Home Life & Style Savvy gardeners share 'brilliant' kitchen item to boost plants – and deter...

Savvy gardeners share 'brilliant' kitchen item to boost plants – and deter cats and rats


Fertilising the garden is one of the top measures a gardener can undertake for its prosperity.

It can result in larger blooms, a more lavish harvest, and generally happier plants; although high-quality fertiliser does not come cheap.

Helpfully, gardening enthusiasts have revealed that a common kitchen scrap item provides an economical alternative while concurrently reducing kitchen waste.

Kitchen scraps are a universal issue that all households grapple with, regardless of efforts to consume everything before it spoils, particularly plant products.

To reduce wastage, a gardener recently queried whether she could utilise orange peels in her garden, what else cannot be added, and the potential benefits to her plants.

On the ‘Gardening UK’ Facebook page, Angela Knight posed: “Hi, I have a few compost questions. Can I put orange peel in the compost bin? I eat loads of oranges but as I never knew if you could I tend to throw the peel away.

“I know you can’t put onions, cooked food and meat in, but is there anything else you shouldn’t put in the compost bin?”

Many group members concurred that adding orange peels to the garden was beneficial. Louise Gallagher vouched: “I always add oranges and onion! Not had any problems.”

Mabel Walker shared: “I put all uncooked veg and fruit peel, onions and orange banana peel, buckets of unwashed seaweed in and shredded paper and cardboard.”

Brian Corr penned: “I have always put onions and also orange, lime and lemon peels in and it’s never been an issue for me. It’s helped my plants greatly and has deterred rats and cats from my garden.”

The pungent aroma of oranges acts as a superb and harmless deterrent for felines who often treat gardens as their personal lavatories.

Emma Kelsall remarked: “We put it all in our compost. The only thing I avoid is anything cooked.”

Chris Taylor observed: “Orange peel is brilliant to add to compost as it breaks down it releases phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium.”

“Every plant needs as much of these nutrients as it can get to thrive. I put the skins of oranges in my compost every day. The family love fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast.”

Garden enthusiasts should consider adding orange peels to their compost heaps. After two years, the peels will begin to decompose.

Rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, these elements create nutrient-dense soil once they break down, ideal for gardening.

Due to their acidic nature, they are especially beneficial for acid-loving plants such as potatoes, blueberries, and azaleas.

Oranges are an economical purchase from local grocers, with a five-pack selling for 95p at Tesco, Asda, and Aldi, equating to just 19p per fruit.

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