I want to start gardening organically. But I have a problem with powdery mildew where I live. I also battle spider mites. Can I use baking soda in the garden as a pesticide? Do you have a solution for me?
Bella Thompson, Richmond, VA
There’s no need to use potentially dangerous chemicals in your garden to handle bugs and disease. You have virtually everything you need in your kitchen! If you want to grow organic produce, baking soda is an important weapon in your arsenal against pests. So let’s start with how you can get rid of powdery mildew before it takes over your plants and garden.
For a simple but quite effective home remedy for powdery mildew, grab an empty spray bottle and a one-gallon bucket filled with water. Mix one tablespoon each of baking soda, vegetable oil, and liquid dishwashing soap into the water. Then fill the bottle and thoroughly spray the plants affected by mildew one day each week.
Be careful to spray in the evening or on an overcast day to avoid harming the foliage. The combination of sun with the recipe ingredients is not good for your plants and will burn them.
Next, you mentioned getting rid of spider mites. Mites and their cousins, aphids, are susceptible to the same homemade recipe. First, combine one teaspoon of baking soda with two-thirds cup olive oil. Then stir that into two cups of water and spray areas where you’ve seen the pests. Follow up again in a couple of days.
Finally, there are many other ways you can use baking soda in the garden. For example, baking soda is good for plants like tomatoes as it can make your tomato harvest taste sweeter. It also chokes out weeds and kills slugs, cabbage worms, and crabgrass. Plus, its alkalinity encourages some plants to grow better and bloom more.
If you want to learn more about the many uses of baking soda for plants and pests, check out this page:https://www.tipsbulletin.com/baking-soda-in-the-garden/
I hope your organic garden is a big success!