Here’s an unlikely gardening helper you probably never considered. Instead of throwing away the tea bags the next time you brew a cup of tea, you can put them to use in your garden. It’s a great way to get additional use out of what you would normally discard and can be helpful in many instances. Tip Hero proposes a number of ways to put those tea bags to good use.
Compost Helper: Tea bags can be composted if they have paper or muslin bags (remove the staples before tossing, however!) and they actually can speed up the decomposition of your organic matter. If it’s a non-compostable bag, you can still use the contents, just cut it open and add the tea leaves to the compost pile.
Fertilizer: Did you know that tea bags can provide a nutrient-rich fertilizer because of its tannic acid and nitrogen-boosting abilities? Many plants can benefit, including roses and houseplants, so next time you’ve brewed tea, mix the tea leaves into the soil or spread them in a potted plant.
Pest Repellent: If you’ve got rodents, bugs, or slugs, tea bags can keep them out of your gardens, by just sprinkling the leaves in the soil, either moist or dry. Tip Hero reports that it’s believed “that the caffeine can keep pests from eating or urinating on your garden turf.”
Antifungal: Brewed tea can help prevent fungicide by simply watering or spritzing plants with a diluted mix. Chamomile is found to be especially helpful to gardeners — simply steep a few bags of tea for 16 to 24 hours, then use as a spray.
Grass Growth: Most people have that empty patch of lawn that keeps their yard from looking pristine, but using tea bags can help greatly with grass growth. You can either soak grass seed in brewed tea before you sprinkle the seeds or plant used tea bags in the dirt with the grass seed. The moisture and nutrients can help with growth.
Seed Germination: Similarly, tea leaves can help with germinating seeds to start plants. Simply dampen the bag and slice open, placing a seed inside. Then keep them moist and in sunlight and watch them sprout!
Weed Killer: Most gardeners are in search of a great non-chemical solution for killing weeds and tea might just be the perfect solution. Brewed black tea can be applied to weeds or you can make a mix of tea, citrus, and water or tea steeped in a jar of vinegar with an orange ring that you can spray on weeds.
Bonus! Healing Remedy: If you’re in the garden or enjoying the outside, you are likely to suffer from bug bites, sunburn or poison ivy and tea has been found to help greatly. If you have a sting or a bite, you can use a tea bag as a compress to help with itching and inflammation. If you have poison ivy or a sunburn, you can similarly apply tea as a compress or add brewed tea to your bath for a healing soak.
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