It is not unusual to garden with your kitchen in mind when it comes to herbs, fruit and vegetables you might like to grow which will end up on your plate for breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, have you ever thought of it the other way around? There are many kitchen scraps, leftovers and commonly-held store cupboard items which can be as useful to a gardener in his or her shed as to a chef in their kitchen.
After the dormant winter months it is soon time to think about getting outside again and getting the garden ready for spring. When it comes to seeing your garden in a new light, why not look to your kitchen? The next time you are in the garden, think about what is in your kitchen.
Packed full of potassium, banana peels are a wonderful feed for your much-loved plants and will help keep them healthy and strong, the fruit’s lushious skin will supply some very much-needed nutrients as they break down.
Once you have drunk your coffee, keep the grounds. Spent coffee grounds can be used to fertilise soil as they are full of plant goodness – antioxidants, potassium, phosphor and nitrogen. However, it is important to make sure that they are dry when you apply them to soil as wet coffee grounds can cause fungus.
If you have cooked with eggs – your favourite cake, omelette, or breakfast pancake – add the leftover shells, once dry to a mulch mix and as they decompose, they will provide your plants with calcium – egg shells can also be used as a environmentally friendly natural slug repellent.
As well as offering great benefits to our health and wellbeing, green tea can benefit plants too, green tea leaves are rich in iron so, once your tea has brewed, give the leaves to your plants as food. Green teas leaves are especially good for fruit plants such raspberry plants which you can enjoy all summer long.
Did you know struck matches are a great source of magnesium? It is a good idea to bury them with plants or soak the matches in water to use as a rich fertiliser – the magnesium will dissolve into the water.
After you have prepared your favourite vegetables, do not simply pour your boiled vegetable water away. Use the water on your plants – it adds nutrients to plants as well as meaning that you can be waterwise and avoid using tap water – when it comes to vegetable water, it is best to not add salt.
White vinegar boasts a high level of acidity which makes it an effective acid plant feed – you can make up a solution to feed roses and hydrangeas once a season, make sure that you check the pH of your soil first.