Baking soda has long been used in cooking to help make finished products light and fluffy and to leaven bread. It has also taken the spotlight in recent years as a natural, chemical-free cleaning product for the house. It has also long been used as a way to remove food odors from the fridge, but did you know that you can also use baking soda in the garden? Yep, that’s right.
The powerful all-natural cleaning agent can also be used in the garden. Expert gardeners have been using the versatile ingredient in a variety of green cleaning methods and to eliminate many harmful pests.
Baking soda is made entirely of sodium bicarbonate and is a highly alkaline substance that you can use in your garden as a natural cleaning agent, a soil amendment, to care for plants, to control weeds and pests, to treat fungal diseases, and so much more. Here are 20 fantastic ways that you can use baking soda in your garden.
Baking Soda in the Garden
If you are one of the millions of households that have switched to green living, then baking soda has become an integral part of your life. Along with being a fantastic green cleaner, it has dozens of uses around the house and in your garden. If you are serious about tending an organic garden, then baking soda should be one of your top tools to use throughout the growing season.
Baking Soda Cleans Plant Leaves
Plants need photosynthesis to survive. To help all your plants make the most out of the sunshine, they do 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.
Gives Your Plants a Boost in Your Garden
If your plants are beginning to look a little listless, you can use baking soda to give them a little boost. The following recipe can be used to water your plants to perk them up again.
Add all the ingredients to a large bucket. Stir to dissolve the baking soda and Epsom salt. Pour the mixture on your plants every month to perk up all your plants. Roses especially like this treatment.
Baking Soda Stimulates Blooming
Begonia, Geraniums, and Hydrangeas are all plants that like the soil to be more alkaline. Since baking soda is an alkaline ingredient, you can help stimulate their blooming by watering them monthly with a solution of one tablespoon baking soda and two quarts water. Feeding these plants every month with this special tonic will have them enthusiastically blooming all season long.
Keep Fresh Cut Flowers Longer
Mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with two quarts of water is a great way to keep your fresh cut flowers fresh for longer. For the best results, you want to change the solution every couple of days.
Adding Baking Soda Will Produce Sweeter Tomatoes
To make the dirt around your tomato plants less acidic, use baking soda. To get sweet tasting tomatoes, add a little Epsom salt as well.
Just sprinkle some baking soda over the soil that surrounds your tomato plant and then water. Having soil around your tomato plants that are less acidic means you’ll have less acidic tomatoes. For plants and where you need a more acidic soil, consider using coffee grounds in your garden.
Soil Testing and Amendment in the Garden
You can do a simple pH test on your soil with some baking soda. Your plant’s roots absorb the minerals found in the ground through their roots. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline it can hamper this process. You can conduct a simple home experiment using baking soda and vinegar to test your soil’s pH levels.
Place the two soil samples into a couple of small cups. In one of the cups, add the vinegar. If the soil bubbles, then your soil is alkaline.
This means your soil has a pH level of seven or more. If it doesn’t bubble, then you can use the other soil sample to test the acidity. Add the baking soda to the water and then pour the solution into the second cup. If the soil bubbles with the mixture, then you have acidic soil with a pH level of seven or below.
If the test reveals that your soil is acidic, you can amend the problem by sprinkling baking soda over your soil just before you water. This should help to reduce the acidity of your soil. Continue to test your soil weekly until it no longer bubbles when exposed to water and baking soda.
Use Baking Soda to Prevent Fungal Disease
While baking soda won’t kill fungus on your plants, it will create a pH condition that is hostile to the growth of the fungus. To prevent fungus from growing, you’ll need to do the following.
Combine the water, baking soda, and liquid dish soap in a small bowl. Mix well to dissolve the baking soda. Add the solution to a spray bottle. Spray the top and bottoms of the leaves in the morning, when the weather is cold, so the leaves have ample time to dry.
Treat Powdery Mildew With a Baking Soda Solution
If fungus and mildew have already set in on your plants, you can still treat it with a stronger solution that contains baking soda. Here’s a recipe for an all-natural mildew treatment for your plants.
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to mix well. Spray the affected plants every week on overcast days. Spraying this mixture on your plants during the heat of the day will cause them to burn. This mixture is especially useful for squash, zinnias, lilacs, and cucumbers.
Natural Gardening: Treat Tomato Disease
To prevent and treat fungal infections in your tomato plants, make a solution of aspirin and baking soda. Spraying your plants with the following solution will help to stop leaf spot and early blight from taking hold.
