Eight food scraps to use in the garden – can ‘deter’ pests

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Reducing food waste is more important than ever, and there are various different items which can be used in the garden. Reusing food and leftover waste is not only restricted to composting, according to experts. A spokesperson for Garden Buildings Direct said: “Many shy away from composting, as it can be a long process with no instant gratification. 

“This is why we wanted to share some of our top hacks for using leftovers or remains from your meals and snacks and using them to care and help your garden. 

“Some scraps can help deter pests and insects, while others stop weed growth and encourage lush foliage for your plants. 

“It can be as simple as saving your pasta water and using it to refresh your favourite plants, or crushing up eggshells and scattering through your flower beds.”

1. Eggshells

According to the gardening experts, crushed eggshells can work as a fertiliser in the garden thanks to the calcium they contain.

The pros said: “The extra dose of calcium can prevent your crops from succumbing to blossom-end rot, while the shells deter pests like slugs and snails off your favourite plants. 

“Just crush up any unused eggshells and sprinkle throughout your garden.”

2. Spicy peppers

Using super spicy scraps in the garden can help to keep all kinds of pests away from garden crops. According to the experts, chilli peppers are a natural insecticide.

They can also help to improve the flavour of your crop when used in moderation. Simply scatter them around or place them into the soil.

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3. Orange peels

The pros explained: “Leftover orange peels from winter mulled wine? These can be distributed throughout the garden as a natural pest deterrent, as the smell deters many insects. 

“Scatter the peels along the bottom of your plants to keep pesky fleas, ants, mosquitos and flies at bay.”

4. Pasta water

Many people put leftover pasta water down the sink and waste it. However, it can be reused in the garden for a variety of different jobs.

Simply save any water used from boiling pasta, rice, boiling eggs and let it cool before giving all of your indoor and outdoor plants a good water.

According to the pros, the starchy water can add nutrients to the plant while also prompting their release from the soil.

5. Coffee grounds

The gardening experts continued: “The leftovers in your coffee machine might just be the best way to add new life into your garden. 

“The grounds contain helpful nutrients, including lots of nitrogen. 

“Mix your coffee grounds into the soil of your favourite flower beds and pots for an easy, eco-friendly fertiliser.”

6. Nut shells

Instead of disposing of nut shells, crush them up and sprinkle a layer over plant beds. This can help to prevent any weeds from peaking through.

Mixing the shells into the soil can also help to aerate overly compact soil, meaning nut shells are great for a variety of jobs in the garden.

7. Banana peels

The experts noted: “The potassium found in bananas is not only great for humans nutritional needs, but can also be beneficial for your garden. 

“The nutrient can help your plant to fight diseases while producing more fruit or blossoms. Place them directly onto the soil and let them mulch.”

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