Monday, January 14, 2013

Using Baking Soda in the Garden – Cost Efficient, Green & Just Cool!

Think About Using Baking Soda
& Not Chemicals In Your Garden!

Baking soda is a household hero around the world and has always been used as an effective anti-fungal agent for generations.

Backyard gardeners truly think that baking soda's anti-fungal properties are as good if not better than store bought chemicals. You can easily use it on most plants to thwart off fungus well before it hits your garden.

*Zucchini, Tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, melons, cabbage, squash, flowers and even fruit trees can be killed or damaged by blight or powdery mildew. 

How I works is powdery mildew is a fungus that will attack the immune system of a plant or it will enter a plant's most productive phase when fruit is just about ready to ripen.

If not treated in time, baking soda may not halt fungal attack plants but it will help to slow the advance of the disease and prevent its outbreak to other plants. Once you use baking soda in your garden, you'll always use baking soda.
Use Baking Soda Indoor & Outdoor!

Use Baking Soda in the Garden
 – Cost Efficient, Green & Just Cool!

Baking soda isn't just for indoor use. Baking soda is an absolute 'must have' if you’re a backyard gardener who wants to save a buck. Besides every day indoor household uses, use baking soda (bicarbonate soda) in your every day lawn and garden maintenance.  

If you want to go green.. baking soda is your number one ingredient besides vinegar for your daily green household and garden kit. Killing weeds, cleaning ovens, freshen carpets and pet beds to stripping paint and cleaning toilets and teeth!,

Besides a refrigerator deodorant, did you know that baking soda is also an inexpensive yet most effective teeth whitener, facial/body scrub, jewelry cleaner and deodorant? Don’t get me started – Exasperation!

Here are four ways to use every day, inexpensive baking soda in your garden. Be sure to share this with other folks not only to save money but, to help save the planet from nasty chemicals that tend to get into ground water, damage plants, hurt birds and effects people’s breathing particularly in children under 12 years of age.

1.   Make a Spray to Prevent & Treat Powdery Mildew. Powdery mildew can be a problem for many plants. Plants proned to damaging powdery mildew include cabbages,  monarda - bergamot or bee balm plants, zinnias, lilacs, mushrooms, tomato, etc.

Cucumber and Squashes are particularly susceptible powdery mildew which can eventually effect the plants immune system and kill it off. There’s nothing worse than watching your plant grow to maturity, bloom and fruit and powdery mildew kill it off. Just makes you sick to your stomach. A simple mixture of baking soda, water, and dish detergent can really save your cucumber crop or deter the mildew from even happening.
Invasive Caterpillars

2.   Sprinkle Baking Soda on Cabbages (and other Brassicas) to Thwart Caterpillars, Aphids, Ants, Silver Fish and Roaches and some beetles away. Put directly onto slugs to kill them. Caterpillars can wipe out an entire crop of cabbage within a few days. Aphids can multiply so fast that a cabbage can be unrecognizable.

Caterpillars are the worst garden offenders. Those cute and colorful worms are like punks in a mash pit. When your cabbage begins to look like Swiss cheese.. you know you have caterpillars.

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. They'll eat the combo while munching on the leaves and will die within a day or so. Repeat as necessary. NOTE: The birds will enjoy the caterpillars for dinner!

3. Sweep Baking Soda into Sidewalk Cracks Discourages Weeds

Simply pour or sweep a thick layer of baking soda into sidewalk and patio cracks. The baking soda will kill any small weeds that are already there, and prevent new ones from sprouting. No worries about most flowers being affected by baking soda. Baking soda can also help your PH balance in your soil.

4. Kill Crabgrass – No Match For Baking Soda!

Crabgrass can take over a lawn. Once you begin to notice crabgrass in your lawn, garden beds, or sidewalk cracks, you can use baking soda to get rid of it for good. Simply wet it down the crabgrass or weed then pour a thick dusting of baking soda on it. The crabgrass will start dying back in two to three days. Caution Jungle Jim! Be careful where you're applying the baking soda because, too much baking soda on grass will offset the PH balance and kill common grasses.  Grass is different than flower or vegetable plants.

*Happy Sweet Tomatoes

5. Tomato Sweetener - Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda onto the soil around the plants.

6. Rabbit Deterrent - Sprinkle baking soda around your garden to keep the rabbits from eating your herbs and veggies.

7. Control Postharvest Diseases on fruits.  Baking soda is more effective when combined with yeast organisms that prevent diseases from growing than expensive chemicals.

8. Clean Garden Tools - Baking soda is the perfect abrasive to clean all of the gunk and organic build-up on your garden tools. What’s good for your teeth surely good for your garden tools. Note: calling you surely is just an expression. :O)

9. 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. Keep your precious seeds safe from humidity.


10. Clean Nails & Cuticles - All of backyard 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. Baking soda is cheaper and easier to come by Epsom salt.

