In today’s episode, we will learn about 5 unbelievable uses or benefits of Onions, Onion Skins and Onion Juice in gardening. Specially the onion peel fertilizer, Onion Pesticide and a new secret rooting hormone recipe to root your plant cuttings quickly and successfully.

Onion skin and peels are usually thrown into the bin. But starting today and after watching this episode till the end, you will never throw them again!

Onion skin and peels have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and contain many useful substances like sulphur, quercetin, Potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, iodine, vitamins, pectins, saponins, flavonoids and so on.

Have you even wondered why tears start flowing out of your eyes as soon as we start chopping onions?  This is Onion-Chemistry. Before we start with the 5 uses of onions in gardening, let’s quickly know the scientific reason behind this interesting scene:

While chopping onions, cells inside the onion are broken down and the gas that comes out forms sulfenic acid. This acid gets mixed with enzymes and forms a gas called propanethiol S-oxide. When this gas reaches our eyes, it gets mixed with our tears and forms sulphuric acid which causes irritation of the tear glands and that’s it.  

Well, Now let’s list out the benefits of onions for plants and gardening:

5. COMPOSTING: If you are not using earthworms for making your compost, You can drop onion skins and peels a little deeper into the compost bin and get a nutrient-rich compost in the final result. But You should avoid adding them in your worm composting bin, this is because earthworms hate onions and similar odorous substances.

4. MULCHING: For Beginners, A mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil for benefits like preserving soil moisture, reducing weed growth and so on. You can use onion skins for mulching and the dry onion peels will decompose soon and enrich your soil with potassium and calcium, which is so good for your plant growth.

3. ONION PESTICIDE RECIPE: If you do organic vegetable gardening without using any chemical pesticides and fertilizer, you will certainly realise the importance of these organic recipes, especially if you do not have the universal organic pesticide like the great neem oil.  Do not worry!, you can make a potent organic pesticide using onion and other stuff.

– Take a Large Onion and drop it into a kitchen blender
– Add 4 fresh cloves of garlic into this.
– Add 2 teaspoons of Red Chilli Powder.
– Add 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon Powder.
– Blend this into a fine paste by adding some water.
– Now Add about 2 Cups of Water to this and mix well and allow it to steep overnight.  

– Then in the morning, strain out the liquid using a nylon cloth or a fine sieve to get your pesticide concentrate. You can store this concentrate in refrigerator.
– To Apply as pesticide,  Use it in 1:5 dilution in water. That is to one cup of this pesticide add 5 cups of water and most importantly do not forget to add some 10 drops of liquid detergent soap for the surfactant effect and to coat the leaves and retain the pesticide effect for longer time. Use this twice weekly until all pests are eradicated. This will successfully kill common pests like aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies and many others.

2. ONION PEEL FERTILZIER:  There are two methods to make onion peel fertilizer, one is to boil the onion peels for few hours in water and the other method is to soak the onion peels in water for 24 hours. Some do not recommend boiling.
So, take 2 to 3 handfuls of onion peels  and drop in 1 litre of water and allow it to soak for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, strain out the liquid and use it as a liquid fertilizer. You can use it without dilution or with further dilution of 1:1 in water if you regularly fertilize your plants. Use it once in 15 days to see the effect in about 3 months.

1. ROOTING HORMONE RECIPE: Not really a rooting hormone, but you can call it a rooting agent. Onion due to its antimicrobial properties and when mixed along with other stuff will certainly improve the results of rooting your plant cuttings. To prepare this:

– Take ¼ Onion
– Add ½ a Cup of Fresh Aloe vera Juice extracted from a leaf.
– Add some cinnamon or willow bark into this – Its better to have it Presoaked in a cup of water for 24 hours.
– Now Add this cup to the blender and make a paste or solution. Then Strain out this liquid to use as as rooting agent. Just dip the cuttings into this solution or apply this with your finger and plant the cuttings.  You can watch a detailed post on the 10 natural rooting agents you can use to add into this recipe or experiment this recipe with more stuff.

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