When we moved into our home ten years ago, the gardens in our townhouse complex were well tended. Every spring the landscaping company would drop off a load of compost in the front gardens. They’d return a few days later to dig it in. A week or so later they would be back to plant flowers. Throughout the summer an extensive sprinkler system would be programmed to water the flowerbeds. A crew would weed periodically, fertilize and cut the lawns and every fall a general clean up would take place.
Over the years most of that stopped. Lawns were mowed but no flowers were planted and no weeding or fertilizing was done. The flower bed at the end of the street was covered with sod but since the sprinkler system was shut off, that died too.
I had decided to take some time off work so finances were tight. I preferred to plant my own plants anyway and I knew I could water as much as I liked (after 7 p.m. on calendar days ending in odd numbers – municipal bylaws). I wasn’t sure what to do about fertilizer and I didn’t have a compost heap as I had at my previous home.
A friend had posted a link to “Homemade Fertilizer from Kitchen Scraps” in social media. (There is no narration but you might enjoy the funky music.) I decided to give it a try.
The ingredients consist of coffee grounds, eggshells and banana peels. I put out an old peanut butter jar, marked it coffee grounds and eggshells and asked the family to add to it. When the jar was full I added the contents to a blender container along with a couple of banana peels add half a jar water then processed for a few minutes. I dug the garden smoothie into the flower beds at the front and back and on the lawn. I found it easiest to spread the contents, rake them in a bit and then water.
Eventually I worked my way through my half on the shared south facing lawn at the front. Since the front lawn is shared, the neighbors’ side is a “control”. Soon after starting, the grass already seemed perkier with a bit of caffeine. After winter a a few weeks of spring, the grass on our side was noticeably greener, thicker and taller.
The flowers were lovely last fall and this spring the bulbs are doing much better than the previous year too. Daffodils that were just green stalks last year are in full bloom and the tulips are lovely as well. I have noticed a good deal more earthworms in the soil as well.
Using the scraps also saves on the wet garbage going into the compost bin collected weekly by our municipality.
This year, as many face financial challenges, I’d encourage you to be kind to your pocketbook and the earth by using earth-friendlier solutions to garden challenges.