10 Ways to Use Baking Soda in the Garden

We all know that we should keep a carton of baking soda in the fridge to take away odors. but there are so many other uses for it too, even in the garden!  Baking soda in the garden is often used in various “green cleaning” techniques.  It has so many uses in the house, so it makes sense that it would work outside too.

10 ways to use baking soda in the garden

Baking Soda in the Garden Projects

Here are 10 ways to use baking soda effectively in your garden.

  • Use it as a natural fungicide.  Just mix 4 tsp of baking soda and 1 gallon of water. Use the mixture on roses for black spot fungus and also on grapes and vines when fruit first begins to appear.
  • Garden Grime buster:  Rub baking soda on wet hands after gardening. Rinse well.
  • Use it for Powdery Mildew.  Powdery mildew can cause major problems in gardens with high humidity.   It affects many plants but zinnias, impatiens, squash and cucumbers are often badly affected.  Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda, 1 gallon of water, 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of dish washing liquid.   Mix and put in a sprayer.  Use weekly. (try to use it when it is not too sunny)
  • Rejuvenate your rose bushes.  Mix together one tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp of  clear ammonia and one tsp Epsom salt in a gallon of water.  One gallon will treat four buses that have lost their luster.
  • Use it as a weed killer/preventer.  Pour baking soda full strength onto cracks in a patio or walkway.  This will kill any small weeds sprouted and prevent new ones from growing.
  • Make a fungicide.  Tomato plants can be prone to fungal infections.  Treat them organically. Combine a gallon of water with a tbsp of baking soda and 2 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a spray bottle. Stir and add 1/2 tsp of castile soap.  Spray this solution on the foliage of tomato plants until any fungal disease disappears.
  • Kill Crabgrass.  Wet the crab grass and pour a heavy dusting of baking soda on it.  The crab grass will die back in a few days.  (avoid surrounding grass if you can.)
  • Test your soil PH.  Wet the soil and take a small amount of baking soda and sprinkle it onto soil.  If the baking soda bubbles, your soil is acidic with a PH level under 5.
  • Discourage pests in the garden.  Sprinkle baking soda on the soil in your garden.  Rabbits, ants, silver fish and roaches do not like it and will stay away.  Kill slugs by putting it right on the pest. (don’t get it on the plants though.)

Have you found other uses of baking soda in the garden?  Please leave your tips in the comments section below.

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  58 comments for “10 Ways to Use Baking Soda in the Garden

  1. 07/01/2013 at 12:31 am

    Great ideas

    • Johnnie m. May
      04/22/2015 at 11:43 am

      Hi Carol, thank you for your baking soda tips I’m going to try this this evening. I appreciate natural ways to get rid of garden pest. I too love gardening both flowers and vegetables. Again thanks Johnnie M.

      • admin
        04/22/2015 at 2:51 pm

        My pleasure Johnnie. Glad you found the article useful. Carol

    • Bua Paul
      04/05/2017 at 6:19 am

      Is the use of dish washing soap in controlling powdery mildew acceptable in organic farming?

      • Carol
        04/05/2017 at 8:51 am

        I have read the thinking goes both ways. Some say yes and others say no. You can buy commercial insecticidal soap (much more effective and safer than dish detergent), Neem oil, vegetable based horticultural oils, and several other commercial products that are deemed appropriate for organic gardeners. Carol

  2. Mary Ellen Worthy
    07/06/2013 at 4:47 pm

    I like your sugestions.

    • admin
      07/06/2013 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks Ellen!


  3. Robert Carlisle
    03/01/2014 at 9:10 pm

    Each year my tomato plants do rather well except the fruit has black rot on the bottom of the tomato’s, I tried the commercial grade sold at lowes for this but still have it, any ideas for this year???

    • admin
      03/04/2014 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Robert. It sounds like blossom end rot.

      Keep the soil’s pH at 6.0 to 6.5.
      Use mulches to conserve moisture. Mulches conserve soil moisture and reduce incidence of blossom-end rot.
      Give your plants plenty of water. Tomato plants need about 1.5 inches of water a week during fruiting and more if it is very hot where you live.
      Some varieties of tomatoes tend to be more sensitive to conditions that cause blossom-end rot. Try growing several varieties and keep notes as to their performance.


      • J Sluys
        06/22/2014 at 4:32 pm

        When planting tomatoes, try putting crushed egg shells in the hole. The calcium will help to prevent blossom end rot.

