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11 Kitchen Scraps That Serve as Natural Garden Fertilizer

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1. Meat or Bones

While meat is organic and biodegradable, it’s not suitable for making compost. Most compost bins don’t generate enough heat to destroy any possible pathogens in the rotting meat. Plus, the scent of beef is bound to attract unwanted vermin to your yard.

2. Dairy Products

If your kitchen scraps include expired milk, cheese, or other dairy products, don’t compost them. Since these are also animal products, avoid mixing them into your compost bin. They could add a stray bacteria or pathogen that could be harmful to your developing fertilizer and draw pests.

3. Fruits and Veggie Exceptions

Live earthworms work magic in a compost bin by breaking down the waste and providing nutrient-rich castings. Citrus fruit, onions, and garlic are acidic and can raise the balance of the compost. Acidic soil is detrimental to the earthworms, so toss these fruits and veggies.


4. Cooking Oils

There’s a good reason why restaurants send used cooking oil to be recycled rather than composted. Your compost pile requires water to mature correctly, and the oil ruins the moisture balance. The same goes for oily foods like condiments, salad dressings, and even peanut butter.

5. Grains and Baked Goods

Whole grains may be delicious and nutritious for you, but they aren’t good for your compost pile. When mixed with your composting kitchen scraps, they may produce bacteria that are harmful to the process. Another reason to pitch them is that grains and baked goods tempt rodents and other pests.

6. Plastic Wrap and Packaging

Many food manufacturers have developed “biodegradable” packaging and cellophane for their products. What they fail to mention is that most of these are only biodegradable on an industrial level. Unless the packaging is specifically labeled as “home biodegradable,” consider the possibility of recycling instead.

Final Thoughts on Composting Kitchen Scraps

The process of decomposing and renewal is perpetual. Your garden and yard can reap the benefits of simple composting. You’ll have nutrient-rich compost for almost nothing, and you’ll be a good steward of the environment.

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