9 clever ways to use baking soda in your garden
There aren't many household products that are as versatile as baking soda. Whether as a remedy for heartburn, a polish for silverware, or a deodorizer for your fridge, this seemingly magic powder is useful in countless situations. But now that gardening seasoning is just around the corner, it's time to take another look at this household wonder. Here are nine ways you can tweak your green thumb by using this baking powder outdoors...
Mildew is the general term for a variety of different molds that form a milky-white film on leaves. It's every gardener's nightmare, but there is a solution. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with two pints of water and spray it on the leaves every 10 days. Your mildew problem will be a thing of the past.
Unwanted plants that grow in the cracks and between patio stones are a real nuisance. But if you sprinkle some baking soda on the places they're cropping up, your weed problem will be gone in no time.
First things first: ants are actually very beneficial to a garden and shouldn't be exterminated unless they're causing a real problem, e.g. nesting in the walls of your house. But if it's necessary, you can sprinkle a mix of baking soda and powdered sugar on their main pathways and they'll be out of your hair (and house) soon enough.
Slivers are almost unavoidable when you're doing garden work. If that pesky bit of wood won't come out easily, try rubbing some baking soda on it, wrapping it with a bandage and letting it take effect for three to four hours. This should bring the splinter far enough out of the skin that you can get a grip on it and pull it out.
When the fruit is ripe, it's time to make some homemade jam. Most people use old jars that already had something in them and these usually have a big label on them. To get rid of these old labels, make a paste from cooking oil and baking soda and brush it onto the labels. Half an hour later, those labels will nearly peel themselves off!
6. Limescale on flower pots
The flowers look gorgeous, but those pots! Ughh! To get rid of unsightly limescale on your flower pots, make a mix of baking soda, citric acid and corn starch. This combination on its own won't do much, but if you soak the pots in diluted vinegar first, this mix will remove that limescale in the blink of an eye.
When you're out working in the garden, stains on your clothing are just par for the course. But that doesn't mean you have to live with them! Mix some baking soda and water into a paste and rub it on those stains. Let it sit for a while and then rinse it out. Those stains are history!
Heavy, unpleasant odors are just part of nature and you won't be able to avoid them in your garden. We don't recommend trying to mask the smell of your compost heap by covering it with baking soda, but you can use it in other places. For example, if you store garbage cans in the garage or the tool shed, you might want to leave a container of baking soda beside them to soak up the worst of the smell.
If you thought mildew was bad, these little critters are even worse. Most people rush out to the hardware store and buy some harsh pesticide when they find them on their plants, but there is a much more natural solution. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda into two pints of water and spray the plants that are affected. When it's rainy, simply add some cooking oil and organic curd soap to the mix so that it sticks to the leaves. If you notice scale insects or mealybugs on the leaves, add some rectified spirits to the mix.
Having some baking soda in the house is always a good idea and now you might want to keep some in your shed, too. Happy gardening!