If someone told you to pour milk on your plants, would you do it? Probably not. But, today I am going to tell you why you could (and should) use milk as a fertilizer for your plants.
I remember visiting my Aunt Pam and Uncle Bernie as a kid and watching them save food scraps, milk, eggs, and other compostable items. Then we would get to go on a little fun trip to their backyard and spread the compostable goods into their garden area. My favorite was throwing the egg shells and then stepping on them to hear them crack even more. I also remember pouring expired whole milk from a carton – BUT – I never questioned, “why milk?” until now.
While using milk as a fertilizer is a little more complicated than just dousing your garden with a carton of fresh milk, it’s a great way to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! So let’s talk about the benefits of fertilizing with milk, and the process you need to use to get the most out of this gardening hack!
The Benefits of Using Milk As A Garden & Houseplant Fertilizer
All About Using Milk as A Fertilizer
Believe it or not, milk has been used as fertilizer for centuries, and for good reason. All the reasons that make milk healthy for humans is why it is also great for plants! The calcium keeps plants from drooping, vitamin B is essential to plant growth, and other proteins in the milk keep plants from developing infections.
But, how do you use milk for a fertilizer?
It’s very important to note that milk should not be left undiluted and used as fertilizer. If you pour milk directly from the carton into the soil surrounding the plant, it will spoil quickly, making your garden smell and potentially grow mold. The key is finding a balance for the amount of milk you plan to use in your garden.
How to Use Milk As A Fertilizer
For Your Garden: I’ve found that a mixture that is equal parts milk and water tends to work best when using milk in your garden. For just a few small plants, try using a spray bottle with the milk mixture, spritzing directly at the soil surrounding the plant.
For a large garden or outdoor plants, mix milk and water in a watering can for the best results. It’s also important to not over-fertilize your plants. Employing this milk fertilizer every six to eight weeks can be very effective in speeding up the growth rate of your plants.
For Your Houseplants: Houseplants won’t need much because they do not get as much sunlight and exposure to natural air as outdoor plants. You will want to just add just a tablespoon or two of milk to a quart-size pitcher filled with water. Mix it and then pour the diluted milk into the soil once or twice a month. I’ve tried it and had great success with my Jade Plant, English Ivy, Parlor Palm, and Spider Plant.
You might be wondering what type of milk is best. The answer is all types of milk can be used for fertilizer! Using milk that is slightly past its expiration date can be a great way to reduce waste, but any kind of milk will work well as fertilizer.
Evaporated, skim, even powdered milk are all great options for improving the wellbeing of your plants!
This is such a crazy gardening and plant hack, I still am so mind-boggled! So next time you’re looking for a way to bolster the size of your plants, either in your home or in your garden, you don’t have to look any further than your own refrigerator!
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