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Coffee Grounds, Egg Shells & Banana skins

Hello all,

Our school has been offered a weekly supply of used coffee grounds, egg shells and banana skins for the soil in our container garden (please see photo). Now that we are facing colder weather we will not be growing much in the containers until March. My question is how much of these items should we be adding to our soil and how often? We are worried we may end up over-fertilizing it.

Would really appreciate some help here.

Thanks! 

Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    A worm bin would be a useful teaching tool for the children, but I think you will also have to add other ingredients. Do you have peeling from a school kitchen that you could add?
  • Gal2Gal2 Posts: 36
    Thanks! So direct mixing would not be good? I'm considering starting a composting bin. What type or size would be sufficient? We are next to a river so rats would be drawn to anything that's tasty for them.. 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    A sealed type bin that they can't get in would certainly be better than just adding scraps (that rats would love) to the soil.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    I wouldn't add any of those directly to soil, although they are all useful. They need to be rotted down with a lot of other material such as grass clippings, vegetable peelings and lots of plant material such as cleared bedding plants, perennials and annual weeds.
  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    I helped to run a school garden  in inner city West Yorkshire  for a couple of years and rats were a big problem. And I  mean big! A dead one in the greenhouse measured 3 feet from nose to tip of tail. We had compost bins of pallets for annual weeds and plant debris and one for leaf mould but no food waste.
    Sealed Dalek bin should be OK as would a wormery. Lots of waste paper and card in a school which could be layered in a compost bin. Useful  recycling teaching too.
    Hand hygiene  for kids  an  absolute must, I wrote loads of risk assessments in order to be able to  have the kids garden with me.
    It's great fun though and really good way of teaching. 
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    Will the school fund or supply the bin?
    See if the local council will help supply one, many do deals with companies. So they surely should be able to offer them free.
    You can get some with bases to fit that have holes in. But using chicken wire underneath may be a cheap option though it can have sharp bits so care would be needed.
    (Not advertising but the blackwall ones have a nice plastic holey base to fit their ones, they are one brand that has the council offer so....)
    Worm bins can also be bought from the participating sites. So again you could push or ask for a free one or two or both.
    If you put the words, get composting council participating,  into any search engine it will come up with the site or sites.

    If they won't, free or cheap bins can be had from local tips, freecycle etc.
    Egg shells I find take ages to break down if just crushed a bit. I am not sure the worms are keen. I am thinking about crushing them more finely before adding. Might be a little job for the children.
    I don't think lumps of shell are a problem it just annoys me to see white bits in my brown compost after composting :D
    Hope you and the little ones can have fun composting.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,462
    Egg shells I bake in the bottom of the oven while something else is cooking. They then crush to a fine powder using the end of a rolling pin.  Shredded paper is good to add in.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    Egg shells I bake in the bottom of the oven while something else is cooking. They then crush to a fine powder using the end of a rolling pin.  Shredded paper is good to add in.
    I did that earlier this year, I needed some calcium supplement in a hurry, one Sunday just after four p.m. ( Don't ask!). But did exactly as you just described baking them.
    I was thinking at the time this works well, they crumble better.  I never thought to do it again. I will try it too. Makes use of residual heat in the oven as well .
    I rolled mine with the pin on a large tray, several times over but I needed it particularly fine, like dust.

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929
    I've always dried eggshells in the oven ,crushed them between two sheets of paperpaper using a rolling pin. When they are powder I sprinkle in compost  ,flower borders  .
    any  spare keeps well in a screw top jar or equivalent. 

    I also give our dogs one tsp a week mixed into their food .....on the say so of the vet .
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