Use Natural Baking Soda In The Garden
There are many uses for baking soda in the garden.
You can use it to prevent fungal growth, promote healthy plants, and test your soil’s acidity level.
You can keep pests like rabbits, bugs, and slugs at bay using baking soda, too.
Baking soda also has many sanitary uses and can help you get garden produce furniture, and fixtures clean.
What Is Baking Soda?
This simple, natural product is made up entirely of sodium bicarbonate, a highly alkaline substance.
When it comes in contact with acidic substances it bubbles. The bubbles give off carbon dioxide gas.
This is the property of bicarb soda that makes it a good leavening agent for bread baking.
This property also makes it a good choice for settling upset stomachs.
Its cleansing and mildly abrasive properties make it a good cleaning agent. It also possesses the ability to absorb and neutralize odors.
How Can These Properties Be Helpful In Your Garden?
When it comes to using baking soda for:
- Natural Cleaning
- Soil Amendment
- Plant Care
- Weed And Pest Control
- Fungal Diseases
- And More
The humble sodium bicarbonate surely is a powerful ally
Ways To Use Baking Soda To Care For Your Plants
#1 – Clean Plant Leaves
Plants need photosynthesis to survive and thrive. T
o help your houseplants make the most of the sunshine they receive, keep their leaves clean by wiping them gently with a damp sponge or soft cloth dampened with a very dilute solution of baking soda and water. Add about half a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda to a liter of pure, filtered water to make this gentle cleaning solution.
#2 – Give Your Plants A Boost
If your plants are looking listless, try watering with a combination of:
Do this on a monthly basis to perk up all plants. Roses are especially appreciative of this treatment.
#3 – Stimulate Blooming
Geraniums, Begonia and Hydrangea types all like alkaline soil, and baking soda is an alkaline product.
Make these plants a special monthly tonic consisting of one tablespoonful of baking soda and two quarts of water. You’ll soon see enthusiastic blossom production.
#4 – Keep Cut Flowers Fresh Longer
Two quarts of water and a tablespoonful of bicarbonate of soda is also an excellent solution for keeping cut flowers fresh. Be sure to change the solution every couple of days for best results.
#5 – Grow Sweeter Tomatoes
Use baking soda to make the soil in your tomato patch less acidic. Just sprinkle baking soda lightly over the surface of the soil surrounding your tomato plants and then water as usual.
Less acidity in the soil adds up to less acidity in your tomatoes.
#6 – Use Baking Soda For Soil Testing and Amendment
Test the Ph level of your soil. Wet your soil a bit with distilled water.
Sprinkle a handful of baking soda over the damp soil.
If it begins to bubble, your soil is acidic, meaning its pH is below 5, and will not be able to support healthy plant growth.
- If your soil is acidic, you can raise its pH level by mixing ground or powdered lime into the soil.
- Over time, your soil will become more alkaline. Wood ashes might also help.
- Search online to find out what pH level the plants you plan on growing require before you make any changes to the soil.
4 Baking Soda Recipes to Cure and Prevent Plant Diseases
#1 – Prevent Fungal Disease Growth
Use baking soda as a homemade plant fungicide. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with one gallon of distilled water.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it on or near plants you suspect could be at risk for fungal diseases, especially, for instance, roses and grapes.
- If you have a problem with mildew on your plants, mix one teaspoon baking soda, one quart (one liter) water, and a few drops of liquid soap. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the plants that tend to attract mildew
#2 – Treat Powdery Mildew
If mildew or fungus have already set in, make a stronger mixture consisting of:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 tablespoonful of baking soda
- 1 tablespoonful of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoonful of dishwashing liquid
Spray affected plants once a week on cooler, overcast days. Spraying this mixture in the heat of the day or when the sun is very strong can cause plants to burn. This is an especially effective mixture for use on zinnias, squash, cucumbers, and lilacs.
#3 – Treat Tomato Diseases
Make a spray with an aspirin and baking soda solution to prevent and treat fungal infections and other diseases in tomato plants. Use this formula weekly.
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- 2 gallons of water
- 2 aspirin
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. You’ll need to let the soda solution sit for a few minutes to allow the aspirin to dissolve. Shake and spray.
2 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Combat Weeds
Will baking soda kill grass? Does baking soda kill weeds?
Weeds and crabgrass growing along the edges of your walkways and patios and in cracks between pavers can be dealt with easily with a generous application of baking soda. It burns back foliage and feeder roots to eliminate current weeds and prevent future weed growth.
- Kill crabgrass and weeds in your lawn. Begin by wetting down the weeds or crabgrass. Follow up by applying a thick coat of baking soda directly to the plant’s leaves and around its root base.
Be careful to apply it only to the plants you want to kill. Don’t sprinkle it around randomly. Avoid applying on a windy day. Apply it thickly in a focused manner.
- Get rid of weeds along walkways and patios and in cracks and crevices. To eliminate weeds growing around paved surfaces, pour baking soda heavily on and around the weeds. Use a whisk broom to sweep the powder into sidewalk cracks or the space between pavers.
Check back and reapply as needed. Although a heavy application of baking soda will have some residual weed killing effect, be advised that rain and watering will dilute these effects fairly quickly. This natural powder works by desiccating foliage. It may not kill deep roots.
Precautions When Using Baking Soda In The Garden
- Use baking soda concoctions carefully.
- Don’t spray them around willy-nilly or use them excessively because buildup can cause damage to your plants.
- Do a patch test before spraying any solution over your entire garden. Just apply the mixture to a couple of leaves and wait 24 hours before treating your entire crop.
- If the solution seems to burn the leaves, dilute it and try another patch test. Keep adjusting until you hit the right strength.
- Protect heating elements, electrical wiring, and metal items from exposure to baking soda as it can cause corrosion.
What Are The Drawbacks of Using Baking Soda In The Garden?
Although baking soda can be a very effective tool in your collection of natural gardening techniques, you should not rely upon it entirely. If overused, its efficacy will dwindle with the passage of time. You will soon find yourself using more and more of it with less and less effective.
This is why it’s always a good idea to establish a schedule of sound garden management.
Be sure to plant your seeds, seedlings, and grown plant specimens properly with the right kind of soil, drainage and sun exposure.
Keep your plants properly pruned for good air circulation.
All of these steps will keep your plants strong and help prevent problems with pests and fungus.
Use baking soda in combination with other natural methods of deterring pests and weeds, such as heavy mulching with coarse organic matter to prevent weed growth and keep your plants’ roots well protected.
Rotate natural garden spray recipes to prevent having pests and fungus build up a resistance to any single product.
Remember that an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Baking soda and other natural garden remedies all work best as preventatives.
If you do not practice good garden management and your plants become heavily infested with pests and fungus, these types of solutions will probably not be of much use to you. Consistent care is key to success with all-natural plant care products.