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Gardener shares natural fertilizer hack using an unexpected item in your fridge: 'I didn't know that'

"Instead of throwing it away, collect it."

"Instead of throwing it away, collect it."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Fertilize your garden soil with this kitchen byproduct.

The scoop

On TikTok, The Frenchie Gardener (@thefrenchiegardener) shared a way to add nutrients to your soil using mozzarella juice, which is also known as whey.

@thefrenchiegardener Don't throw away the water of your mozzarella 🙌🏼 Reuse it in your garden 🌿 Mozzarella water also called latticello or whey contains nutrients but also milk and we can use these benefits for plants and the garden. However, always mix it 1 part of whey with 6 parts of water to dilute it. Whey often contain salt so this dilution is necessary to not harm the plant. Indeed the more organic your mozzarella is, the better the whey quality will be! 🌿 Powdery Mildew As whey is acid and contains milk, this makes a great fungicide to stop mildew from spreading further. You can also use non pasteurized milk as a fungicide. Treat 2 times a week on affected leaves. It's better to cut the lower leaves at the base of the zucchini stem as these are the first ones to be contaminated and they will anyway degrade fast. Remove them from the plant and your garden. 🌿 Use it as a natural fertilizer This whey contains minerals, vitamins & nutrients such as Nitrogen & Calcium. They are present in small amounts but it still have these nutrients. So why throwing it away? Dilute it with water and use it on plants which grows best in acidic ph just like tomatoes or basil. As for everything, use it in a balanced way (not more than once every two weeks) Green Love to you 💚 #mozzarella #organicgardening #reducereuserecycle #whey #gardeningtips ♬ green to blue (Sped Up) - Aurenth

"This water is called latticello, or whey," he says. "It contains nutrients and has antifungal properties, so instead of throwing it away, collect it."

Here are The Frenchie Gardener's instructions for making your own whey fertilizer:

1. In a large bowl or another container, mix one part whey with six parts water.
2. If using to spot-treat mildew on leaves, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray both sides of the affected leaves.
3. If using as fertilizer, simply pour the mixture into a watering can and water as normal.

How it's working

There's no need to buy expensive fertilizer for your garden when you can make it at home. Other food scraps, like coffee grounds, eggshells, and banana or orange peels, also make great additions to your compost or soil.

A healthy garden makes for a happy gardener. With rich, nutrient-dense soil, your fruits and veggies will thrive — and they'll taste better, too. Homegrown food has been shown to be fresher, more nutritious, and better tasting, says GardenTech.

While the result of gardening — enjoying delicious food — is great, the process is also good for you. Research from Texas A&M University's Agrilife noted several mental health benefits of gardening, such as reduced anxiety and depression, enhanced memory and focus, and increased levels of happiness. 

There are physical benefits, too. Gardening is a form of exercise, according to the American Heart Association. Spending just a few hours every week in the garden can reduce your risk of diseases like diabetes and cancer, says ScienceDaily.

Ready to get growing? Start with our guide to growing your own food.

What people are saying

Commenters had no idea their "cheese juice" was an excellent source of nitrogen.

One user asked: "Can you use the whey from making cream cheese, ricotta, etc? It's all the same right?" 

The answer is yes — this trick works with any type of whey.

"I didn't know that you could use the mozzarella water," another said.

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