If you love drinking tea and you love gardening as well – you’re about to discover your new favorite gardening hack that will completely transform your garden.
After enjoying a morning or afternoon cup of tea, most people probably toss the wet, soggy bag of steeped tea leaves in the garbage. Well, as it turns out, there’s actually another great use for them that can also help your garden – bury them!
Here are 10 reasons why you should head outside and bury that used tea bag in your garden. Your fruits and veggies will thank you.
From boosting plant growth to keeping cats away, these are some great benefits to burying tea bags. Just be sure to remove the plastic tag first!
1. The tea leaves will add nutrients to your 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. Tea will help increase the decomposition of other items. 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. Tea bags 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,” according to Veggie Gardener.
4. Weeds will be kept 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. There are no harmful effects on the environment. Most tea bags are made from Manila hemp, a strong, fibrous material. However, according to UK Tea & Infusions Association, “despite its strength, once in your compost heap, the bag will break down just like any other vegetable matter.?
6. Deter pests from eating your plants. 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.
7. Keep kitties out of the 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.
8. It reduces garbage. By placing your used tea bags in the compost pile or burying them in your garden, you’re reducing the amount of garbage that would end up decomposing in a landfill. Plus, you’d be missing out on all these wonderful benefits!
9. Tea bags help with 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.
10. Grow seedlings from soggy tea bags. 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. Keep reading for the tutorial from Kiwi Conservation Club.
- 21 used tea bags
- Paper towels
- Small plastic tray
- Seeds of your choice (go for lettuce, broccoli, or marigolds)
First. Fold the paper towel, put it in the tray and wet it. Then, soak the used tea bags and pack them together like pillows in three rows on the paper towel. Next, make a hole in each bag and poke in a seed. Now, put the tray in a warm place out of the sun. Take care to keep the paper towel wet. It will keep the tea bags moist. This is VERY IMPORTANT.
Finally, when the seeds germinate, and the seedlings are about 2 cm tall, plant them in their bags in the garden.
Turning Clock Back also has a great seedling starter tutorial using tea bags. Who knew they were so useful?
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