Oh, how people have come to sing the praises of using baking soda in the garden. As the population — Green Monsters included — better clue in on how the world might work a little better, we are looking for sustainable, natural and neutral ways of keeping our planet clean and our health tip-top. Surprisingly, this pursuit has led us back to the days of old and reinvigorated the craze over baking soda.
Whether it’s in the medicine cabinet, in the bathroom, under the kitchen sink, in the cupboard or amongst the lost items on the lower shelf of the fridge, baking soda finds a way to earn its keep and keep things running smoothly. This includes your garden!
The powerful all-natural cleaning agent can also be used in the garden. Expert gardeners use this substance in a variety of green cleaning methods and to get rid of many harmful pests, to care for plants, use as a soil amendment, to control weeds and pests, to treat fungal disease and more. Here are 8 ways you can use baking soda in your garden:
1. Baking Soda Helps Prevent Fungal Diseases
There are times when even the most dedicated organic gardener is tempted to blast prize ornamentals with chemicals to slow the infuriating spread of fungal disease. But take heart — fungal diseases like powdery mildew and black spot can be prevented, and sometimes destroyed, with environmentally friendly household products such as baking soda.
Numerous trials have been done to study the effects of baking soda sprays on plants. The ATTRA organization, which assists rural and agricultural growers with common production issues and plant information, published a series of findings from trials across the globe. Overall, baking soda on plants had a beneficial effect in reducing the fungal spores.
2. Baking Soda Cleans Plant Leaves
Plants need photosynthesis to survive. To help all your plants make the most out of the sunshine they receive, you need to keep their leaves clean. You can do this by lightly wiping them with a sponge or cloth that is dampened with a diluted solution of water and baking soda. Add a half a teaspoon of baking soda to a liter of filtered water to make this gentle cleaning product.
3. Baking Soda is an excellent Weed Killer
Sprinkle baking soda weed killer without resorting to harmful chemicals. Using pesticides or other harsh chemicals is one of the common gardening mistakes that everyone makes, so avoid them as much as possible and use baking soda instead. To get in between the sidewalk cracks and spaces between pavers, use a whisk broom to sweep the powder into these hard to reach areas.
While baking soda can be a handy tool for natural gardening, you don’t want to rely upon it entirely. Like with any other natural ingredient, if it is overused, it will lose its efficiency. This is why you need to establish a schedule for sound garden management.
4. Adding Baking Soda Will Produce Sweeter Tomatoes
To make the soil around your tomato plants less acidic, add baking soda. For sweeter tomatoes, add some Epsom salt, as well.
Sprinkle baking soda over the soil that surrounds your tomato plant and then water. Having soil around your tomato plants that is less acidic means you’ll have less acidic tomatoes. For plants that need acidic soil, use coffee grounds in your garden.
5. Combat Spider Mites and Aphids Around Your Plants
Spider mites and aphids can be harmful to your plants. Spider mites suck the contents from the leaves of plants, draining them of their nutrients. Using baking soda in the garden as a mild deterrent to take care of these pesky insects is a great idea. Mix two cups of water, 2/3 cup of olive oil and one teaspoon of baking soda. The best part of this recipe is that it won’t harm the beneficial insects in your garden.
6. The Perfect Organic Insect Repellent
One teaspoon of baking soda and 1/3 cup of mustard oil is the perfect mix for an organic insect repellant concentrate. Add two tablespoons of the concentrate to a cup of warm water. Spray the solution around any area where you want to get rid of unwanted bugs and as an effective mosquito repellent spray!
7. Get Rid of Cabbage Worms in the Garden
Cabbage worms are hungry little caterpillars that feast on cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Kill them with a mixture of equal amounts of white flour and baking soda.
Dust brassicas plants with the mixture to get rid of destructive cabbage worms. Apply the mixture every three to four days to keep the garden free from cabbage worms.
8. Natural Way to Kill Crabgrass
Wet the crabgrass and weeds in your yard. Apply a thick coat of baking soda to the base of the weeds and directly onto their leaves.
Avoid getting baking soda on plants you want to keep, as the baking soda burns the leaves.