No summer cookout is complete without a fresh potato salad. And no garden is complete without potato water, either.
That’s right: The water you boiled your potatoes in is an excellent addition to your gardening regimen. (And it’s environmentally friendly to reuse the water instead of draining it down your kitchen sink.) The reason? According to WebGardner.com, potato water contains a number of nutrients that can benefit your plants.
Why Potato Water Is Good for Your Garden
Plants can use many of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in potato water to stay healthy and grow. Here are the nutrients that are available, and how they benefit fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more:
- Potato starch, which makes great food for flowers and vegetables.
- Potassium, which plants use to create energy and move water through their stems and leaves.
- Phosphorus, which helps plants harvest the sun’s energy.
- Magnesium, which plants need to make chlorophyl (compounds that absorb sun energy)
- Calcium, which helps make strong plant cell walls
- Zinc, which helps the plant grow and create new tissue
- Vitamin C, which helps regulate photosynthesis
- Vitamin B-6, which protects plant cells from dying
Note: Vitamins C and B-6 are water soluble and leach out of vegetables during the boiling process. This means that boiled potatoes don’t have much vitamin C or B-6. However, the water they’re boiled in may retain a small percentage of these nutrients.
How To Use Potato Water in Your Garden
To nourish your garden plants, save the water after you’ve finished boiling your potatoes and wait for it to cool completely. Then, fill a watering can and water your plants as usual.
If you want to save the water for later, just make sure you stir or shake it before watering your plants so that they get an even distribution of starch and nutrients.
How often should you use this trick? There’s no need to water your garden with this special treat more than once a week or once a month — or however often you make boiled potatoes. Think of this trick as a clever way to reuse water during an incredibly hot summer.
One important final note: Don’t use salted potato water on your garden plants! The salt in the water will cause the soil to be more absorbent, leaving little left over for your thirsty plants. Instead, use salted water on weeds to easily get rid of them.