Zero Waste Methods for Improving Soil Fertility In Your Garden For Free

How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.

How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.

1Dumping Your Coffee Grounds

High in nitrogen and the composting worms that might be naturally attracted to your garden or edible landscape will appreciate the extra grit in their daily diets. So pop open those Keurig k-cups and toss those coffee grounds out the window everyday for an easy way to add more fertility to your gardens. You can even take this to the next level by switching to compostable k-cups so that you can just throw the entire k-cup into the garden after you've made your daily coffee. 

2Tossing Your Tea Leaves & Tea Bags

Of course...there are no leaves to get rid of when drinking matcha, but with other teas, there's no need to put something so useful and naturally compostable into the trash. In fact, even with many "non-organic" tea bags that are often made out of some sort of fiber, you will find that those are also compostable if they are made from natural fibers. 
How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.
<a href="https://pixabay.com/users/dungthuyvunguyen/">dungthuyvunguyen</a> / Pixabay
Purple Sweet Potato freshly washed after harvest
Purple Sweet Potato freshly washed after harvest

3Burying Your Potato and Sweet Potato Peels

The hope is that they will sprout and you'll not only be able to get more potatoes, but will have improved the soil by growing the potatoes. This can work even if you don't like or need a lot of potatoes because any potato left in the ground will compost down and create new potatoes (depending on the grow zone you live in) while continuing to improve the soil.

So in effect, while growing more potatoes or sweet potatoes, regardeless of whether you are harvesting them or not, you have started a continous cycle that adds more humus to your garden or edible landscape. 

4Pet Hair Or Pet Fur

High in nitrogen and totally free. Pet hair is readily available from any pet parents who regularly brush their cats or dogs...or...I guess, any furry pet that is in need of brushing. 
How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.
How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.

5Dryer Lint

I know you're throwing that in the trash too. We were all doing it! But dryer lint is often a bunch of dust and dirt that the dryer has collected from... dirty clothes, making it absolutely something you should add to your garden. 

6*coughs* Pet Waste

Animals have been used for centuries to improve soil fertility so...why stop now? As long as you're safe about it, which means composting your pet waste for a at least a year before using it on anything you grow that you're planning to eat--unless those are woody plants like shrubs or trees, but if you're not planning on doing an edible landscape or otherwise eating anything from your garden, you can dig a hole or do a composting pet waste tower using a bottomless bucket or trash can for an easy way to get rid of (compostable) cat litter or dog poop. 

There are more and more compostable cat litters becoming available as cat litter companies strive for more environmentally-friendly solutions for keeping our furry friends healthy, happy, and well-cared for. 
How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.
How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.

7Let Fallen Leaves Lie

Nature is already working to keep things...well, natural. One of the best ways to increase soil fertility in your garden or edible landscape is to just... let whatever trees that are in or near your garden drop their leaves and break donw in place. 

8Stop The Tree Cutting Professionals And Get A Truck's Load of Chipped Trees and Leaves for Free

Professional tree cutting services and landscaping companies actually have to pay to dump their trucks of what is perfectly good mulching material and will often drop them off to you at no cost, provided you live in the area and not across town from where they were cutting down trees and that you take the entire truck's worth of whatever they have in one go. 

There is also a service called Chip Drop where you can sign up to receive a truck load of chipped trees, leaves, and sometimes log based on the area of your home. 
How to use everything at your disposal to build soil fertility without spending any money.

Other Useful Tips & Tricks For Your Edible Landscape, Food Forest, Or Garden

How to Rocket Your Food Forest Growth With These Easy Tips

Why Tilling Your Soil Is Not the Best Way To Improve Soil Fertility: The Benefits of No-Till Gardening

How to Use a Raised Garden Bed as a “Compost Garden” During the Winter To Improve Soil Fertility
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