Banana Peels, Coffee Grinds and Eggshells: Composting Secrets for Organic Gardening Tips

Updated on April 6, 2016
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Organic Gardening Tips

Have you ever heard the organic gardening tip about digging a few banana peels (or bananas) into the ground near your roses for gorgeous flowers and healthy plants? How about adding rinsed-out eggshells to the compost pile? Or using wood ashes and coffee grounds in the garden? Each of these items adds valuable nutrients to your organic garden. If you're into organic vegetable gardening, enhancing your compost pile or using these organic gardening tips builds up the soil, adds nutrients, and costs nothing. Best of all, it reduces household waste, too.

Roses benefit from additional nutrients.
Roses benefit from additional nutrients. | Source

Banana Peels and Roses

The first organic gardening tip is simple; dig banana peels into the ground near the base of your roses. Bananas contain vital minerals that roses love, and adding the peels allows nature to break them down through the action of worms, microorganisms and more. As the peels break down they deliver nutrients right to the roots of your roses. The healthier the rose plant, the more blossoms you'll see. Roses fed on banana peels flourish, producing beautiful flowers that last and last. Roses also appreciate generous amounts of well-rotted manure, especially horse manure if you can find a stable willing to share "nature's gifts" with you for free.

Wood Ash as Organic Fertilizer

Don't dump those wood ashes into the trash. Keep a metal pail handy and scoop your wood ashes into the pail, then use in the vegetable garden. Apply wood ash directly to the vegetable garden if you have an acidic soil (soil pH below 7). If the soil is already alkaline, the safest use of wood ashes is to mix them into the compost pile to allow them to decompose and blend into the existing compost. Spread wood ashes at the rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 feet of garden space. Wood ashes contain abundant potassium as well as phosphorus and calcium. Calcium deficiency leads to tomato blossom end rot, so adding wood ashes and other sources of calcium to the vegetable garden soil is a great way to use an organic gardening fertilizer to boost the soil's nutrient value and the health of your tomato plants.



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Coffee Grounds Add Nitrogen

Another bit of kitchen garbage that actually works well as an organic gardening fertilizer are coffee grounds.  Instead of dumping the filter and grounds into the garbage each day, spread them grounds around acid-loving plants such as tomatoes, roses, azaleas and blueberry bushes. If you live in an area with alkaline soil, spreading coffee grounds in the garden is a simple and effective way to change the soil pH.  You can also mix coffee grounds into your compost pile and let them decompose along with your potato peels, grass clippings and whatever else you add to the compost pile to make that black gold soil plants just love.

Eggshells as Organic Garden Fertlizer

Last but not least, don't throw away eggshells, either. They make a great addition to the compost pile or your organic gardening fertilizer plan.  Rinse the eggshells under running water though to keep critters from sniffing them out in the compost pile.  Take your egg shells and add them to the compost pile. You may want to smash them up a bit to make them easier for nature to break down.  You can also smash up the eggshells and sprinkled them in the vegetable garden for an organic gardening fertilizer.  They add calcium to the soil. 

Eggshells also make a nifty organic way to control snails and slugs.  Crush up the eggshells but leave the pieces on the bigger side. Sprinkle the crushed shells around your plants such as hostas that are getting nibbled by snails and slugs.  Eggshells act like diotomaceous earth, killing or repelling the slugs and snails organically.  No chemicals, no worries - just simple, FRUGAL organic gardening tips for healthy plants!

© 2011 Jeanne Grunert

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    • profile image

      Heather kuder 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi starting composting with these type ideams just wondering can u add these egg shell, banana peels, coffee ground. Can they be add to all plant life? Or are they limited?

      Plus found out sence I'm not a coffee drinker that coffee place will give u coffee grounds for free

    • profile image

      Niel Fae D. Castro 

      10 months ago

      Good day! I'm a student from Molave Vocational Technical School in the Philippines under the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Curriculum. This is for our Science Research and I expected your great response.

