Do you know that you can use baking soda for your plants for a number of reasons?
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate has multiple uses for your plants in a lot of ways.
Though many of you know baking soda as a kitchen staple, it has uses in your house, making it work well outdoors.
The everyday use of baking soda in homes is to get rid of odors while you can also use it for benefits in the garden.
From tool cleaning to acting as a fungicide, baking soda is your friend in the garden.
One of the crucial things to note about baking soda is that it has several chemical properties that make it useful.
Keep on reading to learn more about it in detail.
Baking Soda: What is it?
A simple and neutral product, baking soda is made of sodium bicarbonate and tends to be highly alkaline.
When you combine it with something more acidic, it will produce carbon dioxide as a by-product.
When you use it in the kitchen, this reaction can cause the ingredients to rise which is why you often use it for making or baking bread.
Moreover, baking soda is also popular as an all-rounder cleanser with mild abrasive properties.
It tends to have good absorbing properties which is why you use it in your fridge or freezer to remove odors.
Though it consists of one ingredient, the ingredient is a combination of sodium, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and is a white-colored compound.
It is odorless, has a bitter but salty taste, and can dissolve in water at room temperature.
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Uses of Baking Soda
There are a number of uses for baking soda, which is why you use it in your home.
Not only it is used in cooking, but you can also use it in several ways, like:
- as a deodorizer and absorbing odor
- natural cleaner
- health reasons
- personal hygiene and care
- fire extinguisher
- sock fruit and veggies
While you can also use it in your garden in multiple ways, How?
Keep on reading:
Baking Soda Uses in the Garden
Baking soda is one of the ingredients you can use in your garden. The following are some ways you can use it in your garden effectively:
- treating fungal and other diseases
- natural outdoor cleaner
- deodorizing garden tools
- testing soil pH
- insect repellants
- reviving plants and flowers
- treating sunburn
Let’s discuss these uses in detail:
For Fungal Diseases in Plants
There are a number of plant diseases that can attack both flowers and vegetable plants. In such cases, you can use baking soda on plants to treat fungal diseases.
While some home remedies use this along with other ingredients as well.
Baking soda for Rose Black Spot Fungus
Experts believe that baking soda has ingredients that can help prevent fungal spore flare-ups on roses.
However, it is most likely that the effect of baking soda will not kill the spores themselves.
To use baking soda for rose black spot fungus, you will need to mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda with a gallon of water and it will reduce the effects of fungal diseases on common ornamental and vegetable plants.
Moreover, you can use this mixture on roses as well to treat black spot fungus.
Also, you can use this mixture in grapes and veins when the fruit begins to appear.
The solution also works well on a black spot to reduce the pH level of the leaves.
This will make it harder for the fungus to infect the plants in the future.
Baking Soda to treat Powdery Mildew
One of the natural home remedies effective agaisnt powdery mildew is the use of baking soda.
It has been used for years by people, instead of using pesticides.
However, using it acts more as a preventive measure than a solution once your plant gets this infestation.
Powdery mildew can cause a number of problems in gardens with high humidity and can affect a lot of plant types.
However, it can severely damage plants like zinnias, impatines, squash, and cucumbers.
To use baking soda to treat powdery mildew, follow the steps below:
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 gallon of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid
Make sure to mix the mixture into a spray bottle and use it weekly. However, you will get the best result when the weather is not too sunny.
However, as a fungicide, it works well by disrupting the ion balance in fungal cells.
Make sure that the solution is diluted before using this remedy.
One of the other ways you can use it is to mix baking soda with neem oil, onion, and garlic to get rid of squash bugs.
Learn more about Powdery Mildew: Prevention and Control here.
Uses for Tomato Plants
To prevent these diseases, you will need to mix baking soda with vegetable oil to make organic tomato spray. This will help fight these diseases.
Moreover, it will also work well if your tomato plants are suffering from powdery mildew. Making soda and tomato plants are a great combination.
