Use Your Blender for (Almost) Instant Compost

What if you don’t have a lot of space for composting as Ruth commented awhile back? Your leftover salad greens, apple cores, egg shells, and gnarly vegetarian leftovers can go straight to the root of your garden when you use this method, which is ideal for urban gardeners.

Toss compostable items into your blender so that it’s about a third full. Fill the container with water and blend until very finely chopped. Walk out to the garden and with a trowel, dig a small hole alongside a garden plant and pour some of the contents of the blender in. Cover with dirt and let the worms and microbes go to work. One blender full will fill three small holes (or, of course, one larger one). It’s so easy, I even did it single-handedly (LEFT-handedly) so I could take a video:

Note: Only you know what your blender can handle. If you’re not sure if yours will tackle a whole, wilted sweet potato, you should probably skip it.

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  • Smart idea. I get very little compost these days from kitchen scraps though. It all goes down the gullets of the chickens and I get the scraps processed into high quality chicken manure!

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      There are certain things my girls won’t eat (they’re picky!); that’s what gets composted.

  • Your compost is so clean, Kris! We have a lot of coffee grounds in ours. What a cool idea though!

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I have to admit – my coffee grounds get thrown directly on the lawn. This batch just happened to be an assortment of wilted daikon, so it looks clean!

  • Sheryl ,

    Thanks again, Kris, for a really easy, do-able and smart use for scraps that I’d otherwise put in the garbage. Why not let my plants eat well? I am going to put my blender to work.

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      Sheryl, I am in such need of compost here with my puny soil, I cringe when I hear people are throwing away scraps! Send ‘em my way!

  • Ok, I have a question on this. We were told somewhere along the line not to use coffee grounds in compost. True or false?

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      I can’t imagine why someone would have told you that! I generally just toss my own coffee grounds right on the lawn, but I’ve stopped at coffee shops and asked them for leftover grounds to add to my compost or worm bin!

  • This is so easy–but no meat leftovers right?

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      The general rule is no meat in the compost pile, because it will attract critters. I have to wonder if it would be okay to add meat to this type of compost, since it will be buried directly. I’ve not tried it – but it wouldn’t be all that different than my grandpa burying a fish head under each of his tomato plants, right?

  • Thanks so much for the mention, Kris. This strikes me as ingenious.

  • merr ,

    I am learning a lot about things like composting and green living from your blog, Kris. I have to say I enjoy your writing. You have a way of making things very interesting and accessible. I don’t composte yet,,,but perhaps someday?!

  • Ok, I did some checking around, and the rumor is that coffee grounds make the soil more acidic…?

    • Kimberley Burton ,

      In regards to the acidity of coffee grounds…..as far as I know the composting process always goes through a fairly acidic phase but then returns to a neutral state on stabilising. I have used coffee grounds directly as a mulch, and also put them in my compost. At the polytechnic where I am studying horticulture we also add them to the worm farm with no major consequences shown thus far. :-)

  • jenjenn ,

    Am fairly new to the apt/container gardening world, but am learning in bits and pieces and getting tips on how to be a great gardener. As for the coffee grounds, I place them in a container on the kitchen sink. For starters, the coffee is an excellent air deoderizer, which helps me out a lot when DH is in the kitchen cooking up something with his pride, but stinking up the entire place! Second use is to place in knives and scissors (takes at least a few days) to sharpen up…Third use is for composting. Am starting to add eggs in. So with DH or my eggs (we have different schedules), I will take and boil in water. Water I give to my plants is filtered and poured into the gardening can in the morning. At nights when the water is distilled, my plants get watered. Plants love the non-chlorinated, distilled water and are thriving well! As for the water from boiling the egg shells, this is an occasional nutriental treat for the plants. As for the eggshells, I then let air dry, then place in the blender to crush up. As I have had the disappointing first time experience of trying to crush up and use for mulch. Instead, after the blender crush up, I am adding to the up until recently, coffee compost. Am getting more confident, and will start adding in vegetable waste. I put in a non-discreet container (a milk carton with leftover wallpaper from the thrift store glued on), so it is non-breakable, and discreet as it sits in the window in the high pedestrian and drive-by apt traffic. Initially the coffee grounds, I used for my indoor cat’s catnip and organic plant grass (purchase early spring and stock up for the year), and am not sure if our cat gets a caffeine (and organic as much as possible) ‘high’, but he sure does seem to enjoy the 50/50 addition of coffee grounds and potting soil! These cat ‘plants’ are excellent (along with 100% pumpkin filling, which nearly all cats love) for their digestion…
    I am also encouraged by my neighbors, many elderly, who learn on their own, with tight budgets, the best way is to ‘try it and see’, and each plant is a learning lesson. Even with the best of planting conditions, the unexpected can happen, such as a unexpected bad weather spell, or a fav brand name of seeds has turned out a bad package…This webiste is already a great resource and help to having the best possible chance of my plants growing organically healthy and thriving, and is providing me exactly the encouragement I need to shop, grow and eat healthier (and I for once, am slowly, but surely, in a long time, getting some weight off and kept off).

  • James ,

    I recently started doing this, not just for fruit and vegetable leftovers, but for weeds as well. As long as the weed stems aren’t too tough, it works well. No waiting months for things to be broken down into usable plant food. Of course you don’t want to blend weeds with mature seeds, or you’ll be a weed’s best friend.

    Be careful if you have a puny blender (350-450 watts). I had a fairly new one go up in smoke. My 850 watt blender doesn’t bog down, but it still gets warm. I doubt if there would be a problem blending only kitchen leftovers, but getting something beneficial out of weeds is a good feeling.

  • PniB ,

    Hello :)
    Can you please tell me how frequently it is ok, or helpful to the plants to add the ready made compost smoothie? In my case it will be container plants on my balcony. I am thinking of trying to grab some earthworms to add to my pots next time it rains……… is that a good or poor idea?
    Thank you so much.

    • Kris Bordessa ,

      Hm. Good question. Depending on the size of the container, I’d say maybe every couple of weeks? And worms in the pots certainly won’t hurt the plants and will help the compost break down faster. Report back on how it goes, if you remember! I’m curious now.

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