How to use orange peels for a better garden! This summer’s flavor, as many before it, seems to be orange. So we have a ton of orange peels left over. I got to think that we could be the only family with that problem and thought you might appreciate some information about how we use orange peels in our garden…waste not, want not.
If you aren’t already using all or some of these I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with all you can do to help your vegetable garden with left over orange peels.
How to Use Orange Peels for a Better Garden
Add Orange Peels to Your Compost
Orange peels are great for the compost. I have heard people say not to add citrus to your compost piles. This is really only true in vermicomposting, the worms don’t like the citrus. But in traditional compost piles, orange peels bring in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. It is a good idea to break your peels down into small pieces so they will compost faster, otherwise they can take a lot of time. See more tips about composting orange peels here.
Use Orange Peels to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden
Kitties do not like citrus. You’ll need several peels for a raised bed to make it really effective. You can cut the peels into chunks and spread them around but I have found that shredding them is much better. I am able to distribute the shredded peels more evenly and worry less about rodents finding them appealing. FYI – this works for your house plants too.
Aphids and Whiteflies Beware!
You can make an all natural aphid and whitefly killer with orange peels. Sometimes, no matter how much you do to prevent them…the pests come. But you can battle them with an DIY orange peel solution that won’t harm your plants. Steep a 1/2 cup of orange peels in 3. 5 cups of boiling water for 15 mins. After the 15 minutes of steeping allow the mixture to cool completely. Once cooled remove the peels and put the liquid in a spray bottle; spray aphids, whiteflies, slugs or any other soft-body garden pest. Do this weekly until they are gone.
Make a Biodegradable Seed Starter Pot
Take a 1/2 of your orange, after removing the fruit, fill with dirt and a seed. Free seed start pot that can be planted right into the garden. The orange peel will break down so you don’t need to worry about removing your plants before planting them in your garden. You’ll want to do fast growing seeds in these so you don’t have a lot of mold on your peels before you plant them. But remember one thing, if you’re hoping to get worms into your garden, don’t use too many citrus starters because this could keep them from coming in.
Keep the Mosquitoes off You When You’re Gardening
Did you know that you can rub fresh orange peels on your skin and repel mosquitoes. You can also keep fresh peels around your garden, porches and patios to repel them. See other ways to repel mosquitoes here!
Bonus Using Orange Peels in the House
Sure you can use orange peels for a better garden but you can also use them in the house! Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Freshen your garbage disposal with orange peels – just a few slices and make it smell great!
- Use dried orange peels as kindling to start a fire (great for camping).
- Natural air freshener – simply boil peels in water on your stove for a quick air freshener without any chemicals.
- Make an orange peel candle – directions here.
- Make a powerful and great smelling cleaner – directions here.
I hope these 6 ideas how to use orange peels for a better garden help you in your garden. And the home ideas can be great too!