Before you head to your local garden center to purchase soil amendments for spring planting beds, wait! You may have ingredients in your kitchen cupboard that work as helpful soil amendments.
Eggshells and Powdered Milk. Heavy feeders, such as tomatoes, require calcium for optimal production. Eggshells are an excellent source of calcium; instead of throwing away your eggshells, collect them in a bowl, grind them in your Cuisinart and add them to your soil. Powdered milk, an ingredient often required for bread or granola bar recipes, is also an excellent source of calcium. Once the powdered milk packages have passed their expiration date, add them to your soil.
Banana Peels. Banana peels are an excellent source of potassium, as well as a good source of phosphorous. Bury whole banana peels near drip lines of plants.
Coffee grounds. Many gardeners add used coffee grounds to their compost bins, but used coffee grounds can be added directly to your soil to improve soil texture.
For complete complete instructions on growing heavy feeders by zip code, such as tomatoes, go to GardenZeus and enter your zip code. For additional information about growing “heavy feeders” in your California garden, see GardenZeus Alert: Beware of Heavy Feeders.