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9 Food Scraps for Tomatoes

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

There are several food scraps that can be used for your tomatoes. This article will serve as a guideline to certain food scraps you can use for your tomatoes.

1) Eggshells

Eggshells are used as seed-starter pots. When your tomato seedlings get large enough to plant, thin them as required by keeping only one or two of the strongest-looking seedlings, crack the eggshells gently, and plant them together with others in your garden.

Eggshells can also serve as a pest deterrent in your tomato garden. You can crush the eggshells and sprinkle them around plants. You can use the crushed eggshells to create a ring around plants and it should be at least a quarter-inch thick and have a width of 2 inches.

Not only that, eggshells can also be used as fertilizer and they will help to add calcium to your soil. When planting your tomato seedlings, you can add the crushed eggshells to the holes or you can perhaps, work the eggshells into the soil around the tomato plants in an already planted tomato garden.

Here, you can use like 4 – 5 eggshells for each tomato plant. This exact method is also applicable in staving off blossom-end rot in tomato plants.

Learn more about using eggshells on tomato plants. And for details about composting eggshells, refer to our guide on eggshells composting.

2) Coffee Grounds

They can be used as pest-repellant in your tomato garden. The coffee grounds can be worked into the soil. Another option is adding the grounds to water and using it to water your tomato plants.

Here, the grounds can be soaked in water overnight and allowed to dissolve then used for watering the tomato plants or perhaps, used as a spray for the plants. Note that the coffee grounds must be used coffee grounds as fresh coffee grounds are too acidic.

Coffee grounds help in adding nitrogen to the soil and nitrogen is known to be the most essential mineral in plant growth. It helps the plant in creating food. Without nitrogen, the tomato plants may have chlorosis which is yellowing of the leaves.

Not only that, a lack of nitrogen may cause the tomato plants to have small leaves, weak stems, and a weak root system. The strong smell of coffee grounds keep away pests like cats, squirrels, e.t.c.

Learn more about composting coffee grounds. And learn more about using coffee grounds on tomatoes plants.

3) Banana Peels

They can also be used in your tomato garden and fed to your tomato plants. To use banana peels, cut the banana peels into small pieces and bury the pieces around the plants.

It could be one or two inches deep. Never bury the pieces whole as they might attract larger pests. Banana peels are not only used for eliminating pests. Adding them to the soil also helps in adding nutrients to the soil.

When you cut and add banana peels to the soil and the banana peels decay, nutrients are released into the soil. Studies show that there are other ways to use banana peels in your tomato garden such as making banana tea.

To make banana tea, soak a fresh banana peel in water for a day or perhaps, two days. The result is banana tea and it can be used to water your tomato plants.

Watering your tomato plants with banana tea gives the plants a quick boost of potassium as banana peels are known to be rich in potassium and plants need potassium as potassium helps in improving the rigidity of their stems, enhancing fruit production while also, increasing their disease resistance.

4) Orange Peels

These also work great as a pest deterrents. Adding orange peels to your tomato garden will help to keep away cats. You can cut the orange peels into small pieces and have them scattered around garden plants.

Another way by which you can use orange peels in your garden is by shallowly burying small pieces of the orange peels around the tomato plants or you can sprinkle grated or shredded orange peels around the tomato plants. This will help in repelling ants and aphids.

5) Nut Shells

These are also excellent food scraps to use in your tomato garden. Mixing nutshells in with your soil can help in aerating otherwise compact soil.

6) Garlic, Onion, and Spicy Peppers

These food scraps also help to ward off pests in your tomato garden. By spraying these items, you get to prevent pests and insects from attacking your tomato plants. This is done by infusing the items with water before spraying on your tomato plants.

7) Cooking water

Cooking water can be used for your tomato plants. Never throw away cooking water as they can be used for watering your tomato plants. However, ensure that the cooking water does not contain salt as it may kill the plants.

Water used to boil an egg or blanch vegetables or used to perform other cooking activities in the kitchen can be kept in a bowl or bucket and allowed to cool. Afterwards, use it to fill up your watering can and water your tomato plants and you will be absolutely happy you did.

8) Used Tea Bags

These have similar effects and benefits as coffee grounds. Used tea bags can serve as great fertilizer and mulch around your tomatoes. Before using for your tomatoes, ensure to remove the tea grounds from the bags, and dry out before using them in your tomato garden.

Tea is known to contain tannic acid which is made up of polyphenolic compounds. These can act as a pest deterrent, fertilizer, and also, pH adjuster. Just like coffee, tea helps to add nitrogen to the soil.

Not only that, the tea leaves also provide food for earthworms and these earthworms help to prevent the soil from getting compacted by creating pathways and aeration. Tea bags are good at retaining water. Also, they can be used as seed-starter medium.

This can be done by boiling the tea bags to sterilize them. Afterwards, make a hole in the tea bag, insert a seed, and ensure to keep it moist. Once the seed germinates, you can replant the entire seedling/bag.

9) Fish Scraps and Bones

This work absolutely great for tomatoes. Here, put fish scraps and bones in a blender and puree. Afterwards, get two cups of the puree, one cup of milk and water. Mix all together to obtain a supercharged fertilizing concoction. The ground-up fish scraps will give some powerful nutrients to the tomato plants while the milk will help in controlling disease.


Each food scrap mentioned above has its own role played in tomato plants/garden as well as other plants. All contain certain nutrients and also help in controlling pests.

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