‘Crucial’ way to make your plants ‘thrive’ using ‘common household products’

Alan Titchmarsh on how best to feed your plants

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When it comes to fertilising garden plants for those with freshly green thumbs, knowing what works best can be difficult. Typically, garden fertiliser will make many think of store-bought chemical products. However, there are plenty of natural ways you can make your own plant food for “practically free”, according to Jason White, founder and CEO of All About Gardening.

While plant fertiliser can be purchased from garden centres and shops, it generally contains chemicals and can be very expensive.

Instead Jason has listed three ways to naturally “fertilise” garden plants to make them thrive.

The expert suggested using “kitchen scraps” as a “crucial” way to feed plants.

Jason told Express.co.uk: “Kitchen scraps in general are healthy and practically free fertiliser when added to the compost. 

“Kitchen scraps are packed with a lot of nutrients from the varying items in it. 

“This helps garden soil retain healthy moisture, which is crucial for vegetable gardens, especially during the hot and dry season.”

These scraps include food remnants and fruit and vegetable peels.

Banana peels are a great addition as they do not contain nitrogen, which makes it a good organic fertiliser. 

Furthermore, banana peels are potassium-rich and contain calcium and phosphorus, which are beneficial for fruit trees and flowering plants, specifically roses.

Vegetable peels such as green leftovers, citrus rind, broccoli stalks and potato peels have nutrients that, when added to the soil of your garden, can provide vitamin A and C to your plants. 

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Simply dig a hole and dump all your vegetable peels in it and cover it with soil. 

Plus, it is more beneficial than throwing them off as waste.

The gardening pro also suggested using eggshells to “make plants thrive”.

He said: “Egg shells are another common household product that can be fertiliser for your garden. 

“Adding crushed egg shells to the garden soil at least once a week will provide a steady source of calcium to make plants thrive.”

To prep the eggshells, grind with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle and till them into the soil. 

Because it takes several months for eggshells to break down and be absorbed by a plant’s roots, it is recommended that they be tilled into the soil in autumn.

More shells can be mixed into your soil in the spring.

For those who drink coffee instead of tea, used coffee grounds are great for fertilising the soil and providing plants with antioxidants.

Jason explained: “Used coffee grounds is an everyday product most people have at their disposal and it acts as a very healthy fertiliser. 

“It contains a ton of plant-healthy nutrients such as potash, phosphoric acid, and nitrogen. 

“Coffee grounds are particularly healthy for fruit trees, evergreens, and roses.”

Coffee grounds work by lowering the pH of the soil, but only if they are unwashed.

Used coffee grounds which have been rinsed in water tend to have a pH closer to 6.5, and this may not have as great of an impact on the soil.

The coffee grounds add organic matter to the soil, which can help with water retention, aeration and drainage.

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