Checking to see if the soda bubbles!
Gardening is a funny old business. Many is the time the lines between gardening and other domestic pursuits are blurred, especially in the kitchen.
Is emptying the vinegar out of my pickle jars onto weeds gardening, or recycling the kitchen waste, or both? Then there’s cooking, is that just an extension of tending vegetables?
Sometimes I think too much.
One thing that I do know is that a lot of items in the kitchen cupboards can be used for pest and disease control and if used correctly could do away with buying any garden chemicals. I’ve mentioned vinegar, but what about Bicarbonate of Soda? I’ve been looking through old articles and apart from using it to whiten teeth, clean ovens, freshen carpets and pet beds, stripping paint and cleaning toilets, I can’t see that I have ever mentioned it’s virtues in the garden. Until now.
Baking soda is an absolute 'must have' in the garden and it’s very cheap to buy if you get the non-brand named packets in the baking area of the supermarket. It’s a natural product but should still be used with caution. Here are some of the things we can be doing with this white powder. Just to clarify, baking soda is the pure Sodium Bicarbonate and baking powder is soda with added ingredients like cream of tartar for cooking.
Make a Spray to Prevent and Treat Powdery Mildew.
Powdery mildew can be a problem for many plants. Plants prone to damaging powdery mildew include cabbages, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, melons, cabbage, squash.
Cucumber and squashes are particularly susceptible powdery mildew which can eventually affect the plants immune system and kill it off. A simple mixture of baking soda, water, and washing liquid can really save your cucumber crop or deter the mildew from even happening.
Sprinkle Baking Soda on cabbages (and other Brassicas) to stop caterpillars, aphids, ants, silver fish and some beetles. Put directly onto slugs to kill them.
Make a 50/50 combination of flour and baking soda, and dust it all over whichever plants the cabbage worms are eating. The mixture is good for most vegetable plants particularly cabbage, broccoli, and kale plants which caterpillars love. Repeat as necessary if the mixture is washed off.
Paving Cracks. Simply pour or sweep a thick layer of baking soda into patio cracks. The baking soda will kill any small weeds that are already there, and prevent new ones from sprouting.
Tomato Sweetener – Some say sprinkling baking soda onto the soil around the plants sweetens the fruit.
Rabbit Deterrent - Sprinkle baking soda around your garden to keep the rabbits from eating your herbs and veggies.
Control Postharvest Diseases on fruits. Baking soda is more effective when combined with yeast organisms that prevent diseases from growing than expensive chemicals.
Clean Garden Tools. Baking soda is the perfect abrasive to clean all of the gunk and organic build-up on your garden tools.
Keep Seeds Dry. Keep an envelope, box, sash, or what have you of baking soda inside of your seed box to keep your seeds dry.
Clean Nails & Cuticles. All gardeners have at least one thing in common and that’s dirty fingernails and feet. For soft, clean nails without a trip to the manicurist, simply dip your hands and feet in a bowl of warm water mixed with baking soda.
Clean Fruits and Vegetables . Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a drop of vinegar to a bowl of water to clean fruits and vegetables. Rinse well afterwards.
PH level. Wet soil and take a small amount of baking soda and sprinkle onto soil, apparently if it bubbles your soil is acidic with a PH level under 5.
Black Spots on Roses. Mix 1 Tbsp. of baking soda and 1 tsp. of washing up liquid in a bucket of warm water. Spray on roses every ten days to prevent and treat black spot disease.
Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.
Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.
Rubber Gloves. Trouble getting on rubber gloves? Just sprinkle in some baking soda and they’ll slip right on.
Baking Soda kills moss and slimy green / black stains. Baking soda isn’t harmful to the rest of your lawn and plants, but it will cause lawn moss to turn brown and die within a week. Baking soda mixed with either water or vinegar to make a thick paste will completely get rid of moss / fungal stains.
Remove labels from garden pots and garden decorations . There's nothing worse than buying a beautiful ceramic garden pot, pretty patio accessories or dishes for your next bar-b-que and you can't seem to remove that pesky price tag or manufactures label. Here's a homemade sticker remover that will save you money from having to buy a professional adhesive goo remover. Mix 1/3 cup baking soda and 2/3 cup of vegetable oil. It works every time. And you don’t even need to get the WD40 out.