How to Improve Your Garden Soil for Free

hands separating roots of a marigold plant with trowel

For a thriving garden, you need to provide your plants with quality soil.

Having a healthy and flourishing garden doesn’t have to cost a lot—in fact there are even ways to improve your garden soil for free!

With a little planning and knowledge, you can take advantage of everyday items found in your home and kitchen. 

How to Improve Your Soil for Free

The best way to improve your soil for free is to create a compost pile or upcycle a bin to make your own compost bin.

This will help turn your table scraps, lawn clippies, and even newspaper scraps into compost that will fertilize your soil.

You do not need to spend any money to get started composting though it can be nice to purchase a nice compost tumbler to make it easy if it is in your budget. 

How to Improve Soil Drainage for Free

Improving your soil drainage is as easy as tilling grass clippings, leaves, and small twigs into your soil before planting.

This organic matter will keep your soil loose and help fertilize the soil as they break down over time while sitting in your garden bed.

If your garden has wood mulch this is a great way to make use of the mulch that sat in your garden from the past growing season. 

How to Add Nutrients to Your Soil with Things at Home

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt from your bathroom can be used to help feed plants that need a lot of magnesium to produce more fruits.

This is a great soil addition to areas you are growing tomatoes and peppers in your garden


Eggshells are a great free way to add calcium to your garden.

When making eggs for your family you can toss the eggshells into your compost bin or process them to go directly into your garden.

To toss into your garden you want to wash and dry them well. This will prevent them from attracting pests to your garden.

After drying, crush your eggs down or run them through your blender. By crushing them down to as small of a dust as possible you make the decomposition process faster allowing them to break down and feed your plants. 

You can also start seedlings in eggshells if the top portion has been removed, and can just place the eggshell into the hole when ready to transfer.

This is a great activity for kids to do to learn about gardening.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are a great free way to feed your garden. Like eggshells, you can toss coffee grounds into your compost or directly into your garden.

For the best results, you want to dry out your coffee grounds making them easier to sprinkle freely around your garden.

coffee grounds in a spoon on top of whole coffee beans

If you do not drink coffee you can still get used coffee grounds from a friend or by stopping by your local coffee shop and asking for coffee grounds to place in your garden. 

Starchy Water

Watering your garden with water used for cooking is a great way to add nutrients to your garden soil and directly feed your plants.

When boiling pasta, rice, potatoes, or eggs you can strain your water into a large bowl or dishpan instead of down the drain.

Allow this water to cool and use it for watering your plants to take advantage of the nutrients in the water to improve your garden soil for free. 

Hunting for Worms

Gather worms from around your yard when working on lawn work.

Children love to collect worms from rain puddles after a long spring rain.

Place these worms directly into your garden beds so they can break down organic matter into fertilizer while helping to improve soil aeration with their tunnels. 

Try out these easy and cheap ways to improve your soil for free using just things you have around the house—your plants will thank you!

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