7 Kitchen Waste Items to Use in the Garden

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Composting kitchen scraps for use in the garden is a classic green living practice, but there are many kitchen waste items that can also be put to good use in other ways in the garden. From hot peppers to paper towel rolls, here are seven kitchen waste items to make your home and garden healthy and happy.

  1. Paper Towel Rolls: Trim them down to about 2 inches high and press them into the soil around seedlings, this serves as an added layer of protection from pests such as slugs. Paper towel rolls can also be used as small planter pots for growing from seed.

  2. Crushed Egg Shells: make a great addition to your compost, especially a worm compost where egg shells are crucial to help the worms reproduce. Egg shells add calcium and aerate soil, they are especially helpful when growing tomatoes.

  3. Used Coffee Grounds: also a good item to add to the compost. Coffee grounds make a good mulch and look beautiful scattered around the surface of the soil. They are rich in nitrogen which is especially good for veggies, including tomatoes and peppers.

  4. Nut Shells: Most nut shells including peanuts, pistachios, and even sunflower seeds (yeah, I know not nuts) to aerate soil, just make sure to wash off any salt or seasoning before adding to the garden.

  5. Hollowed Citrus Shell: use hollowed or squeezed halved citrus fruits upside-down in the garden to attract snails and slugs away from your plants. Not sure why it works but they are attracted to the citrus, it’s up to you what to do with them next.
  6. Hot Peppers: Use the waste from hot peppers, such as seeds and the tops for pest control. Blend the waste, strain, mix with water in a spray bottle and use the spray to deter pests from your plants. The leftover pulp can be added to your compost.
  7. Gable-Top Container: trim the tops off leaving about 6-8″ of depth to the bottom of the container to start your seeds.
  8. (Re-edited from a post originally published on 6.04.2010 – CM)

    (Images: grapefruits: Wikipedia Commons, paper towel rolls: Tom Wright)

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