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Baking soda is one of those amazing natural products that has a myriad of uses around the home and garden so if you like the idea of using natural pest and weed control, here are just 12 ways to use baking soda in the garden.
Baking soda is basically just sodium bicarbonate. This is made up of 57.1% sodium, 27.4% oxygen, 14.3% carbon and 1.2% hydrogen.
1. As A Path And Driveway Weeder
Sprinkle or sweep baking soda in a thick layer into the cracks of your paving, paths and driveways. The soda should kill small weeds already growing and will prevent new ones from coming up.
2. To Treat And Prevent Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew is a white fungal infection which is mainly found on vegetables like pumpkin, courgettes, cucumber, peas, beans and even swiss chard. It can also attack flowering plants like impatiens, lilacs and zinnias.
To treat make a spray of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 gallon of water, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. Spray this onto your plants weekly and try to apply on overcast days to avoid burning the foliage.
3. To Control Cabbage Green Caterpillar
These bright green caterpillars are the larvae of the white cabbage butterfly and love to munch on your brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages.
Mix together 50% flour with 50% baking soda and dust onto infected plants. Much easier than picking off the little culprits by hand!
4. As A Preventative For Black Spot Fungus Found Mainly On Roses
The best thing to do for black spot which discolors your foliage and can be quite unsightly is to first remove the infected leaves and remember to put them in the trash NOT the compost heap.
Then make a spray of 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons white oil and 1 gallon of water. Spray your plants and then remember to spray again as new foliage starts to appear. You can also use this mixture on grapes and other vines when fruit first appears.
5. As A Crab Grass Killer
Crabgrass can be very difficult to remove so try this method.
Firstly wet the crabgrass and then dust with straight baking soda. You can also make a paste with water and then apply it to the crabgrass with a paintbrush.
6. Sweeten Your Tomatoes
Sprinkle baking soda around your tomato plants once a week during the growing season. This lowers the acidity level of the soil resulting in sweeter tomatoes. Remember to water your plants after applying so that it goes into the soil.
You can also make up a spray with vegetable oil to prevent fungal diseases such as leaf spot and early blight. Mix 1 gallon of water with 1 tablespoon of bicarb and 2 and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add a little dish soap to the mixture so that it adheres better to the plants.
7. To Kill Slugs
Sprinkle bicarb directly on slugs to kill them. You can also sprinkle some on the soil around your plants to deter slugs and snails from eating your precious plants. Remember to be very careful not to get it on your plants though as straight baking soda will burn them.
8. To Clean And Freshen Your Waste And Recycling Bins
Because baking soda absorbs odors, it’s the perfect solution for cleaning those smelly waste and recycling bins. It’s also mildly alkaline and this helps to dissolve dirt and grime more easily.
So, try putting a thick layer of baking soda in the bottom of your waste bins after you’ve washed them out. They’ll smell much better!
9. To Clean And Freshen Up All Your Garden Furniture
Just mix up some bicarb with some dish soap in water and wipe generously over your outdoor furniture before rinsing off. All the dirt and dust will come away easily and your furniture will look like new again.
For really stubborn stains, you can make up a paste of baking soda and dish soap to give your furniture a good scrub. However, avoid using baking soda on metal furniture as this can cause the metal to corrode.
10. Cleaning And Sprucing Up Your Bird Bath
We all know just how effective baking soda is as a cleaner. Therefore, because it’s non-toxic, it’s the perfect solution for cleaning your birdbath. Just mix the baking soda with some pure soap flakes and use a scrubbing brush to clean away dirt, mildew and other stains. Your birdbath will look like new again and the birds will happily frolic in it once you fill it with clean water.
11. Make Up A Mixture To Control Aphids And Other Sap-Sucking Insects
Here’s a simple mixture you can make up to spray on your plants to help control aphids and other types of sap-sucking insects.
In a 2 gallon bucket of water, throw in 3 tablespoons of bicarb, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of pure soap flakes. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the mixture and stir well.
You can then pour this concoction into a smaller spray bottle and use it to spray all your plants on which sap-suckers like to congregate.
12. Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresher For Longer
If you love having freshly cut flowers in the house, then I’m sure that you’ve heard about putting sugar in the water to make them last longer. Well, you can do the same thing by adding a little baking soda to the water.
Just make sure you change the water and re-cut the stems every few days.
I hope you find these tips handy. I’ll be adding more as I come across them so keep checking back.