Secret kitchen ingredients that can help your garden grow

Sunlight, water, and nutrient-rich soil are the essential elements that help your garden bloom.

But did you know that there are some rather more unusual items that can aid your plants’ growth – and they can all be found in your home?

The team at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa has a few tips that will amaze you, with items that you use and consume daily helping you reap the rewards for you and your garden.


If you have leftover ground coffee, attracting earthworms has never been so easy. Sprinkling this onto your soil will help make your soil healthy and more fertile.

It also helps to make your tomatoes sweeter and it is effective as a plant booster, due to the calcium, potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus content.

Baking soda

Due to its alkalinity, which flowers thrive on, baking soda is great for your garden. It also helps with fungal growth in plants – it doesn’t kill the fungus but creates an environment hostile to fungal growth.

Stir a teaspoon of baking soda into a litre of water and spray the leaves of your fungus-prone plants (these include tomatoes and lilacs). Another secret – it takes the funky smell out of your shoes.


Vinegar is a non-toxic solution for killing algae and is safe for plants. Simply mix three parts water and one part vinegar, and spray.

This helps to remove unsightly green growth and is also effective in killing mould, weeds and other fungi. Vinegar is acidic and achieves the same results as chlorine without the negative side effects.

Banana peels

Chop up banana peels and bury them in the soil when you plant tomatoes, rose bushes or green pepper plants. The phosphorus content in the peels will enrich the soil and strengthen your plants.


Tea can also do wonders to improve the vibrancy of your plants. If you already have a compost pile, there’s a benefit to taking the time to brew it into a liquid solution bursting with beneficial micro-organisms. Office plants that get a dose of tea seem to relish too but remember – don’t add sugar and milk to the mix.

Soda water

Soda water can be more nutritious to plants than plain tap water because it contains carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and sodium, all of which are beneficial for plants. There was research done in Colorado, and in 10 days the plants dosed with soda water outgrew the control plants – but here’s the trick, let the fizzy water go flat before pouring.


Another favourite kitchen item of the culinary artists at Granny Mouse to share with the garden is egg shells, due to their rich calcium content. They agree that these should be tossed in the garden and not the rubbish bin.

“Rinse them, crush them, and add them to plants like tomatoes that are often plagued by calcium deficiency. Or, start seedlings in eggshells that have been carefully halved and rinsed. When the seedlings are big enough to be transplanted, plant them right in the ground, shell and all; the shell will bio-degrade over time,” they note. –

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