Chances are that you have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in the house. You probably use it for all sorts of things around the home. But, did you know you can also use it in the garden. Here are 9 ways you can use hydrogen peroxide in the garden.
Hydrogen peroxide is just water with an added molecule of oxygen. It’s chemical formula is H2O2. So, when you think about its uses, consider how extra oxygen could be beneficial.
1. To Fight Fungal Diseases
In my garden, I have a never ending battle with fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. I think it’s just part of growing vegetables. While the disease is unsightly, a lot of the time it doesn’t affect the fruit unless it gets out of hand.
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I’ve tried pretty much everything to control the disease but it seems to just keep coming back. From doing some research, I discovered that hydrogen peroxide will indeed fight fungal diseases.
And, not only powdery mildew but rust as well. Look out, powdery mildew, I’ll be trying this recipe next!
Mix 4 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide (3%) into 1 pint of water. Put this into a spray bottle. Spray any affected plant liberally. Make sure you don’t make the mixture any stronger, though. Too much H2O2 concentration can burn your plants.
You might have to apply this more than once until all the mildew is gone.
2. Fight Root Rot
Root rot can happen when plants sit in water for too long or your soil becomes saturated. When there’s too much water in the soil, there’s no space left for air. Plant roots need air just as much as we humans do.
To give your plant roots some much-needed oxygen, water them with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Only a small amount of H2O2 is needed, so don’t overdo it. You can use a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water.
This is particularly useful for root crops such as onions, carrots, beetroot and even garlic. It’s also handy if you’re growing succulents and you’ve overwatered them.
3. Sterilize Your Pots And Seedling Trays
Sterilizing your pots and seedling trays is important so that you’re not transferring any diseases to your new plants. Just soak your containers in a mixture of H2O2 and water. Then, rinse well before using them.
You can also dip your garden tools into hydrogen peroxide in between uses. This is especially good for pruning tools such as secateurs. It eliminates the risk of spreading diseases from one plant to another.
4. Help Your Plants To Take Up More Nutrients
Adding extra oxygen to the soil or potting mix allows plant roots to absorb more nutrients. Simply use the following mixture to give your plants a growth boost.
Mix 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%) into 1 gallon of water. Use this mixture to water the soil around your plants.
5. Help Seeds To Germinate Faster
The extra molecule of oxygen added to the seeds will help them to germinate faster. Plus, it will encourage strong root growth. This really gets your new plants off to a great start.
Simply soak your seeds in a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. Let the seeds soak for about 30 minutes before planting them.
As your seedlings start to emerge, use a weak solution of H2O2 and water to apply to the soil. This will also eliminate any pathogens.
6. Kill Weeds On Your Driveway And Paths
Hydrogen peroxide can be a very effective weed killer. You can pour the 10% solution directly on the weeds to kill them. Just make sure that you don’t get any on your precious plants as it will kill those as well.
7. Disinfect Your Compost Before Using It On The Garden
Although the heat in your compost will kill most bacteria and fungus, you don’t want to run the risk of introducing any extra diseases into your garden.
An easy solution is to sprinkle a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on your compost. Leave this for about a week and water a couple of times. After this, the compost should be completely safe to use on your garden.
You can even do this with commercial potting mixes if you don’t know their origin.
8. Deter Aphids From Your Roses
Aphids are another of those pesky problems that we gardeners have to deal with. And, if you don’t like using insecticides, they can be a difficult problem to control.
That’s where hydrogen peroxide comes to the rescue. Just use a 1% solution of H2O2 and spray on the leaves of your roses or any other plants bugged by aphids. The aphids won’t like it and it will keep them away. Plus, the solution should kill any eggs already on the plants.
9. Add To Your Hydroponic Water Tank
If you’re growing plants hydroponically, you can add hydrogen peroxide to your water tank. Not only will it add more oxygen to the water but it will also purify it.
Important Safety Tips
You need to ensure that you handle any hydrogen peroxide safely. Follow these safety tips:
- Use only household hydrogen peroxide (3%) and not the one that is used to bleach hair.
- Wear gloves whenever mixing your H2O2 solutions to avoid burning your skin.
- Make sure you don’t splash any on your clothes because the peroxide will bleach them.
- Never heat or boil the hydrogen peroxide. It might explode because it’s quite unstable.
- Always store your H2O2 in a cool, dark place so it doesn’t become heated.
- Keep away from children and pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because hydrogen peroxide contains an extra molecule of oxygen, it helps plant roots to absorb more nutrients from the soil. This results in a healthier root system and healthier plants.
Yes, hydrogen peroxide contains no chemical additives or alcohol. Plus, it breaks down in the soil into just oxygen and water.
If applied correctly, hydrogen peroxide can help to avoid diseases such as tomato blight. Mix around 8 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of water and spray this on your tomato plants.
I hope you found these tips on how to use hydrogen peroxide in the garden useful. As long as you handle it correctly, it can be one of the more natural ways to treat any garden problems.
Do you use hydrogen peroxide in the garden? Have you found other benefits? Please feel free to share these with us in the comments below.