Baking soda is something everyone has in their pantry. You can use it in the kitchen and around the home as well. What many people aren’t aware of is you can use this common household staple in your garden as well. Here are some amazing ways to use baking soda in your garden.
Is Baking Soda Safe for Plants?
Before we get to the uses, it’s important to figure out whether or not baking soda is safe for plants. After all, using it in your lawn or garden means that your plants will be exposed to it.
If it’s toxic to them in any way, then that’s going to be a problem.
The good news is, it’s safe to use baking soda on plants, grass and trees. There are no adverse effects. Better yet, if you have an edible garden where you grow fruits and vegetables, they also won’t cause any hazards to the fruits or veggies. This makes them safe to eat from the garden as well.
Ways to Use Baking Soda in Your Garden
Now that we know it’s safe to apply baking soda on plants and the rest of your garden, it’s time to look at the different ways it can help it grow.
1. Test the pH of Your Soil
Baking soda is a cheap and natural way to test the pH of your garden’s soil. This makes it a money saver since you don’t have to go out and buy a soil testing kit.
Soil testing is very important because plants like a neutral environment. That is, soil with pH of around 7. This means that it isn’t too acidic nor alkaline. A balanced pH level makes the soil optimal for most plants to grow.
However, depending on a number of factors, the pH of soil can vary. In most cases they can become to acidic. Other times, can may get too alkaline.
When this happens, you have the option of taking action to bring the pH back to around 7. Or, choose plants that are more suited to the soil environment you have.
- To test your garden’s pH level, take a couple of soil samples and place them into containers.
- Next, get half a cup of vinegar and another half cup of backing soda.
- To test for soil alkalinity, pour the vinegar on one of the soil samples. If it starts to bubble up, then your garden has a pH of over 7 which makes it alkaline.
- If there is no reaction to the vinegar, add the baking soda to the other soil sample. If bubbles form then your garden has a pH of below 7 making it acidic.
2. Reduce Soil Acidity
Baking soda is alkaline. That is, it has a pH level of above 7. This makes it useful for your garden if your soil has a pH level of below 7. In these cases, adding baking soda can help bring up the pH levels.
To do so, mix the baking soda with some water and pour the mixture in a small area of your garden. Ideally, it should help balance the pH, which should result in plants growing or producing more yield.
If it works, then you can add some more to other parts of your garden to help balance the pH levels.
3. Keep Weeds and Worms Away from Your Garden and Driveway
Weeds and words are both harmful to your garden. Weeds prevent your plants from growing properly. And, it left unchecked will overwhelm your garden. Letting them do so will result in an ugly looking yard that’s filled with weeds.
The reason why weeds are such nuisance is that they grow faster than plants or grass do. They’re also better at absorbing the nutrients from the soil. So, the fertilizer you use ultimately helps weeds grow because your plants only get a fraction of it.
Worms also cause problems for gardeners. These plants attack plants with leaves including vegetables like kale, cabbage and broccoli. Once worms get to them they’ll start eating on the leaves of these plants.
This gives you the ugly holes in their leave them with holes or devours all the leaves so you’re left with little to nothing.
Baking soda is a great natural remedy for both weeds and worms. They help drive them away and keep them away from your plants and garden.
4. Help Some Flowers Bloom
Plants that like alkaline environment benefit from the high pH of baking soda. This helps them grow faster. Flowers like begonias, geraniums and hydrangeas are just some examples of high pH soil loving plants.
5. Clean the Leaves of Plants
Indoor plants don’t experience as much dirt, dust or debris as those growing outdoors. But, that doesn’t mean that they’re completely clean. Dirty plants not only look messy, but they also can prevent the plant from growing properly.
Baking soda is an easy way of keeping the leaves of indoor plants clean and clear. They help remove dust, dirt and other debris that have stuck onto the leaves.
In doing so, your plants are better able to receive direct sunlight and breathe.
6. Keep Mildew from Leaves
Spraying a mixture of water and baking soda helps prevent mildew from growing. A cousin of mold, mildew can be destructive to plants in your garden. They often make their way ono leaves and do their damage there.
Keeping mildew way is as easy as spraying the leaves of your plants with a baking soda mixture.
Pests in all forms and shapes wreak havoc on your garden. Whether they’re ants, insects or other critters, they’ll find a way to damage or destroy the plants you’ve worked so hard to grow.
This is the reason why farmers use pesticides. In the United States alone, over 130 million pounds of pesticides is used every year.
The problem is, pesticides aren’t healthy for living things. That’s why they kill the pests. And using a lot of them means that some of these harmful chemicals can make their way into your food. That is, if you have an edible garden.
Baking soda is a safe, natural compound you can use to get rid of pests in your garden. It doesn’t come with the harmful chemicals the pesticides do. So, they’re safer for you, your kids and pets.
8. Help Fight Fungal Diseases
Plants, like humans are susceptible to disease. And, once these diseases infect your garden, it can spread fairly quickly. One of these deadly plant diseases is fungus.
Baking soda provides a quick fix and preventive measure for fungal growth. While it isn’t able to directly kill them, it reduces the pH levels of the environment. This makes conditions hard for fungus to survive.
Not only does this prevent them from spreading, it also kills those that have taken place.
9. Keep Flowers Fresh Longer
Once flowers are cut from their stems they deteriorate quickly. That’s because they lose their source of sustenance. With their roots absorbing the nutrients from the soil and the stem passing it all to the flowers, they quickly wilt and die.
This is why most flowers aren’t able to stay fresh for long. Often after a day or two they’ll start wilting.
To help prolong their freshness, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water. Adding this solution to the vase or flower holder helps extend the time before the flower starts to wilt.
10. Keep Outdoor Furniture Clean
Like vinegar, baking soda is a natural way of cleaning objects. This makes them handy when you want to clean outdoor furniture, including those in your garden.
Furniture close to soil often gets dirty quickly. It’s not only the soil particles that make a mess but they also stain the color of light colored furniture.
Using baking soda mixed with dish washing liquid lets you clean objects to get them looking like new.