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Can Orange Peels Really Do Wonders For Your Garden And Help Your Plants Thrive?

Can Orange Peels Really Do Wonders For Your Garden And Help Your Plants Thrive?

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Have you ever seen people using kitchen scraps in their gardens and asked yourself why? Well, this happened to me when I first saw orange peels in my neighbor’s yard. 

I was pretty inexperienced in gardening back then and wasn’t into any unusual methods. But my curiosity made me ask my neighbor, why orange peels? His answer was: to deter pests.   

Then I read on social media that people use these peels as fertilizer and to raise acidity in their soil. They all swore it worked perfectly!

But I’m sure you’re wondering if there’s any scientific proof to support the claim. Look no further ‘cause I’ll break it down for you:

Peeling The Mystery: The Scientific Scoop On Orange Peels

The first study that caught my eye was published in 2021 by the International Journal of Environmental and Rural Development. It proved the efficiency of orange peels and described the way they increase the nutrients in the soil.

Ok, I sound like a chemistry and biology teacher right now but you need to know this. Fertilizers we use nowadays are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These three are referred to as macronutrients and they’re essential for healthy plant growth. 

Believe it or not, orange peels contain them all. And that’s not the end of the story. They also contain zinc, calcium, and iron, which are known as micronutrients and also play an important role in plant development. 

Researchers used orange peel powder on chili and pea plants and, check this, these veggies grew taller than the ones planted in the naturally fertilized growing substrate! 

Remember when I mentioned that some people use orange peels to increase the acidity of the soil? I checked that too and found a study by the L.D. College of Engineering. The results showed that these peels can aid in the regulation of soil pH by raising acidity levels.

And if you still have any doubts, you should take a look at the Costa Rican national park. Now it’s filled with lush and green forest, and believe it or not, orange peels and pulps are the reason!

Credit: Tim Treuer

Researchers from Princeton University published a study on an area where they dumped 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp. 

16 years later, the barren area was completely covered in healthy and tall trees. How remarkable!

Still wondering why people use orange peels? I thought so. Ready to use this hidden gem? 

And Here’s How You Turn Orange Peels Into Gardening Gold

I’m sure you’ll come upon numerous techniques for using orange peels. But I’ll show you the three that worked best for me:

Method #1: Make An Orange Peel Powder

I regularly use fertilizer made of orange peel powder and the recipe follows a similar procedure that was used in the L.D. College of Engineering study. 

But before I show you how to make it, I must warn you to conduct a soil test first. Plants have different pH needs, so you don’t want to risk harming them.

And now the recipe. I start by drying my orange peels. The original method is to leave the peels in the sun for approximately 20 days to dry naturally. 

Honestly, I couldn’t wait so long, so I put them in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit and they were dry after an hour and a half. Work smart, not hard, right?

Then I let my blender do the rest of the work until I got a fine powder.

I then mix the powder in the soil where I grow my acid-loving plants. For soil that needs slightly increased acidity, I dilute the powder in water

Method #2: Add Orange Peels To Your Compost

How many things can you add to your compost? A LOT! But orange peels are the first on my list. 

I simply toss them on my compost pile and wait until they decompose. They raise nutrient levels in compost and naturally fertilize your outdoor green buddies!

Simple and effective!

Method #3: Make A Garden Spray

And the last technique I use is making a spray with orange peels. Ok, this may not be as effective as the previous two but it works. 

I leave my peels to soak in water for a couple of days. Then I pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray my plants that are susceptible to pests. This is actually a common way to use all citrus peels

So, what’s it gonna be? To use orange peels or throw them in the trash? I already know the answer and, trust me, your success is guaranteed!