Baking soda is a gardener’s best friend: here are 7 clever uses in the garden
Indeed, baking soda is a versatile and useful tool for gardeners. Here are seven clever uses of baking soda in the garden:
Natural Fungicide: Baking soda can be used as a natural fungicide to combat fungal diseases like powdery mildew on plants. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a gallon of water. Spray this solution on affected plants every week or two.
Controlling Garden Pests: Baking soda can help deter some common garden pests. For example, sprinkle a line of baking soda around the perimeter of your garden to discourage crawling insects like ants and slugs.
Sweetening Tomatoes: Baking soda can help sweeten the taste of tomatoes. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the soil around tomato plants, being careful not to get it on the plant itself. The sodium bicarbonate in baking soda can lower the acidity in the soil and enhance the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Cleaning Garden Tools: Baking soda is an excellent natural cleaning agent. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste and use it to clean garden tools, pots, and other equipment. It helps remove dirt, grime, and rust without damaging the tools.
Cleaning and Deodorizing Compost Bin: To keep your compost bin smelling fresh and to discourage pests, sprinkle some baking soda in between layers of compost. Baking soda helps neutralize odors and balances the pH of the compost pile.
Test Soil pH: Baking soda can be used as a quick and inexpensive method to test soil pH. Mix soil with water to create a slurry, then add a pinch of baking soda. If the mixture fizzes, the soil is acidic, indicating a low pH.
Weed Control: Baking soda can help suppress weed growth in certain areas, especially on paths and walkways. Sprinkle baking soda on the cracks and crevices where weeds tend to grow. It won’t completely eradicate the weeds but can hinder their growth.
While baking soda has various benefits in the garden, it’s essential to use it with care and in appropriate quantities. Excessive use can alter the soil’s pH and affect plant health negatively. Always perform a patch test on a small area before applying baking soda solutions to the entire garden to avoid any adverse effects on plants.