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A gardening expert has broken down exactly how household drinks can be used in the garden and has urged Britons to use them “in moderation”. The likes of orange juice, milk, and vodka are often suggested to be used as fertilisers, to pep up cut flowers, or to kill weeds. Chris Bonnett from Gardening Express put together a list of these drinks and how they can be used.
These should only be used in moderation and regular use could result in damaged plants.
Chris Bonnett, the founder of GardeningExpress, who recently discussed how to protect your gardens from Spring frost, said: “People might be surprised to hear that a lot of household drinks can actually be used in their gardens and on their plants.
“If you have some spare or flat Coca-Cola this is a great alternative to weed killers and some drinks like milk and tea actually work as fertilisers.
“Of course, they’re not as strong as store-bought ones but they’re definitely better for the environment and are a more eco-friendly option.
“A lot of these techniques are best off being used in moderation, for example adding too much orange juice and milk could potentially do more harm to your plants than good and could result in killing them if overused.”
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Drinks to use on your plants
One of the most unlikely drinks you would think to add to your garden is Vodka. Outdoors Vodka can be used as a pesticide and a weed killer.
If you’re looking for a hack for indoor plants, adding a dash of vodka into the water of cut flowers kills bacteria and promotes growth. This is because it acts as an antibacterial agent.
Another drink that can be used as a weed killer is fizzy cola. But this can also be used as compost.
If you have some leftover coke, go ahead and add it to your compost pile. Its sweetness and sugars mean that it’s a great natural booster.
When using cola on places like the driveway it’s important to bear in mind that this can stick and attract bugs.
As well as being good for our bodies, green tea is also good for our plants.
Green tea leaves enrich garden plants because they’re high in nitrogen. They’re also good for keeping pests at bay.
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Orange juice can actually be used as a fertiliser for your plants in moderation.
Juice tends to be high in acidity so adding too much orange juice to your plants over time could eventually kill them.
When watering your plants add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice.
Some plants like daffodils and roses will welcome tea leaves as a fertiliser.
This won’t be as strong as using a store-bought fertiliser but it’s a good option if you don’t have some handy in the house and it’s also a lot more eco-friendly.
Milk has the same benefits for plants as it does for us humans. Vitamin B and calcium promote plant growth and help plants that are at risk of calcium deficiency like tomatoes.
Create a diluted solution of milk that is half water and half milk, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray it over your garden. Like most things, you’ll want to do this in moderation, too much milk can harm your plants.
Lemonade is another fizzy drink that can help your plants. Adding a small amount to some water and giving it to your plants can increase their lifespan, this is because the acid and sugar in the drink tend to prevent bacteria.
Another British gardener told how she eschews weedkillers, and prefers to kill weeds with other plants.
The chemical-free gardener uses “attractive ground cover plants” to smother weeds in her flowerbed.
Sharon, who runs @beforeandaftergarden, shares her flower-growing tips and tricks online and is an organic kitchen gardener.
She said: “In the borders, I have opted for attractive ground cover plants which are excellent for suppressing weeds.
“One of my favourites is Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’. We also have lots of alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) which smothers weeds really well – plus, it has the added benefit of looking amazing in cut flower arrangements!”
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