How to use waste to grow your garden

They say one person’s trash is another’s treasure. This is especially true of gardening. The scraps discarded from your kitchen can turn into treasure if you bury them in your soil.
The most obvious way to recycle waste is to make your own compost: decomposing organic material used to enrich soil. Composting is a win-win for your pocketbook and the environment, and it’s not the only way to save scraps, cash, and the planet. We’ve assembled some tips for reusing waste to make your plants grow.
1. Composing compost
To make your own compost, use 3 parts carbon-rich “brown” materials to 1 part nitrogen-rich “green” materials. Brown materials come from trees and will mostly be yard waste; leaves, pine needles, sawdust, cardboard, and hay all work. Green materials allow you to empty your trashcan and include kitchen waste, grass, coffee grounds, and manure.
2.  Hot or cold?
Once you’ve got your waste ingredients, how do you turn them into compost? There are two kinds of composting: cold and hot. For cold composting, just leave your fruit and veggie scraps and yard waste in a bin or pile for a year. When the year is up, you have compost. Hot composting works a bit faster—one to three months in warm weather—but also requires more work from you. Once you have at least three feet of waste materials, layer them in alternating 4 to 8 inch sections of green and brown. Water the pile periodically and turn it with a garden fork once a week. Once it no longer emits heat and looks brown and dirt-like, it’s ready to use.
3. A meaty problem
Both Bonnie Plants and Better Homes and Gardens advise against using meat waste in your compost, but Amy Kaplan of EcoHearth writes that there are ways to compost meat without stinking up your garden and attracting flies and raccoons. If you cover meat waste with lime, bury it in plant matter and stamp it down, and cover your compost heap with a tarp and surround it with tall, wire sides, you should be fine.
4.  Grounded in fact
You can put coffee grounds in the compost, but they’re also useful additions to the soil on their own. Sunset tested the truism that coffee grounds are good for plants by sending some used Starbucks grounds to a soil lab. They found that the grounds were rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper, and released nitrogen as they broke down. Sunset recommends burying the grounds 6 to 8 inches into your soil.
5. Dirty water
Even the water left over from steaming vegetables can be repurposed. According to HGTV, Paul James advises that using it to water potted plants will help them to thrive.
6. Egg-cellent violets
It’s not just vegetable-infused water that plants love. According to Tipnut, the water left over from boiling eggs is an excellent source of calcium, which will help your plants bloom and grow. It’s especially good for African Violets. Wait for it to cool before watering with it, though.
Whether you start your own compost or simply start saving your leftover water from cooking veggies and eggs, there are a lot of ways to help your garden bloom with things you have at home. 

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