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!
Good gardeners rarely throw anything away.. Either they put soil into it or they put it into the soil. Apart from being good for the environment, it’s a good practice to follow for the benefit of your plants.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.
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.
This geranium, hence, became the lucky recipient of this peanut shell powder and now, let’s quickly jump to the
BENEFITS OF ADDING PEANUT SHELLS TO GARDEN SOIL & PLANTS
- AERATE THE SOIL – Peanut shells fluff up the soil allowing roots to breathe better and penetrate quickly leading to vigorous growth.
2. LIGHTEN 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.
3. WATER RETENTION – 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.
4. BREAKING UP HARD CLAYEY SOIL – 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 all this I realized, it is very very similar to how cocopeat helps the soil but it comes free with some peanuts and calories 😛
NUTRIENT CONTENT OF 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.
I am definitely stocking up on peanut shells to use in the summers for all the smaller planters that need watering twice a day to survive. I shall also be updating this post then.
If you have used peanut shells for soil or plants, do share your observations and experiences.
HAPPY GARDENING 🙂