Milk, it is so beneficial for your body. Yet, do you know how beneficial it can be for your garden if you use it the right way? As an old time remedy, milk used as a fertilizer have been used with generations to help plant growth, alleviate issues in the garden, from calcium deficiencies to viruses and powdery mildew. Keep on reading to learn the advantages and drawbacks on using milk as a fertilizer in the garden.
Milk Fertilizer Benefits
As a good source of calcium, milk helps both humans and plants. Raw, or unpasteurized, milk contains beneficial proteins, vitamin B and sugars that are good for plants, and improve their overall health and crop yields. The microbes tat feed on the fertilizer components of milk are also extremely beneficial to the soil. When your plants don’t grow to their full potential, it means they lack calcium. Blossom end rot, commonly seen in squash, tomatoes, and peppers can be caused by deficiency of calcium. Giving milk to your plants means they will get enough moisture and calcium. Milk has been used as an effective antifungal agent, especially in the prevention of powdery mildew.
Drawbacks to Feeding Plants with Milk
Along with the many benefits of using milk as a fertilizer, you must think about its drawbacks. These are:
- Using too much milk, might not be the best idea, since milk contains a bacteria that will spoil and result in a foul odor and poor growth.The fat that milk contains can produce unpleasant odors as it breaks down.
- The bengin fungal organisms that break down milk and colonize leaves can be aesthetically unattractive.
- Dried skim milk may induce black rot, soft rot, and Alternaria leaf spot on treated cruciferous crops.
Well, all of the benefits of using mill as a fertilizer far outweigh any downsides. You just need to make sure you use the right amount of milk, and you won’t face any problems.
Using Milk Fertilizer on Plants
So what type of milk you can use as a fertilizer? Well, I like to use milk that is past its date, because i love to recycle, but you can also use fresh milk, evaporated milk, or even powdered milk. You must dilute the milk with water. So, mix a solution of 50 percent milk and 50 percent water. When you use it as a foliar spray, add this solution to a spray bottle and apply on plant leaves, and they will absorb the milk. Yet, have in mind that plants like tomatoes for example, are prone to developing fungal disease if this solution stays too long on their leaves.
When the solution absorbs adequately, gently wipe down the leaves with a wet cloth or spray water on them. You can use less milk if you have lots of plants to feed. A common method for feeding plants with milk in large gardens is using a garden hose sprayer, since the flowing water keeps them diluted. Keep spraying until the whole area is coated. Use about 5 gallons of milk per acre, or about 1 quart of milk per 20-by-20 foot patch of garden. Let the milk soak in the ground, and repeat this every two months, or spray at the beginning of the season, and during mid-season.
For smaller gardens: I usually place the top portion of a 2 liter bottle in the soil next to new plants, when the season starts. This is an excellent reservoir for both watering and feeding plants by using milk. Don’t put any chemical pesticide or fertilizer in that area after you apply milk fertilizer. This may affect the main fertilizer components in milk that help the plants- bacteria. There might be some odor from the decaying bacteria, but it will disappear in a few days.
Have you ever thought about this? It is a super easy way to make plants healthier!