plants.

Happy planting!

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Originally Published: Jan 11, 2012

Kitchen Scraps FAQs

What is composting of waste?
The recycling and decomposition of food scraps and organic material at home into rich soil fertilizer is known as composting of waste. Composting reduces the emission of harmful methane sources in the environment and excessive dumping in landfills.
How do you make organic fertilizer from kitchen waste?
Gather your kitchen wastes such as food remnants, fruit peelings, vegetable scraps, etc. and add that all to a composite bin. Add some water and leave it for about a day. You may add sawdust to speed up the composting process. Then, add some natural waste from your garden (like dried leaves, bark, old branches, etc.) to the compost. When you notice it has turned into a dark-colored soil-like mixture, spread that on your garden soil and use as an organic fertilizer.
Are banana peels good fertilizer for plants?
Banana peels do not contain nitrogen, which makes it a good organic fertilizer. Furthermore, banana peels are potassium-rich and contain calcium and phosphorus, which are beneficial for fruit trees and flowering plants, specifically roses.
Can I use vegetable peels as fertilizer?
Yes. Vegetable peels such as green leftovers, citrus rind, broccoli stalks and potato peels have nutrients that, when added to the soil of your garden, can provide vitamin A and C to your plants. Simply dig a hole and dump all your vegetable peels in it and cover it with soil. That is more beneficial than throwing them off as waste.
Can I use coffee grounds as fertilizer?
Yes. Coffee grounds can provide minerals and nitrogen to plants that can help boost their lifespan. Simply sprinkle coffee grounds on your soil and its surroundings. These also prevent insects and worms from degrading your plants. However, some experts advise using coffee grounds on alkaline soil and acid-loving plants only.

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