Milk in the Garden

Dairy is such a versatile food group that can be incorporated into most recipes, but milk goes even further. Touted as a nutrient powerhouse, milk isn’t only beneficial through human consumption. And this time, though they are amazing, below isn’t a list of homemade beauty products or wearable milk. Below notes how milk is beneficial to the food you grow. 

Milk, as in the extra fluid milk you find in the refrigerator or a special package of powdered milk you’re adding to your tools, can act as a quick substitution to help your fruits and vegetables grow. To the home gardeners looking for new methods to try in improving this year’s summer garden, read on for 3 ways to use milk in the garden. 

Disinfect Tools 

Milk can act as a disinfectant for gardening tools. Researchers at Ohio State University found that dipping pruners in a dry milk and water solution to disinfect them works just as well as dipping in a bleach solution. Plus, using milk is safer for gardeners whose skin comes into contact with the solution. The researchers used a non-fat dried milk solution, but perhaps regular milk will do, too! 

Fertilize 

Some gardeners swear that using milk as a fertilizer is life-changing. Others question if it’s better than the bag they can pick up at the store. And then there’s more debate on if there’s a difference between the results of raw or unpasteurized milk. Why all this excitement over pouring milk into the ground? The idea behind milk’s use in the garden is that it may add calcium to the soil. To try milk’s possible benefits in the garden, use less milk than you would water to get the best results (and to avoid the smell of spoiled milk). Make sure it’s all absorbed and that none of the milk is left standing. Dry milk is a good solution for that. 

Fight Mildew 

Prevent mildew in the summer by spraying leaves with a powdered milk and water mixture. This mixture works best on those powdery gray spots that often appear on the leaves of growing fruit plants. Or you can use fluid milk. Dilute the milk and spray it onto plants in the warmer months to help fight mildew. 

Once your summer garden, protected and cared for, provides a bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, and more, read this for inspiration for what to make with the results of your labor. As a secret tool or as a special ingredient to your meals, how will you bring milk to your summer garden?