Baking soda is one of those often ignored powerful allies that everyone has at home: we use it for cleaning, to disinfect food, and even for aesthetic purposes, but we can also use it to take care of our garden.
Here at Bright Side we searched for all the useful data on how this mineral can help us protect the health of our plants, and we wanted to share our findings with you.
1. It fights fungi in an ecological way.
Combined with soap and water, baking soda can help prevent fungus infections in certain types of plants, shrubs, and fruit trees. Simply spraying the plant with the solution can stop the spread. But you do have to keep in mind that since we’re talking about a natural product, the effects might take longer to be noticed than if you were to use chemicals. Another recommendation: observe the reaction of each plant carefully, because over-spraying can damage them.
2. It reduces the presence of annoying aphids.
Aphids are one of those little animals that we definitely don’t want in our garden. Aphids love to eat the tender stems of plants, and in the process they excrete a sweet sticky substance that attracts ants and causes a black fungus to appear. This fungus affects the process of photosynthesis, so it’s a sort of sickness for your plant. When this happens, new sprouts become deformed and the plant loses its strength. By spraying or fumigating your orchard or garden with baking soda and soap, we are more likely to keep these insects at bay and avoid the pain of seeing our plants suffer.
3. It repels ants.
As we have previously mentioned, baking soda combined with soap helps to keep aphids at bay and to prevent certain types of fungi from destroying your plants. If we add other stronger mineral fertilizers to this remedy, such as Viçosa mixture (which is basically a mix of water, copper sulfate, zinc sulfate, magnesium sulfate, boric acid, and hydrated lime) or the Bordeaux mixture (water, copper sulfate, and hydrated lime), we can also reduce the presence of ants. That’s because they will no longer find it attractive to invade our garden or orchard, since they will not be able to find the molasses produced by aphids that ants like so much.
4. It can be useful when measuring the quality of the soil.
Experts know that healthy soil is one that is neither too acidic nor too alkaline, because the more neutral the pH of the soil, the stronger and more pest-free the plants will grow.
To find out what kind of soil your garden has, you just have to follow these steps:
- Get red/purple cabbage, chop it, and pour it into boiling distilled water.
- Let it soak for 10 minutes and then strain. The resulting purple water is pH neutral.
- Put some of the cabbage water in 2 separate cups: in one of the cups add vinegar (the water will turn dark pink because of the acidity) and in the other one, baking soda (it will turn blue or green because of the alkalinity). These are the “control” colors.
- In separate containers, put some of the cabbage water and one or 2 spoonfuls of the soil you want to test. Wait 30 minutes.
If the water turns pink, the soil is acidic. If it turns blue or green, it is alkaline. If it stays purple, you have the perfect soil!
5. It helps you get a better compost.
You now know that a neutral pH is best for plants, so let’s get to work on your compost! Fill it with all the organic waste from your kitchen: cardboard, crushed stones, bones, shredded pruning remains… And make sure you keep it well-ventilated. Remember what we explained in the previous point about how to tell the condition of the resulting soil? This tool that will undoubtedly help you to start a healthy garden or orchard.