Unusual Plant Care Tips and Tricks: Embrace the Weird and Wacky!
Gardening is an art that requires patience, knowledge, and creativity. While most gardeners rely on traditional methods to care for their plants, there are some who have discovered unusual trips and tricks that are no less effective.
Gardeners are always on the lookout for innovative, effective and low-cost ways to care for their plants. Although they may seem strange at first, these unusual gardening and plant care techniques have been proven to increase the well-being and vitality of plants time and time again. Let's dive in!
1. Singing to Plants
Believe it or not, some gardeners swear by the power of music. Singing or playing certain types of music to plants is said to promote their growth. The vibrations emitted by sound waves are believed to have a beneficial effect on plant health. To find out more, read our blog Music To Their Leaves.
2. Coffee Grounds
Instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, save them for your garden. Coffee grounds are a valuable addition to gardening. They enhance soil structure, provide essential nutrients like nitrogen, improve drainage, and deter pests like snails and slugs. When used as mulch or added to compost, they can benefit plant health and growth.
Eggshells are a useful resource in gardening. Crushed eggshells provide calcium to plants, preventing calcium deficiency and promoting strong cell walls. It also aids with water drainage in the soil.
The sharp edges of crushed eggshells can deter certain pests, like snails and slugs from crawling over them and reaching the plant's stems.
They can also serve as natural seedling pots. Fill the cleaned halves with potting soil and plant seeds; they provide nutrients and can be directly transplanted into the garden.
4. Banana Peels
Don't throw away those banana peels! They can be used as a nutrient-rich fertiliser. Simply bury the peels near the base of your plants, and they will slowly release potassium, phosphorus, and other essential minerals as they decompose.
For a less messy application, soak the banana peels in water. Incorporate this banana concentrate into your regular fertilising routine.
Seaweed is packed with nutrients that can benefit your plants. You can use fresh or dried seaweed as a mulch or add it to your compost pile. Seaweed contains trace elements, minerals, and growth hormones that promote plant growth and improve soil fertility.
6. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is not just for soothing sore muscles. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium and sulphur which boost growth, flowering, and overall health, and can correct nutrient deficiencies and improve nutrient uptake, benefiting a wide range of plants. Dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and use it to water your plants.
Crushing an aspirin tablet and dissolving it in water can help plants fight off diseases. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which stimulates the plant's immune system and enhances its ability to resist infections.
Vinegar can be used as a natural weed killer. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the weeds. The acetic acid in vinegar will cause the weeds to wither and die.
Lemon juice is also a great way to naturally control weeds, boost germination rate, and balance the pH levels of soil.
Cinnamon has antifungal properties and can be used to prevent disease from plant wounds and cutting propagation. When sprinkled on soil or applied to plant wounds, it helps prevent fungal infections and protects plants from diseases, making it a valuable addition to plant care routines.
10. Hair Clippings
Don't throw away your hair clippings after a haircut. Spread them around your garden to deter pests like deer and rabbits. The strong scent of human hair is believed to repel these animals and protect your plants from being trodden and eaten.
11. Beer Traps
If slugs and snails are wreaking havoc in your garden, set up beer traps to catch them. Slugs and snails are attracted to beer because of the yeast, when fermented mimics the smell of their food.
Bury a container in the ground and fill it with beer. The slugs and snails will be attracted to the beer and drown in the trap.
12. Copper Wire
Wrap copper wire around the base of your plants to keep slugs and snails at bay. The copper reacts with their slime, giving them a mild electric shock and deterring them from climbing up the plants.
Copper is also a common ingredient in many fungicides. When copper ions are released into the environment, they interfere with the fungal cells' growth and replication.
13. Milk Spray
Milk is not just for drinking! Diluting milk with water and spraying it over plants can help prevent powdery mildew, a common fungal disease that affects many plants. The proteins and enzymes in milk inhibit the growth of powdery mildew spores on plant leaves.
When applied directly to the leaves, nutrients like calcium in milk allows water to adhere better to the leaf surface washing away debris and pollutants for better photosynthesis production. It also nourishes the plant leaves giving the leaves a lustrous sheen.
Milk may help reduce stress in plants due to its soothing properties. It can be used as a treatment after transplanting or when plants are under stress from environmental factors.
14. Boiling Water
Boiling water is an effective weed killer due to its ability to rupture plant cells, eliminating weeds naturally. To prevent harm to desired plants, carefully apply boiling water directly to weeds, avoiding splashes on neighbouring vegetation, making it an eco-friendly spot treatment option.
Urine can be beneficial for plants as it contains essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus ideal for boosting growth, especially in fruiting plants. When diluted with water, urine provides a natural fertiliser that can promote healthy growth and improve soil fertility, aiding plant development. Having said this, using a liquid fertiliser is a much simpler way of administering these essential nutrients.
16. Shake the Plant
Shaking plants, through gentle agitation or wind simulation, can enhance their growth. This motion strengthens stems and encourages root development by stimulating the plant's natural response to build resistance, resulting in sturdier, healthier vegetation.
17. Rusty Nails
Rusty nails can benefit plants by slowly releasing iron into the soil. Iron is an essential micronutrient for plant growth, aiding in chlorophyll production and overall vitality.
Always wear gloves and protective clothing when handling rusty objects, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Rust can create sharp edges that may cause cuts or puncture wounds. Additionally, rust particles can be harmful if inhaled or ingested.
18. Dish Soap
Dish soap is employed in gardening as an insecticidal spray. When mixed with water and applied to plants, it disrupts pests' waxy protective layers, causing dehydration and death. Proper dilution and sparing use are crucial to avoid harming plants.
Dish soap can also be added to water and then applied to hard, compacted soil to help break up its surface tension and make it more receptive to water absorption and easier to cultivate.
Although these unusual trips and tricks may seem unconventional, there does appear to be a method in the madness to warrant mentioning. Whether you agree with them or not, singing to your plants or sprinkling your hair clippings to deter animals, these natural alternatives to plant care offer a unique approach to gardening that certainly wouldn't harm us to try at least one!