What to Compost for a Thriving Garden

Our gardening got off to a very late start this year with the perpetual winter we received. We did manage to get our DIY compost bin going to help give our garden an advantage. The children helped plants some green beans through the garden seeing we won’t get much else done this year with everything.

Green beans are really the perfect vegetable to grow when you have limited time for the growing season. We are hoping to get tomatoes and peppers in over the weekend. In the meantime, we are focusing on creating some amazing compost with our list of things to compost for a thriving garden.

What to compost for a thriving garden

What are the top items to add to your compost pile?

Sometimes the best things you can do for your garden is to make use of the items that you would normally throw away. Here are the top ten things that will boost your compost.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are amazing for your garden. I love my coffee and before we got our compost bin ready we were tossing these right into the garden bed to break down. Nitrogen-loving plants can’t get enough of them. 

Egg shells

We eat a LOT of eggs in this house. Dozens in a week for their cheap, nutrient-packed protein source.  Eggshells are packed with calcium and make the perfect addition to your compost.

Wash, dry well, and crush for the best results. Eggshells will break down releasing calcium that helps stalks of plants like tomatoes.

Banana Peels

Banana peels are packed with potassium. When we grew the Asian long beans that got as long as our baby we ended up with an infestation of leaf miners.

In our favorite homesteading facebook group everyone suggested we toss banana peels at the bottom of the plants to help them survive and keep growing with the damage. It worked wonders and banana peels have been a major part of our gardening to this day.

When you have a compost bin going you can toss banana peels in to break down and give your compost plenty of potassium. 


Old baking yeast past its prime is a great one to toss into the garden. If you are like most families looking for the best economical choice and the lowest footprint you buy yeast in bulk. Often you can’t use all of it before it goes bad.

The good news is while it will not make my bread light and fluffy anymore the leftover microorganisms will still help my compost break down faster. Just activate in hot water and dump into your pile. 

You can use beer that is packed with natural yeast. Compost beer for garden growth.


We love to have relaxing bone fires on the weekends. When the fire is done and cooled the next day we can pull out the ashes and toss them into the compost pile to break down further and add nutrients for our soil helping us build up the best garden spoil. 

Grass clippings

When we mow the lawn we let the grass sit for a few days in the hot sun to dry. Then these dry grass clippings go into our compost as a brown material to help it stay balanced despite the large amounts of food we toss into it.

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More great things you can compost

Things to compost for a thriving garden
  • Food scraps not containing meat or dairy
  • Food cooked in oil
  • Paper with grease that can not be recycled
  • Popcorn kernels that did not pop
  • Stale bread, crackers, and cereal
  • Old herbs and spices
  • Stale beer or wine after a party
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Hair from your hairbrush
  • Dryer lint
  • Pencil shavings
  • Old flowers
How To Use Beer For Your Garden

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