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Kitchen Waste You Should Use In Your Garden

Much of your kitchen waste can help improve your soil, if you use it correctly. Here are the top ingredients you shouldn't just throw away.

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Coffee Groundssomsak suwanput/Shutterstock

Coffee Grounds

Rinse your coffee grounds out to remove extra acids—you can do this with the old filter to make things easier. Then mix with your soil in a flowerbed or garden! The grounds will add valuable nitrogen to the soil without altering the pH balance too much and without rotting. It's one of the best waste items to use in your garden.
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It may seem a little strange, but crushed eggshells really can help your garden, providing calcium and acting as a healthy substrate layer that encourages other types of healthy soil activity. Wash out your eggshells well and store them for later use in the garden, then crush and spread when you are ready to use them. For a fun project, use your intact eggshell halves as little starter pots for delicate plants: Fill them with soil and start seeds; then move the seedlings outdoors.
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Paper TowelArt_Photo/Shutterstock

Paper Towel

You also may not have thought to put paper towels into your garden, but it can be very beneficial: The soft fibers of used paper towels are another ideal substrate material that gives the soil room to breathe and helps the organic parts of rich soil grow and survive. Carefully shred old paper towels into small pieces and work them into your soil to help out. Note: only use paper towels that came in contact with food, not cleaning chemicals.
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Banana PeelsCheng Wei/Shutterstock

Banana Peels

Banana peels are rich in phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients that your plants love. However, you don't want to just toss rotting peels into the garden: The best method is to leave banana peels in a protected, airy environment to let them dry out, and then crush and mix them into soil. Some people prefer to leave them soaking in water to make banana tea for fertilizer.
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Shells and Ricefilll/Shutterstock

Shells and Rice

Pits, nut shells, rice and other similar matter can perform the same duties as egg shells. Crush them if necessary and mix them into your soil to encourage aeration. This type of kitchen waste is otherwise wasted in the trash, so why not use it?
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Composting Other ScrapsPhoto: Tommy Lee Walker/Shutterstock

Composting Other Scraps

Old fruit, old bread, vegetable peels, lettuce and many other items may have a place in your yard, but you probably don't want to bury them right in the soil. Instead, use them for leaf-based or worm-based composting. Mix them in with soil and plenty of fiber, and let this kitchen waste stew until it provides very rich, well-fertilized soil. It's a great way of disposing of items that you weren't able to eat in time. If you don't have a composter and aren't sure where to start when composting, make sure your research it thoroughly so that you know what you're doing. Most of the kitchen waste items we mentioned in this piece can also be used in composting.