Do you have a garden? How much do you treasure it? Well, the size of the garden doesn’t matter. The important thing is it gives you and your family what you need. For many years, homeowners have learnt a few tricks that enable them get the best from their garden. However, it has been proven that putting too much baking soda on plants will ultimately have negative results.
Before we talk of the effect of baking soda on plant growth, it is important that we learn a few of those tricks that have helped many homeowners reap the most from their gardens. Only then will we be in a position to understand the bad side of over-applying this essential commodity.
Is Baking Soda Good For My Plants?
The simple and quick answer is yes!
Research reveals that there is more to baking soda or sodium bicarbonate when used in the garden than you may think. If so, let’s talk briefly about some of the surprising uses of baking soda you can implement in your garden.
1. Sweeten Tomatoes
Although there is much debate about this, the truth is you will love to sink your teeth inside a ripe and sweet tomato that has come right from the garden. However, not all tomatoes are sweet even when they appear ripe.
Don’t just sit there doing nothing. Let baking soda help you sweeten your tomatoes. How? By sprinkling a liberal amount of baking soda on the plant’s root area. This act will work by reducing the soil’s acid level, which if left uncurbed, will make your tomatoes acidic.
The point here is; the lower the acid levels in the soil, the sweeter the produce.
- You need to make sure that the baking soda you are applying to the soil does not touch any part of the plant but the soil.
2. Keeps Pests Away
Yes, if pests have infested your garden, the best, fastest, and perhaps most affordable way you can get rid of them is by applying the garden with a liberal amount of baking soda. Because most pests that attach your crops camouflage in the soil, your target should be to sprinkle the soil with baking soda.
When done properly (without necessarily touching the crops), you will get rid of roaches, ants, and slugs.
3. Prevents Fungi
Powdery mildew is one of the notorious things that once it lands on a crop, destroys a beautiful plant. A beautiful flower that sits at the center of the garden can be brought down within a few hours.
But, you can avoid this by spraying the plant especially by targeting the parts with most mildew. To be able to do this, you need to mix a small amount of baking soda, liquid soap, and water before spraying the affected parts or plants.
4. Kills Weeds
Yes, baking soda is a perfect remedy for killing weeds in your garden, sidewalk, and getting rid of any unwanted plants in your yard. Unlike the previous hack, where you need to mix baking soda with water and liquid soap, this time, you apply a liberal amount of baking soda into the cracks in the soil where unwanted crops emerge.
5. Keeps Cut Flowers Fresh
Although you love your flowers, there reaches a time you need to prune them. When that time comes, pruned flowers tend to wither a little bit before they regenerate again. You can expedite the process and actually make the cut flowers look as fresh as possible by spraying them with a mixture of baking soda and water.
After looking at those baking soda hacks that bring positive results on your garden, it is now time to answer the important question.
What Happens When You Apply Too Much Baking Soda On Plants?
One of the basic ingredients of baking soda is sodium. If used as required, sodium is not entirely bad on plants. However, too much of baking soda or sodium for that matter, will have detrimental effects on your plants.
In other words, a lot of sodium in the soil will be toxic to the plants. That means, if you apply too much baking soda to the soil, which evidently carries large amounts of sodium, you will increase the amount of acid levels in the soil.
Ultimately, the higher the acid levels in the soil, the lesser the chances of your plants to survive. It’s even worse if you apply baking soda (without mixing it with anything) directly to plants – they will definitely die.
There is more into that.
Sodium (a large component in baking soda) is highly and readily soluble in water. Therefore, even if you see that your plants have not been affected immediately after applying too much of it in the soil, you are not out of the hook yet.
Research reveals that when it rains (which happens most of the time), sodium is washed quickly and easily into the soil far away from the place of application. After sometime, let’s say a few days after putting too much of it into the soil, the plants in your garden start to wither and die in the end.
Besides, too much baking soda on plants, especially when done repeatedly, leads to the soil being ‘sodic’. What that means is sodic soil is soil that is affected by too much salt. With high salt levels, usually prevent roots from taking in water from the already acidic soil.
In the end, plants in your garden will look like they are experiencing a drought climate when indeed there is none. It is particularly serious if the crops in your garden are newly-planted or are germinating.
Even on mature plants, too much baking soda affects root formation, causes stunt flowering, and leads to low yields especially on the leafy vegetables.
The worst part of it is that too much sodium in the garden does not select weeds from genuine plants that you want to keep. Therefore, when applying baking soda in your garden, be sure that you target the unwanted plants.
Even when you want to apply on the right plants, you need to ensure that it is little because too much baking soda on plants will definitely ruin your crops, lower your harvest, and spoil your valuable garden.