Gardening expert on how to keep your garden free of weeds
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Express.co.uk spoke with two gardening experts about how gardeners can control and kill weeds using drinks normally found in any household’s fridge. These drinks can also be used to fertilise healthy plants.
Louise Findlay-Wilson, founder of gardening website Blooming Lucky, said: “There are lots of things lurking in our cupboards at home which can be used to boost your plants or resolve some of the most common gardening problems.
“For instance, while camomile tea might be good for relaxing you at the end of the day, it also has antibacterial and fungicidal properties which mean it’s brilliant for tackling fungus and mildew.”
Louise advised “simply placing about eight camomile tea bags in a litre of water and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the tea bags to brew for several hours”.
“Remove the bags and put the cooled liquid in a plant spray and use it on your plants,” she added.
Fungus and mildew act like pests, damaging healthy plants in the garden.
Another way to get rid of them is to use milk, according to Louise. She said: “Spray milk mixed at a ratio of 40 percent milk and 60 percent water.
“While I don’t think scientists are exactly sure why it works, most think the protein in the milk interacts with the sun to create an antiseptic effect.
“This ‘burns’ any fungi present but doesn’t hurt your plant’s leaves.”
Milk can also be used as a plant fertiliser, said Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress.co.uk.
He explained that vitamin B and calcium promote plant growth and help plants that are at risk of calcium deficiency, such as tomatoes.
Chris recommended creating a diluted solution of milk that is half water and half milk, pouring it into a spray bottle and spraying it over your garden.
Lemonade is another staple that can be used to promote plant growth. Simply add a small amount to some water and pour the concoction onto your plants to increase their lifespan, said Chris.
Louise mentioned another drink that can greatly benefit plants – apple juice mixed with Epsom salts.
She said: “If you’re looking to improve your soil it’s brilliant for increasing the nutrient uptake by your plants.
“The magnesium in Epsom salts helps a plant use the phosphorus and nitrogen in the soil. Simply dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salts in four litres of warm water.
“Then add 250ml of unsweetened apple juice. Pre-moisten the soil around your plant and then poke some holes around it and pour in the mixture. Do this once a month for the best results.”
Chris went on to recommend using Coca Cola on plants, saying: “If you have some spare or flat Coca Cola this is a great alternative to weed killers.
“Of course, it’s not as strong as a store-bought one [weed killer], but it’s definitely better for the environment and is a more eco-friendly option.”
Coca Cola can be used not only as a weed killer but as compost too. All gardeners need to do is add any leftover Coke they might have to their compost pile. The drink’s sweetness and sugars mean that it’s a brilliant natural booster.
The gardening expert added that vodka is “one of the most unlikely drinks you would think to add to your garden”.
However, it can be used as a pesticide or a week killer – for both indoor and outdoor plants.
Gardeners are advised to add a dash of the drink into the water of cut flowers to kill bacteria and promote growth.
Green tea is another handy drink to use on plants. The tea’s leaves enrich garden plants because they are high in nitrogen, and they are also good for keeping pests at bay.
Normal tea leaves can be used on plants such as daffodils and roses as a fertiliser. Although not as strong as store-bought fertiliser, this is a good environmentally friendly option.
Orange juice can also be used as a fertiliser – but in moderation. Too much juice could kill plants because of its acidity.
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