Use household staples to ‘target pesky nuisances’ in the garden – vinegar and more

Gardening expert on how to keep your garden free of weeds

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info spoke to experts about which household drinks gardeners can use to kill and control weeds, and which ones can be used to fertilise plants – helping their growth and wellbeing. Using staples already found at home is cheaper and better for the environment than buying chemical solutions from the shop.

Tom Hilton, managing director of Bolton-based indoor garden specialists, National Greenhouse, has shared his tips on how to control and kill weeds using cupboard staples.

He said: “If you’re an avid Tik Tok user and gardener, you may have heard about the weed-killing hack of spraying white vinegar to rid weeds.

“You simply just need a gallon of white vinegar mixture of five percent acetic acid and 95 percent water and a spray bottle to target those pesky nuisances.

“Other natural weed killers involve using corn gluten meal, vodka, and good, old-fashioned boiling water.”

Tom explained that with the corn gluten meal, all gardeners need to do is “spread it around the plants and after transplants and seedlings have taken hold in the soil”.

Gardeners can also spread it “after harvest to prevent any weeds growing later”.

With vodka, the gardening expert recommended “mixing two cups of water with one ounce of vodka and some drops of dish soap to dry out weeds that spend their days in the sun a lot”.

“Just make sure to only target the weeds and be precise as you don’t want to dry out other plants,” he added.

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When it comes to fertilising plants, there are other household liquids gardeners can use – such as Coca Cola.

Tom explained: “You can fertilise plants that love the acids found in cola.

“And because cola has a low pH level, it makes it perfect for plants such as foxgloves, azaleas and hydrangeas.

“Pour just a little bit of cola in the soil area around the base of the plants, making sure not to pour onto the plant or roots. Flat pop will do just fine.”

Louise Findlay-Wilson, gardening expert and founder of gardening advice blog Blooming Lucky also shared her tips on which household staples to use as a plant fertiliser.

She said: “Coffee can be a serious plant boost. Simply sprinkle and spread coffee grounds over you soil.

“The grounds add nutrients to your soil and help with soil drainage and oxidation. Acid-loving plants like camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas particularly love used coffee grounds.

“Someone also told me they’re good for tomato plants, I’ve not tried them for this, but you could experiment.”

Beer is another household drink that can come in useful in the garden.

Lousie recommended making beer traps for slugs that can damage your plants, saying: “If you do have a problem with slugs, many argue that a beer trap is a solution.

“It’s the yeasty smell of beer which really attracts them.

“However, while I’m a real fan of kitchen cupboard remedies, I tend to let nature – the birds and hedgehogs – deal with the problem of slugs for me, as I’m not sure beer traps don’t attract more slugs into a garden than are already there.”

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