Citrus season is just around the corner and the last thing you want is to be biffing your orange peel into the non-recyclable bin (citrus isn’t worm-friendly so keep it out of the compost). Now, you can save those gorgeous, bright peels for one of our 4 DIY garden projects.
Do what the Greeks do, and turn your orange peel into a decorative lantern to light up the garden on barbeque night or outline the path for dinner guests approaching the door to your home. To make the lantern, slice the orange in half and carefully scoop out the flesh. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 3-4 shapes from the top section of the peel. Place the lower half of the peel on a ceramic saucer. Pop a tea light candle into the base of the peel, and light the wick. Place the top section of peel on the lower section, and sit your pretty orange-glowing light where it will receive admiring comments!
Eco-friendly seedling pots
Commercially made seedling pots almost always contain peat – a non-renewable resource that every environmentally-aware gardener should be rejecting. Thankfully, orange peels make the perfect alternative. To make an orange peel seedling pot, cut an orange in half and scoop out the flesh. Cut a small drainage hole in the base of each half. Fill the peels with seed raising mix, and sow one seed per pot. Once the seedlings are ready to be transplanted into the garden, plant them, peel and all. With no root disturbance, your seedlings will be off to the best possible start in life. As the peels slowly decompose, the seedlings’ roots will grow through them.
Slug and snail bait saver
Slug and snail bait is notorious for disintegrating in wet weather – and the rain-proof variety is so expensive. Save dollars by cutting an orange in half and scooping out the flesh. Use a cookie cutter to make two holes in the upper section of the peel. This is your lid. Fill the lower section of peel with slug and snail bait, and sink it into the ground with its rim at soil level. Place the lid on top. The slugs and snails will come and go, helping themselves to the bait which is kept dry inside the peel.
Orange-peel bird feeder
Cut an orange in half and scoop out the flesh. Thread a .5 meter long piece of garden twine through the base of each orange peel. Tie a small stick to the lower end of each piece of twine so the sticks are held in place against the bases of the peels. In a saucepan, gently melt some fat until it becomes liquid. Mix some bird seed into the melted fat. Pour the mix into each peel and leave it to set. When the bird food has solidified, tie each half to a tree so the birds can help themselves.
Tips: birds are more likely to call at a bird feeder when there is some foliage close by (it helps them feel less exposed). Birds also appreciate twigs close to the feeder where they can perch as they wait in queue for their turn to dine!