Gardening is a craft of sorts, and it can be hard to get the activity just right. Simply put, a lot can go wrong. Composting is a great way to get rid of any domestic food waste, and up your gardening skills. Even the most unexpected materials like oyster shells or coffee grounds can go to much better use.
We’ve come up with eight different ways to use recycled materials in order to create a much more successful and healthy garden.
1. Got Milk?
If milk always seems to go to waste in the household, use it in the garden. Spray it on plants which have mildew or mold in order to get rid of back fungus and other sickly conditions. Milk can also help alleviate calcium deficiencies and ensures that plants get enough moisture.
2. Egging It On
Egg shells contain plenty of calcium and thus work very well with compost. Besides this, egg shells can be used as a planting vessel (crack the bottom of the eggs to allow roots to go through before planting into the soil). Egg shells are also good at keeping pests like slugs and snails away.
3. Because Who Doesn’t Love Bananas?
Banana peels decomposition at the base of plants can stop aphid infestations because they add phosphorus and potassium to the ground. Phosphorous fosters root growth while potassium is necessary for primary plant functions like respiration, transpiration and nutrient absorption. Banana peels can also be used as bait for capturing yellow jackets.
4. Shell Those Oysters
Oyster shells are great sources of calcium carbonate, and so can be used a substitute in organic fertilizers for soil. Crushing and mixing the shells can give plants a boost of calcium and can also be used to level the pH of the soil. Placing large pieces of oyster shell around plant bases also keep the slugs away.
5. Orange Galore
Placing orange peels at the base of plants can be used to deal with aphids. They are a natural pest repellent, and can also be used to beautify the landscape of the garden by adding touches of color in the soil. Lastly, orange peels can be used in compost piles as well.
Stop throwing away the avocado seeds the next time you eat avocadoes! The seeds can be used to treat skin problems as well as muscle and joint pain. Planting an avocado seed in the garden will yield great results because of the various health benefits that come consuming the fruit.
7. Another Way Coffee Helps
Coffee grounds are a great ingredient to add nitrogen to the compost pile. They can also be used for mulching (but be wary of creating too thick layers on the ground because they can prevent air and water from getting to the roots. Coffee grounds can also stop snails and slugs from attacking the garden as well.
8. Lettuce All The Way
The heart of the lettuce is a great plant to regrow with water. Put the used up lettuce head in a jar or cup and expose it to sunlight. After a few days, when the lettuce heart begins to sprout, it can be transferred to a pot of soil to give it more nutrients. Scallions and leeks can also be grown in water easily.
Source: Rodale’s Organic Life