24 Kitchen Residues and Leftovers That You Can Use in Your Garden

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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There are many Kitchen Residues & Leftovers that You Can Use in Your Garden! Surprised? Don’t be! We have a detailed list for you!

Here’s a detailed list of the Kitchen Residues & Leftovers That You Can Use in Your Garden to keep your green friends happy!

Check out some amazing fertilizers you can make from vegetable scraps here

Kitchen Residues & Leftovers That You Can Use in Your Garden

1. Used Coffee Grounds

Kitchen Residues & Leftovers That You Can Use in Your Garden

Think twice before you ever dump the coffee grounds. This kitchen residue can do magic in your garden by enriching the garden soil, and compost pile and helping in many other ways.

Coffee grounds contain 2% nitrogen, and as they decompose in the soil, they not only improve the texture but also fertilize the growing medium gradually.

Check out some awesome coffee ground uses in the garden here

2. Eggshells

egg shells in garden

Eggshells are composed of calcium carbonate (37%), which is an essential element required for plant growth. To your surprise, eggshells also consist of magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus in good quantity.

Crush and add them to the growing medium for the best results.

Check out our article on eggshell uses in the garden here

3. Old Milk Jug

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Upcycle your old plastic milk jug by heating up a needle and poking holes in the lid so water can flow through it freely. Check out the tutorial here.

4. Use Citrus Fruits to Start Seeds

kitchen residues and leftovers

Just poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage, fill it with potting soil, sow seeds and sprinkle some water.

When the seedling is ready for transplant, plant it directly in a garden or in a container with the peel! The peel will decompose and nourish the young plant as it grows.

5. Used Coffee Filter in the Bottom of a Pot

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Next time you’re repotting a plant, keep the soil in place with the help of a coffee filter. Lining the pot with them keeps the drainage holes in the bottom free from clogging up — and soil from sneaking out after watering.

6. Use Vegetable Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants


When you boil or steam some vegetables on the stovetop, don’t pour the water down the drain. Once the water has cooled, pour it into plants to fertilize them instead of wasting it.

As this water is rich in micronutrients using it to water the plants will be really beneficial.

7. Use Banana and Orange Peels as Fertlizer

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Like other kitchen scraps, bananas are an excellent source of phosphorus and potassium, and their peels do the same for plants. They can be added to the compost bin or used directly in the garden as a replacement for chemical fertilizers.

Have a look at some amazing banana peel uses here

8. Use Nutshells in Compost

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Nutshells are a good addition to your compost heap because they don’t break down as quickly as other items. They also work the same in the mulch. Apart there are many other uses of nutshell, and they are listed here.

Don’t use black walnut hulls because they have large concentrations of juglone, which is toxic to many plants.

9. Paper Towel Rolls

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Instead of throwing away the paper towel or toilet roll, use it in the garden. Cut it into pieces and press it into the soil around newly planted seedlings to give them extra protection from slugs and other ground-dwelling pests. You can also use them to plant seedlings.

10. Pepper Leftovers

pepper residues use in garden

Use the leftovers from peppers, such as seeds and the tops, to keep garden pests away. Blend the waste, strain, mix with water in a spray bottle and use the spray to deter pests from your plants.

11. Fruit and Vegetable Scraps

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Although you can simply compost fruit and vegetable scraps in the compost pile, here’s one more option–put them in a blender and add some water to make a smoothie.

You can then mix this paste in the growing medium. As it is rich in nutrients, it will be great for flowering plants and vegetables like peppers and tomatoes.

12. Kitchen Scraps as Houseplants!


Yes! You read that right! Kitchen scraps can be your future houseplants if you are smart enough to use them! Lemon, Apricot, and Avacado are some good examples!

Here is the list of kitchen scraps that can be future houseplants

13. Used Tea Bags and Leaves


Used tea leaves or tea bags can be used in a lot of ways in the garden. As they contain 4.4 percent nitrogen, 0.25 potassium, and 0.24 phosphorus, these leaves act as excellent organic fertilizer and soil amendment.

Have a look at some amazing uses tea leaves uses in the garden here

14. Rice Water

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Get rid of plant lice, aphids, fruit flies, flea beetle, and other pests with rice water. According to research, rice water is better than tap water and helps plants to grow at a much better rate. It is one of the best Kitchen Residues & Leftovers That You Can Use in Your Garden!

Learn more about rice water benefits for plants here

15. Leftover Bones


Leftover bones in the kitchen after a meal can work wonders for the plants. You can grind them into a fine powder and then mix them in the growing medium. It can fortify the soil with high levels of phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and calcium.

Learn how to make your own Bone Meal Fertiliser here

16. Pepper, Onion, and Garlic Scraps to Keep Pests Away

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Collect the ends of the spicy onions, garlic, and peppers and steep them in water for 1-7 days. The strong smell from the liquid could be used as a spray on the garden soil and foliage to keep most bugs away.

17. Cinnamon


Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon powder on the topsoil, this will cut down the risk of fungus growth. As cinnamon has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it can protect your plants from many diseases as well.

Check out more cinnamon uses in the garden here

18. Junk Mail

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If you have a kitchen drawer stacked with junk mail, you can choose to shred it all and utilize it as mulch. You can spread it directly onto the soil around the bottom of the plants to retain the moisture.

Old and used newspapers, brown paper bags that carry food and grocery in, crinkle paper, Kraft paper, and other paper items could be shredded to be used in a similar way.

19. Citrus Peels


If you are constantly troubled by cats loitering in your garden and using it as their big litter box, then you can spread the orange peels where they frequent. Not just this, there are other citrus peel uses in the garden as well.

20. Whole Grain Cereals

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If you have whole-grain cereals and bread leftovers, you can dig deep into the soil and bury them to make the soil healthy and rich. Also, the scraps can keep the earthworms happy and fed.

21. Milk and Water


Combine milk and water to wash away the pests from your plants. Not only this, the calcium in the milk helps them to grow up stronger and also helps to prevent blossom end rot.

Also, milk is known to fight aphids and lower the risk of the mosaic leaf virus.

Have a look at some amazing milk powder uses in the garden here

22. Fish Head

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If you have leftover fish heads, then bury them in your garden soil to provide an excellent source of nitrogen for your plants. Please remember to bury them properly in the ground to avoid any critters.

23. Pasta Water


The leftover water after boiling pasta is rich in starch that can fertilize your plants pretty well. Pasta water has traces of calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium that helps to boost the plant’s growth by providing beneficial nutrients.

Here’s why you must use Pasta Water on plants

24. Egg Holders

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Use the empty cardboard egg holders as a seedling starter tray. Fill the pockets with the soil mix and drop the seeds to germinate. The hardboard will soak any excess moisture, and you’ll get a dozen mini pots to start your garden.

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  1. I really love this page
    Because im trying my best to make plenty plants at home especially edible plants.
    Besides that i dont want spent more money for buying the fruits or vegetables from stores instead of Planting at home.

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    Thanks alot guys and see you online.


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