Gardeners believe that baking soda is good for plants since it destroys harmful bacteria and microorganisms.
Some gardening experts report that baking soda is effective for getting rid of mildew, among other harmful fungi. Well, this is not entirely true.
Baking soda is not an effective solution for the eradication of mildew. However, it does not harm plants in any way. This leavening agent is popularly known to prevent fungal spores but is not effective in removing them.
Consequently, gardeners can use baking soda to reduce the formation of fungal spores. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is not considered 100% safe for plants.
This is because it contains the chemical compound sodium that can adversely affect plants. Sodium is known to cause the burning of roots, stems, and leaves.
Also, this chemical element tends to remain in the soil and affect future plant growth. Even so, farming experts concluded that sodium bicarbonate has zero negative effects on plants.
How do you use Sodium Bicarbonate on Plants?
When you want to apply baking soda to plants, it would be best to mix it in water. Baking soda should constitute only one percent of the solution, while water should make up 99%.
This is the only way to ensure it remains mild on plants. You can also add horticultural oils and soap to the mixture just to make it more effective.
How does baking soda work as a fungicide?
If you are planning to destroy fungi using baking soda, it is essential to know the following. Typically, sodium bicarbonate gets to the fungal cells and tampers with ion concentration.
In turn, the fungal cells collapse, and this protects the plants from fungal spores. The major disadvantage of using baking soda on plants is that it can lead to leaf burns.
These usually appear as yellow or brown patches on the leaves. Fortunately, you can prevent this problem by diluting the baking soda thoroughly.
Is Baking Soda Good for Plants?
At the end of the day, baking soda is not bad for plants. It helps in reducing the growth of fungal spores and does not have any severe effects on plants. In fact, some experts say that baking soda is the best for removing fungi from fruits and vegetables.
If you spray baking soda regularly on your plants, you make them more immune to diseases.
Sodium bicarbonate solution is water-soluble. So, if you want the baking soda to work effectively on your plants, it would be best to spray it on a dry cloudy day. Nevertheless, before applying baking soda solution and any other homemade mix, you need to test the solution on a certain section of your plants.
This way, you’ll be able to determine the reaction of the plants when you are spraying this solution. Avoid applying baking soda solution on a hot, sunny day since this can lead to the burning of the leaves.
Uses of baking soda in the garden
Several studies have proven that baking soda is an effective weed killer. When you spray it in your garden, it inhibits the growth of weeds. In particular, the baking soda solution is effective in getting rid of tiny weeds and crabgrass.
All you have to do is spray the weed-infested area with baking soda solution using a watering hose or can. Use a high concentration of baking soda but be careful not to burn the plants. Ensure you spray the solution directly on the weeds.
This will burn the weeds, especially when you spray on a sunny day. In case it rains, you may need to reapply the baking soda solution. This is because rain will have diluted the baking soda solution.
Nevertheless, note that the baking soda solution only focuses on destroying the leaves. It does not kill the roots of the weeds. Therefore, you may have to apply baking soda solutions from time to time.
Doing this helps you deny the root system nutrients. Eventually, the weeds will die. Using baking solutions to kill weeds is very affordable and effective. So, consider trying this weed removal technique.
DIY Soil Acidity Test
Did you know you can conduct a soil acidity test using baking soda? Generally, it is essential to know the pH of your soil. This way, you’ll be able to maintain its desired pH. Baking soda helps you determine the alkalinity and acidity of the soil.
When conducting a pH test using baking soda, you first need to collect soil samples from different locations. Then proceed to test for pH.
- Conducting an acid test: Take the soil in the container and pour half a cup of water into it. Mix the water with the soil until the soil becomes damp and muddy. Then, add one full spoon of baking soda to the mixture and stir. Afterward, observe the reaction of the soil. When you notice signs of bubbling, this means there are acid components in the soil. Thus, you need to increase the pH of the soil until it becomes neutral. However, the best soil pH you need to maintain often depends on the type of crops you are growing.
- Conducting an alkalinity test: On the other hand, pour half a cup of vinegar into the soil and observe the reaction if you wish to test for alkalinity. When bubbling occurs, it means that there are alkaline substances in the soil. Thus, you will need to lower the pH of the soil.
If no reaction occurs in either of the scenarios, it means that the soil has a neutral pH. The downside of using baking soda to test for acidity is that you won’t know the exact pH number.
Lowers acidity in the soil
Gardeners often use sodium bicarbonate solution to increase the pH of the soil. If you find that your soil is too acidic, consider adding baking soda solution. All you have to do is apply a layer of baking soda on top of the soil.
As you do this, water the soil to help the baking soda sink into the soil. However, ensure that you pour the baking soda solution in moderate amounts. Keep repeating until you obtain your desired results. You can also use sodium bicarbonate to make tomatoes sweeter.
All you have to do is sprinkle the solution at the foot of the tomato plants from time to time. Don’t allow the baking soda solution to get in contact with the tomato leaves. Otherwise, it would burn the plant.
Make your blooms appear brighter and healthier
Another use of baking soda in the garden is that you can use it to make your blooms appear brighter. This is common for plants that love alkaline soil. There is a broad spectrum of flowers that thrive in alkaline conditions.
Thus, you can use baking soda to ensure the planting environment stays alkaline. Some flowers that grow well in alkaline conditions include Begonias, geranium, aster, bluebells, and hydrangea.
Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the base of the flowers. It would be best to spread a thin layer of baking soda before you start planting your flowers.
Baking acts as a plant rejuvenator
Are your plants going through heat stress? You can restore them using a baking soda solution. Sodium bicarbonate acts as a restorer of heat-stressed plants. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with half a tablespoon of ammonia and one tablespoon of Epsom salt.
Then add water to the solution until everything dissolves. Sprinkle the diluted mixture on your plants. This mixture is usually beneficial for rose plants.
Baking soda can help gardeners reduce garden spores and balance the alkalinity of the soil. Fortunately, baking soda does not have any adverse effects on plants. Nevertheless, you have to know the best way to use this solution.