      Can banana peel, egg shell, and loam soil can be an organic fertilizer?

      If not, what are the other materials can make an organic fertilizer effective except coffee ground??

    • profile image

      Sabrina 

      10 months ago

      Which plant would grow better a plant in coffee, fruit peels or water?

    • profile image

      Louis 

      11 months ago

      How much do I use

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      14 months ago from Virginia

      Storebought fertilizer has its place, but if you can create your own, that's always better. Certainly, it is cheaper!

    • profile image

      Bettina 

      14 months ago

      I should have read this before buying fertilizer from the store :)

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks! Gardening is an adventure, isn't it?

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      4 years ago from Southern Clime

      I have learned so much these past months about organic gardening that I am overwhelmed. I do not know how to organize or categorize all that I have learned. It is like having 400 hundred great recipes for a chocolate cake and not knowing which one I want to use. I cannot use them all at once, and I do not know which is best for lack of experience. So, I will just start experiencing a few things at a time until I discover what works best for me.

      I am very excited about composting, planning the organic way, and lasagne gardening. I have always done my gardening the old fashioned way: hard labor from beginning to the blessed harvest, the best part of it all. I have a winter garden, and I am composting and preparing garden plots using the organic and lasagne method. I am so excited!

      Thanks for the great tips.

    • profile image

      Joyce Christie-Taylor, M.S. 

      5 years ago

      Great confirming info about using banana peelings to fertilize your rose bushes... Thanks! Will venture out into the new-to-me areas of fertilizing, also, this year...those you mentioned!

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 

      5 years ago from Kansas City - United States

      I enjoyed your hubs and tips. Voted up and shared.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      This is great information. I knew about the banana peels and the egg shells. I am glad to know about wood ash for preventing tomato blossom end rot. We burn wood for heating our home and have lots of ashes that I generally add to the compost pile. Also, if I want to start a new garden, I spread ashes in that area and then start a compost pile in the same place. Thanks for sharing all this good info. Voted Up, Useful, Interesting and Shared

    • jeremytorres profile image

      jeremytorres 

      6 years ago

      Nice idea.

    • Julie McM profile image

      Julie McM 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Good tips! I've read about gardeners putting a banana peel under tomato transplants.

    • Jeanne Grunert profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeanne Grunert 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      That's a great tip! Tomatoes need calcium and it prevents blossom end rot. The fish bones would do it. Thanks for adding a good tip to my hub!

    • jetta17 profile image

      jetta17 

      7 years ago

      Very useful hub. I also compost fish bones. Prepare by removing all meat and boiling for 15 mins. Add to composter. Tomatoes love a good fish bone compost.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Great hub on composting--we are trying to do more and more of it!

    • eclecticeducation profile image

      eclecticeducation 

      7 years ago

      Great tips! I hadn't heard of the egg shells keeping slugs away. I'll have to try that. Thanks!

    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 

      7 years ago

      Great tips. I hit the awesome button.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      great garden tips, got to try them to improve my garden

    • Nan Mynatt profile image

      Nan Mynatt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Great hub, I have used the egg shells in a large jar of water for years. It does smell!

    • sosiecki profile image

      sosiecki 

      7 years ago from Madison,North Carolina

      Hi,great tips, I also use wood ashes and coffee as well as pactically anything but meat,another beneficial help for roses is Garlic.It helps deter insects(especially Japanese beatles)and also improves the plants vitality.

    • profile image

      Todd@Big Blog Of Gardening 

      7 years ago

      I maintain a huge compost pile in my backyard - all kitchen and yard waste (except meat, fat and bones) goes into it and my plants just love it! I even built a container out of shipping pallets last autumn.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      7 years ago from UK

      Good tips. I already use the ash from our woodburner, and also the coffee grounds, but I've never thought to use banana skins!

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 

      7 years ago from Bristol England

      Great ideas, I will have to try digging in a banana to improve my roses. Thanks for the tips, I have rated this hub up

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