To make a spray, follow the steps below:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1tbs of baking soda
- 2 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp of castile soap
Make sure to mix and pour in a spray bottle. The vegetable oil will help to make sure that the spray sticks to the leaves of the plant.
You can spray this solution on the foliage of the plants until the fungal disease disappears.
Baking Soda as Garden Cleaner
One of the oldest use of baking soda is its use for general cleaning.
Why? This is because it has the ability to absorb odor and you can either use it alone or in combination with other products as a cleaner in your garden.
Baking soda is mildly acidic which can lead the dirt and grease to dissolve easily in water so that you can remove it.
The following are some ways to use it as a clean in your garden:
Freshen Recycle Bins
Recycle bins can become smelly after a week, especially if you are putting weeds.
This particularly happens when the bins are moist or have water in them.
To reduce or remove odor, you will need to add a thick layer of baking soda to the bottom of the bin.
One of the things you may notice when keeping your garden clean is that it can make your hands smelly.
You can clean them with warm soapy water and then rub sodium bicarbonate on them, and lastly rinse your hands well.
Why? Baking soda helps to absorb odor and using it can help remove odor from your hands.
Cleaning Garden Furniture
Do you know that moisture and UV light can make resin and wood garden furniture look dab?
For this, you can use baking soda to bring in freshens your outdoor garden furniture.
To use this, mix half a cup of baking soda with a tbsp of dishwashing soap and a gallon of warm water.
It will clean the furniture and make it look brand new.
Cleaning Clay Pots
To clean your clay pots, you will just need to make a paste of sodium bicarbonate and water, make it to a consistency of hand lotion, and leave it for 20 minutes.
Other uses as a Garden Cleaner
Some other uses are:
Cleaning Potting Bench
Do you know that soil and used plant pots can transfer disease from one plant to another?
You may be putting in a lot of effort when repotting and planting your plants on a potting bench, however, it can all go in a vein in such cases.
With time, this can lead to a number of diseases. To clean your potting bench, combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water.
Scrub it and then give it to a good rinse to clean the bench.
Cleaning a Bird Bath
You may want to clean a bird bath, however, when using chemical products, it can leave behind residue and affect the birds.
But you can use baking soda that will neither harm your birds, nor other wildlife as it is non-toxic to them.
To do so, you will have to mix baking soda and castile soap into a paste and rub it onto the bird bata. and use a scrubbing brush to get rid of dirt, grime, and other debris.
Lastly, rinse off the bath well and fill it with clean water.
Baking Soda as Plant Fertilizer
Although you cannot use baking soda directly as a plant fertilizer, however, you can use it with other products to make a good replacement.
To do so, max 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt, a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate, and a half teaspoon of household ammonia.
Put this mixture into a gallon of water and let it sit well.
You can use this mixture once a month on your plants by mixing about 1/8 to 1/4 of the concentrate with 4 cups of water in a watering can.
Learn more about Organic Fertilizer An Overview here.
Using Baking Soda to get rid of Weeds
Like a lot of people, you would also like natural ways to control weeds.
Laying down newspaper to reduce the onset of weeds and using vinegar are the oldest methods to getting rid of them. While you can also use baking soda to prevent them.
Hence, sodium bicarbonate makes an effective weed killer, however, it is not a permanent solution.
Why? Because it does not have a residual effect that other substances do.
Using it as Weed Prevention
You can use baking soda at full strength on weeds that are visible in cracks on a patio or walkway as this will kill the ones sprouting and prevent new ones from occurring.
However, for weeds in the garden bed, measure a teaspoon f baking soda and sprinkle it evenly right on top of the foliage.
You can repeat this process on other weeds as well. One of the important things to remember is that this substance can also kill plants as well.
Therefore, be careful when sprinkling baking soda on weeds.
Crabgrass tends to grow in lawns, garden beds, and driveways. To kill crabgrass, you will need to wet the weed and pour sodium bicarbonate on it.
The crabgrass will die as a result in a few days.
Make sure to avoid the surrounding grass as it can also kill it.
Learn more about Weed Management: Why Is It Necessary?
