The Q&A Archives: Kitchen Scraps

Question: My husband often throws kitchen scraps into the garden in the spring and fall. It turns me off when I see my table scraps in the garden when my vegetables are growing. My husband also buries scraps of fish underneath a growing vegetable plant. He feels this won't harm the plant or the person that eats the vegetables. Is he correct or can the growing plant absorb harmful bacteria that can cause sickness to the person that eats it?<br>

Answer: It's probably a better idea to start a small compost pile with your kitchen scraps than to just toss them out into the garden. Rotting material can draw flies and sometimes wildlife! Buried fish parts will supply nutrients to plants as the fish decomposes. As long as it's buried several inches in the soil, it shouldn't cause any problems. If fish isn't buried deep enough, the odor can attract neighborhood cats, and possibly rodents - another reason to start a compost pile! Why not begin an above-ground compost pile? Or, if you aren't interested in devoting time to making compost, how about digging a shallow pit, placing your refuse in there and covering it with soil? At the end of the season your kitchen scraps and fish parts will have decomposed enough to dig out and spread on the garden plot.

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