In a spray bottle, combine all the ingredients. Shake thoroughly to ensure the aspirin and baking soda have dissolved. Once the aspirin has dissolved, spray your tomato plants with the treatment.
Create an Organic Garden Spray from Baking Soda
The following all-natural recipe is excellent for treating and maintaining a variety of plant pests and conditions. When used correctly, it serves as a homemade leaf miner spray and repels spider mites, aphids, black spot fungus, and powdery mildew.
Mix all the ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Spray your plants down with water first to knock off the beneficial insects first, as this solution will kill them. Every month, in the late evening, spray your plants with the solution.
Combat Spider Mites and Aphids Around Your Plants
Spider mites and aphids can be extremely detrimental to your plants. Spider mites suck the contents from the leaves of your plant, draining them of their nutrients. You can use baking soda as a mild deterrent to combat these pesky insects. The best part of the following solution is that it won’t harm the beneficial insects in your garden.
Blend the ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Carefully spray the solution onto the affected areas every couple of days until the spider mites and aphids are gone.
Baking Soda Will Eliminate Harmful Insect Infestations
Don’t let harmful insects infest your garden and ruin your plants. With this simple combination of ingredients, you can rid your plants of pesky insect infestations quickly.
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve the baking soda and mix the ingredients. Spray on your plants every three days until the insects disappear.
Follow up weekly, spraying your plants to prevent reinfestation. For a more long-term approach to fight insects around your plants consider using diatomaceous earth in your garden.
Natural Ant Killer Baking Soda
A natural ant killer, baking soda when combined with powdered sugar creates a fatal bait. Mix equal amounts of the ingredients together and sprinkle the mixture over the ant hill. When the ants eat the ingredients, they carry it back to their nests, killing the ants within.
The sugar is used to attract the ants, while the baking soda is what will kill them. Make sure you use powdered sugar and not granulated sugar as the ants will be able to pick out the granulated sugar, leaving the baking soda behind.
Kill Gnats In Your Garden
If your yard has piles of leaves or you have a compost pile, then you probably have a problem with gnats. Just like hydrogen peroxide for plants, baking soda works perfectly to keep gnats away from your garden.
To get rid of gnats you can use four tablespoons of baking soda with a gallon of water and a teaspoon of biodegradable soap. Spray or pour the mix over your pile of leaves or compost to kill off the gnats.
The Perfect Organic Insect Repellent
This recipe makes an organic insect repellent concentrate. When you are ready to use, add two tablespoons of the concentrate into a cup of warm water.
Add the ingredients to a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir the ingredients to mix. Place the top on the jar and store at room temperature.
When ready to use mix two tablespoons of the dry mixture to one cup warm water in a plastic or glass spray bottle. Shake to mix. Spray the solution around any area where you want to get rid of unwanted bugs.
Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Ground Dwelling Pests
Gardens tend to attract ground dwelling pests like roaches and slugs.
To eliminate the silverfish, slugs, and roaches that like to hide out in your garden and feed on your plants, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda lightly around the soil in your garden. Alternatively, use neem oil for plants to get rid of slugs. Let it dry, reapplying after it rains.
Sprinkle Some Baking Soda to Kill Slugs
Slugs tend to eat and destroy the plants in your garden. A little baking soda can kill off these unwanted garden wreckers quickly.
Sprinkle these slimy creatures with some baking soda to kill them off. Be careful not to get the baking soda on your plants as it will burn the leaves.
Get Rid of Cabbage Worms in the Garden
Cabbage worms are hungry little caterpillars that love to feast on your cabbage, broccoli, and kale. You can kill them off by mixing equal amounts of baking soda and white flour.
Dust your brassicas plants with the mixture to get rid of the destructive cabbage worms. Apply the mixture every three to four days to keep your garden free from cabbage worms.
Natural Way to Kill Crabgrass
Start by wetting down the crabgrass and weeds that are in your yard. Next, apply a thick coat of baking soda to the base of the weeds and directly onto their leaves.
Avoid getting any of the baking soda on plants that you don’t want to kill as the baking soda will burn their leaves.
Baking Soda Weed Killer
You can sprinkle a baking soda weed killer along your patio and walkways and in cracks and crevices to efficiently get rid of weeds. If you have weeds around paved surfaces, heavily pour baking soda on and around the weeds to make a weed killer without resorting to harmful chemicals. 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 an extremely useful 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.
Baking soda is an excellent alternative to the harsh chemical products that you may use to kill weeds, battle pests, and defeat diseases.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the many different ways that you can use baking soda in the garden. If you found this article helpful, please feel free to pass it along to everyone you know.