Feed Plants With Leftover Cooking Water

Feed Plants with Leftover Cooking Water

Just a quick PSA: The next time you boil (or steam) vegetables, eggs, or pasta, don't pour the leftover water down the drain. The water could benefit your garden or household plants.

Photo by NatalieMaynor.

This might be a "duh" tip for many of you who are already doing this, but as a newbie plant caretaker and gardener, I've just learned I've been wasting this water. Since nutrients from the plants leak into the water during cooking — and eggshells contain calcium, which plants love — the cooking water could potentially give your plants a boost.

Nutrients aside, this also helps conserve water, which is particularly important in areas of drought.

Garden Tip — Use Vegetable Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants [One Hundred Dollars a Month]


    I put salt in the water when I cook pasta and when I boil eggs. Will this make a difference?

      Unless you're putting in enough salt to make it into a saline solution, probably not. Sodium occurs naturally in the earth anyway.
      That said, putting salt into the water will raise the boiling point of it, so you will be expending more energy in heating it.

      I would avoid using cooking water if salt was added in the preparation. Soil salinity caused by irrigation is a known issue. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_salinity

      Last edited 23/08/15 4:56 pm

    Bonus tip: Let the water cool down BEFORE applying to plants.
    Bonus bonus tip: Boiling water is an excellent way to kill weeds, and it is poison free.

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