Soil Testing Kits
Soil pH helps to measure the level of acidity and alkalinity present in the soil and pH ranges from 0 to 14.
7 is the neutral soil pH, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline soil. The ideal pH of most soils tends to be between 5.5 to 7.0.
There are a number of soil testing kits available in the market, however, you can test your soil with baking soda and water.
While the test is not accurate, it will give you some indication of the soil content and pH level.
You will need vinegar and baking soda to test for alkalinity or acidity.
Moreover, for both tests, you can take a sample of soil about 6 inches below the surface of your garden, remove sticks, place 1 cup of soil into clean cups, and add water to turn the soil into mud.
When testing for alkalinity, add 1/2 cup of vinegar to one of the cups and stir, if the soil fizzes, foams, and bubbles, the soil pH is above 7.
However, when adding sodium bicarbonate to the soil, it bubbles, which means that the soil pH is under 7.
If nothing happens, the soil is neutral.
As a Bug Repellant
Natural bug repellants are not just less expensive than pesticides, they are safe for both gardens and wildlife.
It is effective because of its smell and taste which a number of garden pests don’t like. This means that you can put it to good use to discourage common pests.
Ants, silverfish, and cockroaches are just a few examples that do not like baking soda.
To use this remedy, sprinkle baking soda on the soil of your garden and as a result, the insects will come to your garden.
While you can kill slugs by putting in on them. However, be careful not to sprinkle it on your plants.
In case of ant mounds in the yard, dampen them with water, and then sprinkle about 2 cups of sodium bicarbonate on top of it.
Wait for about 1/2 hour or so and pour a cup of vinegar on it, this will kill most of the ants.
Moreover, you can also make a bait using half baking soda and half sugar to control both ants and roaches and when you place them around your plants, it will also help kill slugs.
When an insect eats baking soda, it releases carbon dioxide bubbles in its system that eventually kill them.
Killing Cabbage Worms
These caterpillars not only feed on cabbage leaves, but also eat other brassicas like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale in your garden.
Mix a mixture of 50% white flour and 50% baking soda to kill them.
Then put this into a shaker container or a powder dispenser, and dust the plants with infestation.
The leaves of brassicas are thick and the mixture will not damage them, however, when caterpillars eat them, they will die.
To make an insect spray, mix 3 tbsp of baking soda, 2 tbsp of canola oil, and 2 tbsp of liquid soap, pour the mixture into a bucket of 2 gallons of water, add 2 tbsp of vinegar, and mix well.
Then pour the mixture into a handheld sprayer, and mix the undersides and top of plant leaves to control insects like aphids, mealybugs, and scale.
Baking Soda for Plants
If you are wondering how baking soda is helpful for plants, then read on.
If you know gardening, you will understand that flowers can, in some cases, feel the heat. Baking soda has a few uses to help them in this way.
Though there are a number of household products that can help make cut flowers last longer, like aspirin and vinegar, you can use these products as well.
To do so, mix a tbsp of it in two-quarters of water, and make sure to change the mixture every few days.
This will help make your cut flowers fresh on the stem end.
Rejuvenate Rose Bushes and Other Plants
If your plants are suffering from the heat, then mix together the following:
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of clear ammonia
- 1 tsp of Epsom salt
- 1 gallon of water
Mix well and use the solution on your plants, 1 gallon of this mixture will help treat at least 4 bushes of roses.
Moreover, you can also use the above mixture for other types of plants, like coleus.
Things to Consider when using Sodium Bicarbonate for Plants
One of the crucial considerations to keep in mind about using baking soda for your plants is to make sure you use it carefully.
Though you can use it in a number of ways, using this product in a careless way can harm your plants.
It is important to always test it on a small part of your plant before using it as a home remedy for your plants.
However, if you find the mixture to be too strong, dilute it again and try again, as each garden and its needs are different.
Make sure to protect the outdoor heating systems, wiring, and metal from exposure to baking soda.
This is because it can lead to the corrosion of metals.
Moreover, do not use this product on hot or really sunny days, as this can burn the foliage of the plants.