*For clean and exfoliated feet and hands, scrub with baking soda and your favorite soap. This will leave nails and cuticles cleaner and softer than water alone. Baking soda is good for the entire body. Instead of buying expensive exfoliators or sugars, use baking soda and a dab of liquid soap or your favorite bar soap. You’ll figure out how much is good for your body type. Be sure to moisturize afterwards. You’ll see how moisturizer just glides over your skin. Shh… don’t tell anyone. This is a $100 tip of the day beauty secret.

*Also works to even discolored armpit skin which is usually caused from deodorant or bacteria.

11. Laundry / Stain Remover - Ahh grass and soil stains. We all love them, right? Clean discolored  or stained socks with baking soda.  I tend to clean my socks separately in a bucket before I add them to the regular wash load. You can add ½ cup of baking soda to your wash load and I guarantee that it will boost your detergents cleaning and whitening power. Ring-around-the-collar and armpit stains be gone!

12. Clean Fruits and Vegetables - Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a drop of dish soap to one gallon of water to clean fruits and vegetables. Vinegar also works for cleaning vegetables. Dunk vegetables in solution than double dip in clean water.

13. Fertilizer - Take a gallon of warm water and mix 1 tsp. of each Epsom salt, baking powder, saltpeter and 1/2 teaspon of ammonia. Use this as a fertilizer in your houseplants

14. PH level - Wet soil and take a small amount of baking soda and sprinkle onto soil, if it bubbles your soil is acidic with a PH level under 5.

15.  Black Spots on Roses - Mix 1 Tbsp. of baking soda and 1 tsp. of dawn dishwashing soap in a gallon of warm water. Spray on roses every ten days to prevent and treat black spot disease.

16. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

17. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

18. Rubber Gloves - Trouble getting on rubber gloves? Just sprinkle in some baking soda and they’ll slip right on.
19. Baking Soda kills moss and slimy green / black stains on house or RV! 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. Sprinkle baking soda directly on the lawn moss, either right out of the container or out of a shaker. I like to make my own shaker by taking a small drill bit and make holes directly into the baking soda box. To speed up ridding lawn moss, mix baking soda and a couple of drops of vinegar with water. Baking soda mixed with either water or vinegar to make a thick paste will completely get rid of moss / fungal stains.

20. Flowers and planting pots - Coat clay and terra cotta pots with a thin layer of baking soda when transplanting plants but before adding the soil. This helps keep the dirt fresh and resistant to fungus. If you have cut flowers, dip them in a solution of baking soda and water to keep water clear and to lengthen cut flower’s life. A pinch in your pickle jar of sun iced tea will also keep the water clear and keep the tea from getting milky. No worries, you won’t taste a thing and a pinch is enough for a gallon and tasteless. 

*21. Brighten and Whiten Toenails and Fingernails!

Mix two parts baking soda and one part (2-1) hydrogen peroxide. Rub paste onto toe nails and fingernails. You're going to thank me for this tip. Once you try it.. you'll use this tip at least once a month. Backyard gardeners are working with soil, vegetation, water, etc. all which can dull or stain toe and fingernails. 

Really rub in into your nails, underneath your nails and into the creases around your nails. You are going to be amazed! You're welcome :O)

*22. 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. Give it a try.

**I hope these garden-related baking soda tips come in handy. Buy baking soda in bulk for extra savings. Don’t throw away expired baking soda.. it’s still good perhaps not for baking but, it’s still good for household and garden use. Feel free to add your own. Cheers  ~*Emma

Things To Do In January

Things To Do In January
1. Purchase and plant bare-root roses, trees, vines, berries and vegetables.
2. Choose and plant camellias and azaleas.
3. Purchase cymbidiums.
4. Purchase and plant cool-season flowers to fill in bare spots.
5. Plant seeds of warm-season flowers for transplants to put out in spring.
6. Continue to plant winter vegetables from transplants and seeds.
7. Many succulents, including cacti, bloom in winter and spring; purchase new types now.
8. Prune deciduous fruit trees.
9. Prune roses.
10. Deadhead azaleas.
11. Mow cool-season lawns. Most warm-season lawns are dormant now and don't need mowing.
12. Begin to feed citrus trees in coastal zones.
13. Treat citrus trees for chlorosis.
14. Start feeding epiphyllums for bloom with 0-10-10 or 2-10-10.
15. Continue to fertilize cymbidiums that have not yet bloomed with a high-bloom formula.
16. Feed cool-season flowers.
17. Feed cineraria.
18. Fertilize cool-season lawns.
19. Water plants according to need (when the rains are not adequate).
20. Irrigate citrus trees.
21. Remember to water plants under eaves where the rains cannot reach.
22. Dormant spray roses and deciduous fruit trees.
23. Dormant spray sycamore trees.
24. Check citrus trees for pests.
25. Pick up dead camellia blossoms to prevent petal blight.
26. Protect cymbidiums from slugs and snails.
27. Control rust on cool-season lawns.
28. Check trees, shrubs, and ice plants in coastal zones for overwintering whiteflies. Control by spraying.
29. Pull weeds.
30. Spray peach and apricot trees for peach leaf curl.
31. Protect tender plants from frost.
32. Stake cymbidium bloom spikes.
33. Near the end of the month, check bamboo in coastal zones to see if it is time to propagate.