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22nd Aug 2012
It is never too early to start working on next spring's planting season! By creating fertilizer that is made from household table scraps, old coffee grounds or empty eggshells, you are taking simple and economical steps to improve your soil and will have a beautiful garden next summer.
By adding table scraps to a new or existing compost pile and using this compost as a fertilizer, you can save 90% of the money you would spend on commercial fertilizers. There is an additional benefit of using no artificial ingredients which is healthier for plants and insects.
Fruit and vegetable peelings create some of the best composting material around. When baking homemade items, think about what scraps you can save. A homemade apple pie will generate a lot of apple peelings for your compost pile. Stews and pot roast dinners use vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and beets, which all create peelings. Citrus rinds can also be saved for the pile. Got leftover leafy vegetables like lettuce, kale, and spinach? Instead of throwing the remains in the garbage or tossing down the garbage disposal, save them for composting. Nearly all fruit and vegetable skins can be broken down as compost.
Used coffee grounds are an excellent garden fertilizer because they contain many helpful nutrients and nitrogen, which fast-growing plants and vegetables need to thrive. Sprinkle the grounds around your plants or work them into the soil. Tomato plants especially like the acids found in coffee grounds.
Eggshells add nutrients to your soil, especially calcium, which is essential for plant cell growth. In addition to offering nutrients, eggshells can be used to combat pests like slugs and cutworms by sprinkling coarsely ground shells in insect-prone areas. Large pieces will take a long time to break down in soil or compost piles. When using eggshells for fertilizer, the eggshells should be finely ground.
Roughly 30-40% of all your household waste can be used as fertilizer or converted into compost. Save money this season and create your fertilizer!