Natural & Free Garden Helpers

This article, entitled Natural & Free Garden Helpers comes from partner site 719woman.com.

Want to keep bugs out of your garden and/or add nutrients to your soil without using chemicals or spending money? These 3 “free” garden helpers are things you usually throw away so that’s why I consider them free (and they are things most people have in their kitchen on a daily basis.)

EGG SHELLS & EGG “WATER”

Whether you’re making scrambled eggs for breakfast, boiling eggs for salads, or cracking them into cakes or cookies; you can use what you normally toss in the trash or down the drain in your garden…

  • Have slugs? Well, they apparently don’t like walking on eggshells. Save your eggshells and crush them up. Spread crushed pieces around plants you want to protect, surrounding the plant completely, and you’ll instantly create a slug-proof zone.
  • Crushed eggshells actually are a great source of calcium, which can help prevent blossom end rot on tomato plants. But they will also help any houseplant. Simply sprinkle the eggshells into the soil.
  • Another way to add eggshell calcium to plants is by saving the water you use to boil eggs. Once the water cools, use it to water your plants. You’ll notice how much better they grow.

BANANA OR ORANGE PEELS

You eat a banana or orange and then toss the peels. But those peels can actually be used in the garden to help deter bugs and fertilize the soil. If you have a compost pile, the peels can be added to the pile but for those of us who don’t have a compost pile, here’s a few other ways you can use them.

  • Both peels add nutrients and nitrogen to the soil as they decompose. For natural fertilizer, simply bury the peels in the garden/yard soil. If using banana peels, make sure you cut them up into smaller pieces so they decompose faster and help prevent squirrels and other critters from digging them up.
  • Both peels also act as natural pest repellents. The peels contain a natural chemical that destroys the waxy coating on ants and aphids, which cause them to suffocate and die (d-Limonene.) Simply bury cut up banana peels and bury them 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil around plants. Place pieces of orange peel around plants.
  • Add shine to leaves by wiping them with the inside of a banana peel. It will not only add that shine, but will also deter aphids wanting to chew on those leaves. You can also rub your skin with orange peels to help repel mosquito.

USED COFFEE GROUNDS

I’ve used coffee grounds in my garden for a couple of years now and it really works. And since I typically drink 2 pots of coffee everyday, I have lots of grounds! They can keep bugs away and fertilize plants and vegetables.

  • Spread used grounds on anthills or anyplace ants might be entering your house. Toss a handful in your yard or garden to keep slugs and snails away from plants.
  • Used coffee grounds add minerals, vitamins and nitrogen to the soil. This will help produce bigger melons, tomatoes and carrots…making them stockier and less prone to insect infestation. Mix the grounds with soil for outdoor or indoor plants. Or, you can steep 2 cups of used grounds to a 5 gallon bucket of water for a couple of hours or overnight for a liquid fertilizer you can use in your garden or container plants. When planting carrot or radish seeds, mix the seeds with dry grounds before planting which will increase your harvest.



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