Now that your knees are wearing out after all that weeding, here are some handy tips on how to bring out the best in your garden using the leftovers in your kitchen!
Uitsig’s resident gardening expert, Niall McKrill, shares his best-kept secrets below…
Put ground coffee back in the ground
Your used ground coffee has really good levels of Nitrogen in it which is good for the soil. As an added bonus, snails and slugs find it not to their liking and it will also keep cats in the neighbours’ garden! It’s good (in limited quantities) for roses, rhododendrons, and gardenias too. Just mix 2 cups of ground coffee in a 10 litre bucket of water. Let it steep overnight, and pour onto the ground around the bushes.
Make your own mulch
Good mulch helps keep weeds under control and seedlings wetter for longer. When sowing carrot and raddish seeds, mix in some coffee grounds and away you go.
Unleash cinnamon’ s super powers
Everyone has a bottle or box of old cinnamon lurking in their grocery cupboard. But did you know that this humble brown powder is a superstar in the garden? Cats, bugs and flies dislike it in the ground, it stimulates root growth on seedlings and cuttings and it kills fungus.
Make a spray of warm water and cinnamon, let it rest overnight, then strain it and spray over your seedlings. You can also stick the cuttings into dry cinnamon powder before planting. To ward off flies and bugs that live in the soil, simply sprinkle cinnamon on the ground over seedlings. And when sprinkled over fairy rings, mildew and other types of garden fungus, they will soon breakdown and disappear. Not too thick though, and make sure the ground is damp so the powder sticks to the plants.
Enrich your soil with these kitchen characters…
- Banana peels (rich in potassium)
- Chicken feathers (from the pillows the dogs have altered) are also full of nitrogen
- Egg shells (rich in calcium)
- Crayfish shells (for a phosporous boost)
- Epsom salts (magnesium-rich)
- Wood ash (to neutralize the soil)
Apart from upcycling in the kitchen, if you’re also trying to save water – check out our previous post on how to have a water-wise garden.