Baking soda is a useful general item to have around and to use for various types of tasks. It’s good as a cleaning agent, it absorbs and neutralizes bad odors and it’s also super useful in the garden. It’s actually a lot more versatile than we first thought and it’s definitely something that you need to try in case you haven’t already. Let’s explore some of the methods which can be used to take advantage of the unique properties of baking soda, specifically when doing work in the garden.
Use baking soda to clean the leaves of your plants
It’s important for plants to have clean leaves in order to properly absorb the sunlight and as dust, water and debris accumulates this can end up harming the plants. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the leaves and ensure your plants are healthy, beautiful and happy. Mix half a teaspoons of baking soda with a liter of water and then apply it the solution with a damp sponge or a soft cloth.
Use baking soda to clean clay pots and garden decorations
Clay pots need regular cleaning and so do all the various decorations you might have in your garden. Many chemical cleaning solutions can harm them or have a negative effect on the plants that they come in contact with. A baking soda or a mixture of baking soda and water however is safe and very efficient.
Absorb the bad odors of garden compost
Plants need and love compost but unfortunately that can mean a fertilized garden ends up smelling quite bad. However, there’s a solution for that and it involves baking soda. If you have a pile of compost sitting around somewhere in your garden, put some baking soda around it. It will absorb the bad odors quite efficiently.
Test the pH level of your garden soil with baking soda
You can test the soil in your garden to find out if it’s too alkaline or too acidic and this can help you decide what types of plants or vegetables you can grow or find out if treatments are required. Take a soil sample in a cup and pour vinegar on it. If you see bubbles that means the soil is alkaline and has a pH level of 7 or more. No bubbles mean the soil is acidic and you can amend that by sprinkling baking soda on top of the soil before watering it.
Use baking soda to stimulate blooming
If you have plants and flowers that love alkaline soil such as begonia or hydrangea you can make a special tonic for them which you can apply every month. This will help them bloom faster and it will also help them grow nice and healthy. The tonic can be made by mixing one tablespoonful of baking soda and two quarts of water.
Make sweeter tomatoes with baking soda
If tomatoes grow in acidic soil then they end up being pretty acidic themselves. However, if they grow in more alkaline soil, then the tomatoes end up being sweeter. If you’d like to try this, all you need to do is sprinkle some baking soda lightly onto the soil around your tomatoes and let it be absorbed naturally. It’s a simple and effective trick and it actually works.
Use baking soda to get rid of weeds
Baking soda is very useful for getting rid of crabgrass and weeds in your lawn or along walkways, in cracks and around paved surfaces. This is how you use it: first you need to wet down the weeds and then you need to apply a thick coat of baking soda directly onto their leaves and around the roots. Make sure you don’t also put baking soda on your plants and avoid doing this on a windy day. You can repeat the process if needed.
Treat powdery mildew with baking soda
If you notice powdery mildew or fungus on your plants, go ahead and make a mixture to spray them with. The recipe dictates mixing in a tablespoonful of baking soda, a tablespoonful of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoonful of dishwasher liquid into a gallon of water. You can spray this on the affected plants once a week until the mildew is gone. Make sure you don’t apply it when it’s very hot outside or when the sun is high up in the sky because this can burn the plants.
Treat tomato diseases with baking soda
There’s also a special mixture that you can spray on your tomatoes to prevent and treat various diseases and fungal infections. The mixture consists of 2 gallons of water, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 aspirin. Allow the aspirin to dissolve and then you can shake the spray bottle and apply this mixture to the tomatoes regularly.
Baking soda as insect deterrent
There are two types of mixtures that you can make using baking soda, one that’s very gentle and gets rid of spider mites and aphids but doesn’t harm beneficial insects and one that’s stronger and can be used to eradicate harmful insect infestations. For the gentle deterrent mix a cup of warm water, 1/3 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Spray it onto the affected areas every few days. The more concentrated mixture consists of a gallon of water, a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of baking powder and a dozed drops of dishwashing liquid. Apply it every three days.
Baking soda as fungicide
Among other things, baking soda can be helpful for getting rid of unwanted fungi which can grow in the garden if you’re living in a damp area or if the weather conditions are encouraging this behavior. The solution to this problem is very simple. All you need to do is mix four tablespoons of baking soda into a gallon of water and use this mixture to spray the affected areas.
Get rid of ants and anthills with baking soda
If you have an ant infestation in your garden or if you want to get rid of an anthill, baking soda is one again the solution. A mixture of 5 teaspoons of baking soda, 5 teaspoons of confectioners sugar and a teaspoon of water will attract the ants and then kill them. You can get rid of any remaining ants by pouring this mixture on the anthill and then add a bit of vinegar.