GO NATURAL: How to improve your garden soil
Gardening time is either here or soon to be in your area, so I thought now would be a good time to talk about how to get the best soil for your garden. I know many of us are working with a limited budget but want the best soil we can get. The cheap and easy way to improve your soil is through common kitchen products. I used a wonderful article on Whole Food Home as background research.
3 KITCHEN INGREDIENTS THAT IMPROVE YOUR GARDEN SOIL
- Rinse out any egg shells you have and allow them to dry for a few days in a bowl on a sunny window sill or by a radiator. When they are dry they crush very easily. This will help them to break down quickly when added to the soil.
- Crushed eggshells improve drainage and the addition of the calcium is excellent for promoting plant growth and preventing blossom end rot in tomatoes and squash plants. If you have an old coffee grinder or food processor this will make short work of it.
- They are also a good deterrent for slugs and snails. Scatter a generous barrier around any young seedlings to keep the pesky molluscs away. Apparently this is the human equivalent of walking barefoot on broken glass.
- Coffee grounds can also be added directly to the soil. They act as a general fertiliser, adding organic matter, improving drainage, water retention and soil aeration. As they break down they will continue to add nitrogen which is so good for plant growth.
- Used coffee grounds will not affect the PH level of your soil unless used in very concentrated amounts. However unused coffee grounds or leftover coffee is always such a wonderful pick-me-up for acid loving plants.
- Coffee grounds also work very well as a mulch around plants. This keeps earthworms very happy as they seem partial to a little caffeine hit too!
- Don’t worry if they look a bit mouldy, this is just part of the natural breaking down process and a sign that it’s working.
- If you’re not a coffee drinker, tea bags are good for the soil too – check out this post!
- Adding banana skins is another excellent way to improve your garden soil. They can also be added directly to the ground as long as they are cut up into very small pieces. They’ll break down faster and offer all the micro-organisms in the soil lots more surface area to work their magic.
- This creates plenty of new organic matter resulting in a light, well drained soil which is full of lovely earthworms. Once the banana skins have broken down they will add a powerful cocktail of nutrients; calcium, magnesium, sulphur, phosphates, potassium and sodium, all of which help plants to grow well and develop their fruit.