1) Use Old Tea Bags to Add Nutrients to the Soil
Tea bags contain tannins and other nutrients that will increase the nitrogen level in the soil. They will also provide a bit of food for earthworms that are wonderful for tilling the dirt in your garden.
2) Use Old Tea Bags to Help With Decomposition
Placing acidic tea leaves in your soil or compost pile will help increase the decomposition of other items, like food scraps or paper products.
3) Use Old Tea Bags to Help Create Fertilizer
When tea bags are placed in the soil, they are consumed by earthworms, which then process the leaves, resulting in nutrient-rich fertilizer output.
4) Use Old Tea Bags to Keep Weeds at Bay
Biodegradable tea bags not only provide your garden with nutrients, but they will also discourage the growth of weeds. A wonderful non-toxic (and basically free!) option for keeping weeds out of your garden.
5) Use Old Tea Bags to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden
The strong scent of used tea bags (and used coffee grounds) is too potent and bitter for many bugs and critters in the garden. The odor will deter them from wanting to nosh on your fruits and veggies.
6) Use Old Tea Bags to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden
No one wants the neighborhood cat to use their garden as their litter box. Much like deterring insects, cats don’t like the bitter scent of tea leaves, so be sure to sprinkle them around your beloved plants.
7) Use Old Tea Bags to Help With Plant Water Retention
By burying used tea bags near the root of your flowers and veggies, it will help the plants retain more water by acting like a sponge. Really great for those hot summer months when water is scarce.
8) Use Old Tea Bags to Grow Seedlings
Tea bags are great plant food, so it only makes sense that they’d be the perfect vessel to grow seedlings. Plus, since they were steeped in boiling hot water, they are sterile, which makes them great for growing healthy plants.
9) Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer
Coffee grounds actually contain essential nutrient nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other micronutrients. This means it can be used as a slow-release fertilizer. Simply, sprinkle a thin layer of coffee grounds on top of your soil and voila!
10) Use Coffee Grounds as Compost
Not only can you toss your leftover coffee grounds into your compost pile, but you can also toss the paper filter in as well.
11) Use Coffee Grounds as a Natural Pesticide
While we might love coffee, pests like slugs and snails are not fans of the bitter drink. To keep these pests out of your garden, you need only sprinkle some coffee grounds over your soil.
12) Use Coffee Grounds to Feed Acid-Loving Plants
If you have roses, rhododendrons, azaleas, lilies, holly, or gardenias, you’re going to want to keep some extra coffee grounds on hand. The coffee grounds react well to the acidity in the soil, and these plants thrive.
Be careful, though, and keep it away from your veggies, as tomatoes tend to not respond well to coffee grounds.
13) Use Coffee Grounds to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden
Putting coffee grounds in your soil will help keep your cat from digging up all of your favorite plants, and it should hopefully limit their chewing. You can also mix in orange peels to help keep your cat from using your garden as a bathroom.
14) Use Coffee Grounds to Increase Your Carrot and Radish Harvest
Are you looking to double your harvest of carrots and radishes? You can mix together the seeds of your carrots and radishes with your coffee grounds before planting them.
15) Use Coffee Grounds to Feed the Worms
Like all of us dragging ourselves out of bed every morning, worms like the taste of coffee! You can feed their bellies by sprinkling some coffee grounds in your garden.
Worms are good for your garden, as they act like little plows that break up the soil and allow water and air to get into the mix.
16) Use Coffee Grounds as Mulch
Using coffee grounds for mulch can help control weeds in your garden and keep plants hydrated. Some gardeners have found that using coffee grounds directly can be disastrous for this purpose. Instead, it is better to mix the grounds with an organic matter, like compost.
If not, you can rake the coffee grounds into the top layer of your garden’s soil.
17) Use Baking Soda as a Pesticide
You can make a safe and effective pesticide with baking soda! All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons of baking soda, and a couple drops of liquid soap in a gallon of water.
Put it in a spray container, and apply gently to your garden every three days — it will definitely keep the bugs away!
18) Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Ants
Similarly, you can target ants specifically if you use a mixture of five teaspoons of baking soda, five teaspoons of confectioners’ sugar, and a teaspoon of water. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and eat it, though the baking soda they’ll eat with it will be fatal.
Pour your mixture on any anthills you might find and add a little bit of vinegar. The last step will be sure to get any surviving ants.
19) Use Baking Soda as a Fungicide
If your garden or the general climate near your home is particularly damp, your gardens may start to grow unwanted fungi that can be tricky to get rid of. Fortunately, baking soda provides an easy solution!
All you have to do is mix four teaspoons of baking soda into a gallon of water. Use the mix to water the problem areas in the garden — it’s particularly helpful for spot fungus on roses or for grapes and other fruit growing on a vine.
20) Use Baking Soda to Check the pH Balance of the Soil
Rather than buying a pH kit specifically, you can use baking soda to get a general read of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. To do this experiment, get two samples of soil in different containers from your garden. On the side, have a half cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda ready.
Next, pour your vinegar into one of the samples and see if it bubbles. If it does, your soil is above pH 7, meaning it’s alkaline! If it doesn’t react, take your other sample and add in your baking soda along with half a cup of water. If that one bubbles, your soil is below pH 7, or somewhat acidic.
21) Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Garden Decorations
Baking soda does wonders to clean trinkets and decorations you may have sitting in your garden — and it won’t harm the local wildlife either! Just sprinkle it onto the surface you want to clean, and wash it off with a damp cloth. Your decorations should be good as new!
22) Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Mildew
Just like the tip about fungus, baking soda can also kill off mildew that can rot your plants (fruits and vegetables in particular). All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda with two-and-a-half tablespoons of horticultural oil in a gallon of water.
Put it in a bottle, and spray it on your plants to give them a protective layer against mildew.
23) Use Baking Soda to Sweeten Your Tomatoes
Tomatoes become sweeter when they grow in soil that is less acidic — so why not give it a try? All you have to do is sprinkle baking soda lightly onto the soil they’re growing in and let it absorb naturally.
Keep in mind, when they’re finally ready to eat, they might have a sweeter and tarter flavor than you are used to!
24) Use Baking Soda to Make Bouquets Last longer
It’s great to bring flowers inside the home for decoration, but they always seem to wilt sooner than we’d like. To fight back, try throwing a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda into a vase along with water for the flowers.
With any luck, the combination should extend their life at least for a while.
25) Use Baking Soda to Absorb Compost Odors
Some of us have gotten into composting as a way to be more sustainable and good to the environment. Still, the process produces some unbelievably bad smells. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this.
All you have to do is add a little bit of baking soda on top to absorb some of the odor and fix the acidity a little. Don’t do too much, though, or you’ll slow the decomposition process entirely!
26) Use Baking Soda to Clean Garden Walkways
The winding paths we have through our gardens are often beautiful and relaxing to walk through … until they start getting grimy and covered in weeds. Once again, baking soda can help!
Try washing their surfaces with two tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of warm water (use these proportions for however much solution you make). Add a little more baking soda for tougher stains. After that, dip a brush in and scrub away!
Be careful not to spill the solution in any delicate garden beds, though.
27) Use Baking Soda to Make Flowers Brighter
Just like with the tomatoes we mentioned earlier, certain flowers thrive in alkaline soil. To push the soil that way, try mixing a little baking soda into their watering can before you let them drink.
When they finally bloom, they should be brighter and healthier than they would’ve been otherwise!
28) Use Baking Soda to Kill Crabgrass
If you don’t already know, crabgrass are those annoying and fibrous little chunks of grass that seem to always grow back between sidewalks and other problem areas.
For an easy way to get rid of them so they won’t come back, all you have to do is moisten the problem area and apply a thick amount of baking soda so it turns into a paste. Sweep the paste into any cracks and it should wipe out any weeds you may have — just keep it away from the grass you want!
29) Use Baking Soda to Kill Cabbage Worms
Even if you don’t grow cabbages specifically, cabbage worms can really wreak havoc on any well-meaning garden. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.
Mix an equal amount of flour and baking soda and use the mixture to dust whatever produce you may be growing. Though the worms will still try to eat the plants, the mixture will kill them off when they do!
30) Use Baking Soda to Clean Houseplants
If you have any big plants inside that gather dust or grime, it can be hard to effectively clean them since you can’t use the usual chemicals. To shine them up a little without hurting them, just use a little bit of baking soda and warm water and wipe them gently.
31) Use Vinegar to Feed Acid-Loving Plants
Plants like gardenias, holly, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and begonias grow beautifully in acidic soil. Spray them with a mixture of 1 gallon of water to 1 cup of white vinegar to help them grow.
32) Use Vinegar to Clean Your Hands
You can wind up with dirt and allergens on your hands after spending a day working in your garden. Wash your hands with some distilled vinegar to cleanse them of debris and make sure that they don’t itch.
33) Use Vinegar to Deter Rabbits
If rabbits are ruining your garden, you can soak cotton balls in distilled vinegar and place them in a 35mm film container or something similar. Poke holes in the top of the container and place it in your garden to keep rabbits at bay.
34) Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Weeds
Get rid of unwanted garden growth by pouring apple cider vinegar onto weeds. Your weeds will die, but your soil will stay healthy.
35) Use Vinegar to Kill Ants
Spray ant hills with one part water and one part vinegar to kill them. Spray areas where ants are likely to invade to keep them at bay
36) Use Vinegar to Wash Your Gardening Tools
You can soak garden tools, like a rake or hoe, overnight in vinegar to get rid of rust and grime. You can also fill a plastic bag with vinegar and tie it over a water spigot to keep it submerged. Rinse everything off with water.
37) Use Vinegar to Kill Slugs and Snails
If slugs and snails are compromising your plant growth, spray them with some undiluted vinegar. This will make them wither and die.
38) Use Vinegar to Clean Your Birdbath
Mix some undiluted water with white vinegar, and use it to scrub your birdbath. Make sure to rinse it off with water.
39) Use Vinegar to Keep Cats Away
If your kitty is using your garden or your kid’s sandbox as a toilet, then you can pour some distilled vinegar into the sand or soil to keep them away.
40) Use Vinegar to Keep Flowers Fresh
Help freshly cut flowers from your garden last by adding two tablespoons of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water before adding your flowers.
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