        • admin
          06/22/2014 at 6:41 pm

          Thanks for the tip! Carol

      • Brandy
        02/03/2017 at 7:54 pm

        I learned on youtube to ensure no blossom end rot, you HAVE to add plenty of fish bone meal *calcium* nitrate granuals to your soil (which I scored on ebay for around $15 big bag) they cannot get enough calcium so if you add that no end rot- I also use crushed diff B, D and C vitamins from dollar store to the dirt and to my watering can, another trick I got from bogs

        • Carol
          02/04/2017 at 8:27 am

          Thanks for the tips Brandy. Carol

    • Terry Claxton
      08/16/2015 at 10:09 am

      it is a calcium deficiency in the soil.

      • admin
        08/16/2015 at 1:05 pm

        Thanks for the info Terry. Carol

  4. Jk
    04/30/2014 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve had problems with blossom end rot on tomatoes, there are two ways to combat it, as Blossom End Rot on tomatoes is usually caused by a Calcium Deficiancy in my case.

    First, by dolomite as it usually will correct the problem.

    Second, you can by a Calcium Spray at any lowes that will correct the problem.

    • annette
      09/21/2014 at 11:26 am

      i used blood meal found at lowes to combat the blossom end rot. worked amazingly

      • admin
        09/21/2014 at 2:13 pm

        thanks Annette. The last time I asked about blood meal in Lowe’s, they had no idea what I was talking about. Perhaps my store stocks it now. Carol

        • Johnny
          06/30/2016 at 12:45 am

          For blossom end rot….mix cup of pelletised lime in 1 gal water. Poor in soil. About 2 cups per plant. Do this every 14 days. Calcium and magnesium rich .

          • Carol
            06/30/2016 at 10:04 am

            Thanks for the tips Johnny. Appreciate it. Carol

  5. 06/24/2014 at 8:23 am

    Some fantastic ideas here, my favourite being the ‘sweeten your tomatoes’ I never knew it was possible to use baking soda in such a versatile way.

  6. Elysia
    08/30/2014 at 12:07 am

    I’m trying to find as many ways to save water as I can (living in California) and I wondered about using bath water to water my plants. My concern is that my bath water contains baking soda, Epsom salt and magnesium chloride (due to the draught the only time I takes baths instead of showers is for health/detox purposes). Will these ingredients harm my plants? I have a variety of potted & in-ground flowers, tomatoes, veggies, etc. Thanks so much!

    • admin
      08/30/2014 at 10:00 am

      Hi Elysia. I’ve never used bath water (also called gray water by gardeners) but most of my research says that it is not harmful. Epsom salt is actually beneficial and baking soda can do a bit of good and normally does not harm them. Magnesium chloride is the only one I am not sure about. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which is beneficial, but not sure on the magnesium chloride.


    • Carolyn
      12/22/2016 at 5:23 pm

      If you put a new unused disposable diaper in the bottom of your pots it will help hold the water a lot longer than not using one. You can also use disposable pads used for bladder leakage. The diaper will cover a larger area. I find in Phx AZ that the diaper in a 5 gal pot keeps the soil moist from 3-5 days when normally I would have to water every day to day & a half. They will last a season then you’ll need to change your plants diaper again.

      • Carol
        12/22/2016 at 5:59 pm

        Does it make the pot heavy? Carol

  7. megan
    10/15/2014 at 1:08 am

    Baking soda also works wonders for cleaning terra cotta pots and garden decor I actually just went through and cleaned some of mine today.

    • admin
      10/15/2014 at 9:46 am

      Thanks for the tip Megan. I will try it on mine. Carol

    12/10/2014 at 6:55 am

    thanks ;i’d try to my plants tomatoes,in the weeds around it
    baking soda.

  9. 01/02/2015 at 10:09 am

    will baking soda work on squash plants? our butternut squash leaves get what looks like white mold & then the plant dies.

    • admin
      01/02/2015 at 11:03 am

      Hi Kathy, The methods will work for most plants, but what you have described sounds as though you may have squash bugs. This article describes the effect they have on plants. http://thegardeningcook.com/?s=squash+bugs


  10. ashfaq ali
    05/16/2015 at 12:47 am

    Very beneficial.

  11. 05/17/2015 at 2:57 am

    Hi. I love your tips on baking soda but you didn’t tell us how often to use the baking soda
    to sweeten our tomatoes. Just once ?

    • admin
      05/17/2015 at 11:19 am

      Hi Jacque. It is good to test on one plant just to make sure the soil is not already acidic, but generally once when the tomatoes are about 1 inch in size and again when they are about half grown.


  12. Dyah Palupi
    06/08/2015 at 1:59 am

    Thanks for the tip! Carol

    • admin
      06/08/2015 at 11:01 am

      My pleasure Dyah. Glad you found the tip useful. Carol

  13. Lucille
    06/19/2015 at 3:42 pm

    There’s lots of information on You Tube about putting 3 or 4 inches of shredded woodchips on the garden soil. It keeps it moist and you won’t need to water much. The wood makes the soil healthier.
    You will need to add more every year. Happy gardening……….

    • admin
      06/19/2015 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Lucille. Thanks for the tip. I do use mulch on all my garden soil and it really does help with moisture.

  14. meg heydlauff
    06/25/2015 at 8:20 am

    I put about 1/2 cup of wood ashes in hole before planting tomatoes, tomatoe plants are healthier & tomatoes have a sharp tomato taste.

    • admin
      06/25/2015 at 10:01 am

      Hi Meg. I don’t have a wood burning fireplace but have heard that wood ash is good for plants. Glad to hear it works well for you. Thanks for sharing the tip. Carol

  15. chris
    07/02/2015 at 7:59 pm

    How many trusses of tomatoes,would you recommend ,prior to nipping the top off? And is it a good idea to trim off bottom leaves up to first formed truss?I read somewhere a T Plant only needs say 6 leaves to maximize quantity of fruit? Is this so? Chris.

    • admin
      07/02/2015 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Chris. If you nip the top, all of the energy will go to the tomatoes that are on the plant and no new ones will form. I always trim off the lowest leaves, since it makes it easier to water at the roots of they are clipped off. Carol

  16. Ted Brydges
    07/16/2015 at 10:06 am

    Mix baking soda with water and pour over unwanted mushrooms in your lawn to get rid of them! Works for me!

    • admin
      07/16/2015 at 10:22 am

      Hi Ted. Thanks for sharing the great tip. I had not thought of doing that. Carol

  17. Mary Tschetter
    08/03/2015 at 9:00 pm

    Carol, with the baking soda ,ammonia,and epsom salt, with one gallon of water, do I pour it on the roots of the roses, or spray it on the leaves .
    Thank you for all your great hints..

    • admin
      08/03/2015 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Mary, I would put it into a spray bottle and spray on the roses.

  18. Liz D.
    08/05/2015 at 8:29 pm

    I wish I found this page earlier in the year. We had an awful time with fungal issues with tons of rain this year. Thanks for the tips and will try them all. Thank goodness for Pinterest or I wouldn’t have found you. 🙂

    • admin
      08/05/2015 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Liz. Welcome to my site. I hope that you enjoy looking around. Carol

  19. sharron carney
    09/13/2015 at 7:31 pm

    Enjoyed your site

    • admin
      09/13/2015 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Sharron. Welcome! Glad you are enjoying the site. Carol

  20. Rachel
    01/11/2016 at 1:23 pm

    Curious how baking soda can simultaneously be GOOD for garden plants and BAD for “weeds”…some of my “weeds” are edibles that I’d worry about killing in my zeal to do good…

    • Carol
      01/11/2016 at 3:22 pm

      Is is all in where you place it and how much, I think.

  21. Lenore
    06/06/2016 at 9:08 pm

    I have tiny little ants in my soil . The are so tiny and look red to me.. I sprinkled baking soda over my soil because I read if they are red they will kill my plants ..

    • Carol
      06/06/2016 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Lenore. Did the ants die or go away? Carol

  22. Webb Christel
    02/12/2017 at 5:02 am

    The ant will take the baking soda into the nest where they and other ants will eat it and then explode. Not such a nice death but I don’t know if ants feel pain.

  23. Carol
    04/18/2017 at 11:23 am

    Wow, I’ve found a lot of useful tips. I like easy, inexpensive ways to enhance plants!
    Carol also.

    • Carol
      04/18/2017 at 1:55 pm

      HI Carol. I’m glad you found the article useful! Carol

  24. lisa
    09/08/2017 at 12:14 am

    Hi Carol,
    I make a mistake by put one tablespoon of baking soda into my cucumber plant’s soil. within few days, all the small cucumber and all the flower that ready to become baby cucumber turn dry and dead! I was very shock and sad. Is there anyway that I can still rescue my plants? The plant is too big to transfer to different pot. I have it in the big pot and the vine go all over my grapes. Thanks. I am waiting for your answer.

    • Carol
      09/08/2017 at 11:50 am

      It is hard to rescue vegetables that have been damaged this way. I would try cutting off the damaged areas and giving it a good watering and then watch to see if new growth appears.

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