7 Natural Uses For Baking Soda In The Garden

1. Non-Toxic Fungicide
Mix 4 tsp of baking soda and 1 gallon of water. Use to defend against black spot fungus on roses and to protect grapes and other vine plants upon the first fruits appearing.

2. Spray to Treat and Prevent Powdery Mildew
Combine 1 tbsp baking soda, 1 gallon water, 1 tbsp vegetable oil (any variety), 1 tbsp dish washing liquid. Mix all ingredients and fill a spray bottle the mixture. Spray your at risk plants weekly, being sure to only apply on overcast days or days with no direct Sun to allow the mixture to dry before direct Sunlight returns – or the foliage can become Sun damaged. Powdery mildew typically attacks impatiens, lilacs, cucumbers, squash and zinnias.

3. Discourage Gnats In Soil & Fungus on Leaves
Combine 1 gallon water, 4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp biodegradable soap. Mix thoroughly, spray infected foliage or soil as needed.

4. Discourage Weeds
Pour or sweep baking soda into cracks in sidewalks and patios. The thicker the amount the better. The baking soda should not only prevent weeds from developing, but it should also kill any small weeds that have already sprouted.

5. Kill Cabbage Worms
Mix equals parts flour and baking soda, then dust your effected plants being attacked by cabbage worms (cabbage, broccoli, kale). They chew the treated leaves and typically die within a day or two. Repeat dusting every couple of days until the cabbage worms are taken care of.

6. Kill Crabgrass
Just wet the crabgrass, pour a heavy dusting of baking soda on the weed. The crabgrass should start dying back in 2 or 3 days. However a word of caution – never apply to grass or other similar plants as it can burn and destroy your normal grass as well.

7. Clean Your Hands
After a day in the garden dirt, clean your hands by rubbing and scrubbing wet hands with baking soda. Rinse thoroughly.

Slugs

Slugs can be a real problem in the garden, as well as really grossing you out!

Here is a recipe for a slug attractant.

Slug Brew:
1 teaspoon brewers yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Cup of water
1 large shallow dish, I use the lid from a large jar of mayonnaise or peanut butter, or something similar.

Mix it all up together.
Place the lid in your garden near where you are having slug issues.
Fill with Slug Brew.

The idea here is that the slugs will be attracted to the brew, crawl into it at night, which is why the container needs to be shallow. The container can be easily discarded come morning.

If you can set the lid into the garden right at garden level it should help in making it as easy as possible for the slugs to get into the trap.

I have heard that people simply use beer, instead of mixing up the recipe here, but I haven’t tried it. I believe it should work though as it is the yeast, which is in the beer, that will attract the slugs.

Plant Markers or Tags

Nothing is worse that looking at a plant in your garden and saying “What is that?”.

Next worse thing is to plant thinking that you’ll know what that plant is next year.

I’ve taken to labeling all of the plants in my gardens so that I always know what they are. This also benefits visitors in that they can easily see what the plants are, and they don’t have to ask me! It also helps me when my memory slips a little. I know, I’m giving away my age.

There are a lot of things that can be used for plant markers. One that I use frequently when I’m sowing seeds in six-packs is cut up plastic containers. The big tubs for margarine are ideal. Just get a large pair of scissors and cut the bottom off and then cut it up into sticks one to two inches wide. Write on them with a permanent marker and you’ll know what’s in those six packs when the begin to sprout … or don’t begin to sprout.

They work OK in the garden too, although they are certainly not the most attractive markers you could make. Look around your house, there are no doubt a lot of things you can use for plant markers. One very elaborate item I read about was old spoons. This person actually said to use “antique spoons”. I’d think they would be a bit pricey, but certainly you can find “old” spoons at a flea market or tag sale. Their method was to hammer the spoon out flat and then use steel punches to spell out the name. The punches are available, but again, to assemble an entire alphabet is going to run up the bill. Of course technically they will last forever. I like the free, or next to free, things around the house to use.

I’ve used paint sticks, you know, those paddles they give you when you buy paint. They work great although outdoors they tend to weather fairly quick. Wedges used by carpenters to level cabinetry and fill in spaces in doorways and windows work well too. They also will weather.

I saw someone using clothes pins. They wrote right on the wood handle of the clothes pin and then pinned the tag to a stick or rod pushed into the ground. I read of another who printed the name out from their computer and then taped it onto the clothes pin with clear tape. That is a nice idea although it won’t weather well either.

A new idea came to me this past year and the timing could of of been better. Use old venetian style blinds as plant markers! I was painting the house and replacing the blinds we had. I had a mix of both aluminum and plastic. They both work perfectly. Simply cut the strings and remove. Then you can cut the slats down to whatever size you need. Cut them long enough to go all the way into the pot you will use it on, and then long enough to stick up far enough to be seen, and to hold the name you will write on it. I cut most of mine in half making them about the right size to use. These are great in the garden too. One set of blinds will supply you with a lot of plant labels! This is one of those great ideas for recycling that come along from time to time.

I ran into this while going through gardening information online. This looks great and like a lot of fun, with great results, although it must be a bit time consuming. Have a look at these plant markers. Does this lend itself well to your backyard garden? Wood branch and sticks plant markers