Leftover food scraps make amazing entrees for your plants. Veggie butts, skins or tops? Wilted greens? Coffee grounds? Eggshells? Compost that!
Growing plants is all about growing soil. Healthy soil = healthy plants. Not only does your soil feed the plants, it helps fight off pests and diseases. A great (cheap) way to add nutrients into your soil is to incorporate composting. No need to go buy fancy stuff at the store. No need for pesticides. Your decomposed breakfast will do just fine.
You can a) buy a composter or b) make a pile. Both work well! We use a tumbler (only because we didn't know how the whole pile thing works). Our neighbors have a compost pile. It doesn't stink and they churn it up regularly with a shovel. Either way, you're golden. We've seen a huge improvement in pest control and fruit quality since using compost in our garden beds.
Just throw out your scraps, turn it regularly and voila, you have homemade Miracle Grow. You will never look at a banana peel the same way again.
Almost all scraps can go in the compost. Think greens and browns. You'll want a good mix of green (fruits, veggies, crushed eggshells) and brown (dead leaves, hay). No meat or dairy! And, if you ever thought pet waste might be a good idea... nope, think again. Unless of course, your pet is a horse or cow. And at that point, you're prob already a pro at composting.
Your pile will turn into nice, dark, hearty soil after awhile. Once it does, you can make a compost tea or kneed it into the soil. We make tea. To do this, dump a decent amount into a big bucket, add water. Let sit for a week and then water the plants with it. There are much fancier ways of doing this but simple is our style.
Composting is simple. No big expensive tools or buckets necessary. You should try it.
P.s. a little helpful reminder of what to use and what not to use: