Seven food scraps you can use in the garden

With food prices on the rise and many stretching budgets to buy the essentials, those looking to reduce food waste should make the most of their leftovers by using them in the garden.

Re-using food and leftover waste is not only restricted to composting, which requires time, effort and can be a learning curve for many. There are lots of other efficient ways to utilise food scraps and encourage a thriving garden at the same time.

GardenBuildings is offering some useful hacks for using leftovers in the garden.

Top tips include sprinkling nut shells over flower beds, using spicy pepper scraps to deter pests, and using banana peels to add nutrients to your crops.

Egg shells

Crushed egg shells can work as a fertiliser in your garden. The extra dose of calcium can prevent your crops from succumbing to blossom-end rot, while the shells will help to keep pests like slugs and snails off your favourite plants. Just crush up any unused egg shells and sprinkle throughout your garden.

Spicy peppers

Save super spicy scraps for keeping pests away from your garden crops. Chili peppers are a natural insecticide and can even help to improve the flavour of your crops when used in moderation.

Orange peels

Leftover orange peels from winter mulled wine can be distributed throughout the garden as a natural pest deterrent. Scatter the peels along the bottom of your plants to keep fleas, ants, mosquitos, and flies at bay.

Pasta water

Any cooking water used to make meals for you and the family can be reused in your garden. Simply save any water used from boiling pasta, rice, boiling eggs, or blanching veggies and let it cool before giving all of your indoor and outdoor plants a good water. The starchy water will add nutrients while prompting their release from the soil.

Coffee grounds

The leftovers in your coffee machine might just be the best way to add new life into your garden. The grounds contain helpful nutrients, including lots of nitrogen. Mix your coffee grounds into the soil of your favourite flower beds and pots for an easy, eco-friendly fertiliser.

Nut shells

Instead of disposing of nut shells, crush them up and sprinkle a layer over your plant beds to prevent weeds from peeking through. Mixing the shells into the soil will also help to aerate overly compact soil.

Banana peels

The potassium found in bananas is not only great for humans' nutritional needs, it can also be beneficial for your garden. The nutrient can help your plant to fight diseases while producing more fruit or blossoms. Place them directly onto the soil and let them mulch.


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