Milk isn't just for food. Here are 7 reasons to use it in your garden

There are two universal truths of which I've always felt certain: Cats like milk and plants like water. I was a bit wrong on both counts. While plants need water to survive, they also like milk. (Also, most cats are actually lactose-intolerant, so kittens over 12 weeks should just be sipping water, according to Science Focus.)
Gardening Know How says milk can actually benefit your garden and plants. Keep reading to find out how.
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1. Milk acts as a fertilizer
The calcium in milk can help strengthen the structure of a plant. The nourishing properties that animals and people get from milk actually help protect plants too. The sugars in milk can help yield healthier crops, according to Gardening Know How.
2. Milk can disinfect
When milk is applied in areas with direct sunlight, the milk takes on antiseptic-like properties. The Cape Gazette recommends dipping your garden pruners in milk instead of bleach to disinfect them (no promises on how that's going to smell in a few days).
3. Milk can prevent fungus
Fight fungus disease (like mold or rot) by applying watered-down milk to the surface of plants. For the most success, combine one part milk to two or three parts water. Spray this mixture on the leaves of your plants every 10 days. For the best results, use this at the beginning of the season as a preventative measure, according to The Spruce.
4. Milk improves the health of your soil
Using milk in your soil or compost pile can make the soil healthier because it absorbs the fats and vitamins from the milk. Some gardeners pour powdered milk directly into the soil, but you can also do a watered-down mixture, which should help keep funky smells away.
5. Protect your tomatoes
To protect your tomatoes from rot and disease, mix one part skim milk with nine parts water. Spray your plant every few weeks (until the middle of summer) to keep diseases away from your tomatoes, according to Harvest to Table.
6. Milk can deter some insects
When applied properly, cow milk can deter bugs like aphids, thrips and mites. You'll need to use whole milk to maximize on this perk, according to a study published in the Journal of Eco-Friendly Agriculture.
7. Milk and Molasses
While milk works wonders in the garden, you can increase the power of this garden friend by mixing in molasses. The combination of milk and molasses amps up needed sugars that help plants stay strong, and the mixture will keep weeds away because the combination makes soil conditions unfavorable for weed seeds, according to Mother Earth News.
If you're worried about the odor, a mixture of two parts water, one part milk provides the healthy benefits of milk but makes the odor of rotting milk dissipate faster.
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Have you ever used milk in the garden? Share these tips with your friends on Facebook, and tell us how well these ideas work for you! ​
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