Good gardeners rarely throw anything away.. So, while I was munching and building up a huge pile of peanut shells, I thought of google-ing (we Indians have a thing for “-ing” isn’t it) the nutrient content of peanut shells to see if they could benefit the soil in any manner. Turns out, Peanut Shells have decent uses for plants & in the garden, not as fertilizer but definitely as a homemade organic mulch, among others.
Are you piling up peanut calories in winters? I sure am! BUT I’m piling up the peanut shells too.. For my garden of course!
Turned out, nutrient wise they are just OK so I decided to concentrate on texture instead. After a few rounds in the grinder (that I use more to whip up stuff for the garden, than the fridge) I had some crushed peanut shells ready to be tested in the soil.
USE CRUSHED PEANUT SHELLS AS A HOMEMADE ORGANIC MULCH – CONTROL WEEDS IN SMALL POTS
Simply layer coarsely ground peanut shells as a mulch, specially in containers to control small weeds. Works really well to neaten up the look too, instantly!
4 WAYS TO USE PEANUT SHELLS FOR PLANTS
AERATE THE SOIL
Peanut shells fluff up the soil allowing roots to breathe better and penetrate quickly leading to vigorous growth.
REDUCE THE WEIGHT/ LOAD OF SOIL
For hanging planters or those cannot have very heavy soil, adding peanut shells in a good ratio (approx 30%) lightens the load significantly.
RETAIN MOISTURE IN SMALL POTS
For places with long dry summers, water retention is a boon, specifically for small or terracotta planters. Peanut shells do not interfere with proper drainage yet help keep the soil moist longer.
IMPROVE SOIL TEXTURE
If you are tired of hard clayey soil, adding ground peanut shells breaks down the hard clumps and helps the texture immensely.
While I was writing this, I realized, the uses of peanut shells are very very similar to cocopeat, but they come free with some peanuts and calories 😛
NUTRIENTS IN PEANUT SHELLS FOR PLANTS
Peanut shells contain only a tiny amount of NPK i.e. nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They do not contribute significantly to plant health directly, but indirectly but helping improve the soil texture and dampness.
*I’ve made all these observations on the geranium planter I added it to, which does need to be watered less than the others, now that the weather is heating up a bit. For colder areas and less sunshine, use peanut shells with caution as it might cause rot and fungus due to excessive water.
If you have used peanut shells for soil or plants, do share your observations and experiences.
Here’s a quick tip to PIN
HAPPY GARDENING 🙂