There are several ways in which milk can come in handy in the garden. It may substitute several artificial agents as long as you use it properly of course!
#1 Milk fertilizer
A fertilizer made of low-fat milk (without any preservatives) and water is recommended for potted plants and vegetables.
Of course fresh milk straight from the farm would be best. As this is rather difficult for most of us, we can fall back on the pasteurized milk we normally buy; that’s the one stored in refrigerators, usually bottled. Do not use the UHT milk!
Milk provides plants with calcium and sugars ensuring better crops. It also gives the leaves a more intensive color, preventing them at the same time from withering and falling. You can use milk once again, for example watering the plants with the enough for plants.
Calcium has similar reaction as water, so it should be used to fertilize plants that tolerate alkaline or neutral mediums. In case of potted plants, milk as fertilizer proves effective with ivy, aloe, ficuses and devil’s tongue.
#2 Protecting plants against fungus and virus diseases
Milk contains lactoferine which has got bactericidal and fungicidal properties. Mix water and milk in 1:2 or 1:3 ratio and use the mixture to sprinkle the leaves of the plants every 10 days.
Make sure that all parts of the plants are sprinkled.
#3 Milk as a disinfectant
You don’t have to use chemical agents. Milk can also be used to disinfect gardening tools. Scissors or pruning shears, once immersed in milk, will no longer carry viruses and won’t go rusty very soon.
#4 Milk vs. pests
Milk acts as a deterrent for such pests as aphids, potato bugs, thrips and mites. Mix milk with water in 1:10 ratio and sprinkle it on both sides of leaves once a week.
#5 Milk and the soil quality
Pouring milk into the soil or into the composter, we enrich it with fats and calcium.
However, if you don’t want the nasty smell, you should pour milk only if diluted with water.
#6 Milk protecting tomatoes
Milk can protect tomatoes against rotting and diseases. It also prevents potato blight as long as we sprinkle the plant with a mixture of milk and water in 1:5 ratio, applied every couple of weeks, and in June and July even every week.
#7 Milk and weeds
If you add some molasses, it will increase the amount of sugars preventing the growth of weeds.
Too much milk might be actually harmful for your plants. The roots can ‘suffocate’ if we water them too generously or if we don’t dilute milk properly. If it goes sour, it will smell horrible. In case of vegetables and other garden plants, milk can be sprinkled in the morning or in the evening, as long as it doesn’t rain.