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Watering and fertilizing for planters

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We generally water our plants (growing in planters) with kitchen leftovers, such as water we used to soak hummus kernels or leftover tea/coffee. The purpose of this is to minimize kitchen waste and fertilize without chemicals. Can we continue to do this doing the shemitah year?


Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

You didn't specify whether the planters are indoors or not. If they are indoors, there is no problem to do this (everything is permissible; the rules governing shemitah do not apply).

If the planters are outside (on the porch, etc.) proceed as follows:

  1. If the plants need the water and fertilizer to continue to live, this is not an issue. Any action to preserve plant life is permitted during the shemitah
  2. If the plant needs to be watered but fertilization is not vital (this is the common case), and you water it with water that includes fertilizer, this constitutes a combined act of preservation and enhancement. This is also permissible, since the main purpose of the water is to save and preserve the plant.
  3. If the plant does not need to be watered or fertilized, avoid doing so.