Food Scraps in the Garden

Some of you got ahead of me with putting egg shells in the garden.  I had this post started for the weekend but yes, egg shells are great for the garden.  So are coffee grounds and banana peels and probably lots of other things.

Egg shells provide calcium for the tomatoes and also help prevent blossom end rot.  They also are said to help prevent slugs from damaging the tomato plants.   It may not be necessary but I boil my egg shells before using them.  Sometimes I just put them in a big bowl and pour boiling water over them.

Depending on what else is going on in the kitchen, they’ll usually sit there for several hours.  Then I drain them, let them dry completely and put them in a plastic bag til I have plenty . . which doesn’t take long.  They’re gently pounded to crush.

Then they’re spread around tomato and basil plants.

Another thing I use sparingly is coffee grounds.  They’re very acidic and there’s a lot of discussion on garden forums about whether or not they should be used.  Many years ago, I did a comparison by adding coffee grounds to some of my plants and not to others and those with the coffee grounds did better.  I add about 1 tablespoon of grounds to each plant about once a month and then work the dirt to bury the grounds around the plant.

Can you see the grounds there on the ground?  After working the grounds into the dirt, I sprinkle the egg shells around the plant.

Banana peels are also useful.  I chop those up and add them to potassium loving peppers.  If I had enough bananas, I’d pop a peeling in the hole before planting each plant but since I hadn’t been saving them in the freezer this year, I’m just using them as I get them.

Just place some chunks of peeling around the base of the plant and work the dirt around it.  Happy peppers! 🙂


  1. 1

    Cindy From California says

    I cook my egg shells in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. When they are cool, I put them in a plastic bag. when the bag gets full, I grind up the shells in my cuisinart. Most of the shells go into my garden, but some go back to my chickens in their feed.

    • 1.1


      I like to keep my shells in a bit larger pieces to keep the slugs at bay. I do put the shells in the Cuisinart if I’m giving it to the chickens. I don’t want them to get any ideas about eating their own eggs so I disguise those shells!

  2. 2


    Did you plant any rhubarb? It makes great pies and mixes well with strawberries for jam.

    I want a garden!!!!! (NO luck in Arizona heat – I’ve even given up trying to grow tomatoes in a pot on the patio.)

    • 2.1


      I wanted to plant rhubarb in the coffins but got overruled since it takes a couple of years to grow and Vince is so sure we’ll be living somewhere else by then.

  3. 3


    My husband uses egg shells and coffee grounds around his azaleas and rhodies — the soil here isn’t acidic enough for these plants (we have heavy clay with a slightly alkaline bent) but this coffee ground/egg shell mix not only repels slugs from the nearby hostas but also conditions the soil so the acid loving plants bloom!

  4. 5


    Here at home we save all the organic scraps and make a complex (don’t know how it is named in English – sorry). to be used in the garden and as a natural and organic fertilizer to the ground. With this we take advantage of the residues discarded during the preparation of the meals. Nothing is wasted. Nature sure will give thanks, and our health too.

    • 5.1

      Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

      The English word you’re probably looking for is “compost.” I make it, too, from kitchen scraps, leaves, fabric scraps, shredded paper, all kinds of organic and clean things. My garden loves it!

  5. 6

    Eileen Lau says

    I wait until I have a cereal bowl of shells. Microwave the egg shells for 3 minutes cool and when you touch the egg shells they will be so brittle they just collapse no need to crush in any way.

  6. 7

    Kathy Chiocca says

    We also put our oyster shells in the compost bin.
    I wish I could trade some of my acidic soil for some of your alkaline soil. We have to lime our lawn 4 times a year to keep the moss at bay.
    I ditto the eggs shells for slugs….