As global citizens of a technologically advanced world with its instant solutions, we often tend to simply to reach out to whatever is there on supermarket shelves. From cleaning solutions, to personal care, home care or even our health. But the downside is that a lot of these things are loaded with chemicals which are harmful to our health as well as cause indoor air pollution. To counter toxic, non biodegradable solutions, we bring to you our special #NaturalBornHealers series in which we show you natural solutions to urban problems – insomnia, immunity, nutrition to home-cleaning and even natural care of our green bff’s – plants! In today’s feature we present to you a basic chemical compound that is a wonder for toxicity-free gardening and give 30 plant care tips with just this one compound.

Greening up your greens

While plants are helpful in combating indoor and outdoor pollution, it is often their upkeep which tends to create problems. We introduced you to the Smart Plant app so your plant maintenance would become easier but how do take care of the plants without toxic pesticides & herbicides? In this easy infographic, we explained how to grow an organic garden.
Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants. Insecticides are generally the most acutely toxic class of pesticides, but herbicides can also pose risks to non-target organisms. Pesticides deserve a big red cross when it comes to your living space!  The alternative to this eco enemy is much simpler inexpensive and closer to home. It is in fact in your kitchen. Readers say hello to BAKING SODA! We have laid enough emphasis on green living being stress free and simple and today we team up with Gary to further amplify your green lifestyle.

Meet Gary who introduces us to a wonder compound!

Gary grew plants commercially as a nursery owner for over 30 years and  Over that time he used many chemicals « to do the job. » However he slowly began to look for different methods, and ways to approach pest control from a more natural way after concerns with employees coming in contact with, handling and applying dangerous chemicals. Expense and believing there was a better way he started on the path to going more natural. Neem oil replaced malathion, diatomaceous earth, BT and others soon became a part of our growing approach to pest control.
Losing his dog to poisoning also was a big motivation for him. Let no more lives be lost due to mismanagement and no more compromises be made on health for fast solutions. Here is a complete breakdown of 30 fast and simple ways we can use natural baking soda in the garden.

30 Ways to Use Natural Baking Soda In The Garden

If you’re like most people, you probably have a box of baking soda in your kitchen cupboard and/or in your fridge. This simple, useful, natural product has so many uses in health, personal care and household chores that it’s really a “must have” for just about everyone. Baking soda is a vital part of green cleaning and has so many uses in the house, but what about the garden? Here some great ideas to help you get even more use from versatile, affordable baking soda in your yard and garden.

What Is Baking Soda?

This simple, natural product is made up entirely of sodium bicarbonate, a highly alkaline substance. When it comes in contact with acidic substances it bubbles. The bubbles give off carbon dioxide gas. This is the property of bicarb soda that makes it a good leavening agent for bread baking. This property also makes it a good choice for settling upset stomachs. Its cleansing and mildly abrasive properties make it a good cleaning agent. It also possesses the ability to absorb and neutralize odours.

6 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Care For Your Plants

1 – Clean Plant Leaves

Plants need photosynthesis to survive and thrive. To help your houseplants make the most of the sunshine they receive, keep their leaves clean by wiping them gently with a damp sponge or soft cloth dampened with a very dilute solution of baking soda and water. Add about half a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda to a litre of pure, filtered water to make this gentle cleaning solution.
2 – Give Your Plants a Boost
 If your plants are looking listless, try watering with a combination of:

  •   1 gallon of pure, filtered water
  •   1 tsp baking soda
  •   1 tsp Epsom salts
  •   ½ tsp ammonia

Do this on a monthly basis to perk up all plants. Roses are especially appreciative of this treatment.
3 – Stimulate Blooming
Geraniums, Begonia and Hydrangeas all like alkaline soil, and baking soda is an alkaline product. Make these plants a special monthly tonic consisting of one tablespoonful of baking soda and two quarts of water. You’ll soon see enthusiastic blossom production.
4 – Keep Cut Flowers Fresh Longer
Two quarts of water and a tablespoonful of bicarbonate of soda is also an excellent solution for keeping cut flowers fresh. Be sure to change the solution every couple of days for best results.
5 – Grow Sweeter Tomatoes
Use baking soda to make the soil in your tomato patch less acidic for sweeter tomatoes. Just sprinkle baking soda lightly over the surface of the soil surrounding your tomato plants and then water as usual. Less acidity in the soil adds up to less acidity in your tomatoes.
6 – Use Baking Soda for Soil Testing and Amendment
Perform informal pH testing on your garden soil. Your garden plants absorb minerals from the soil through their roots. If your soil is too alkaline or too acidic, this process could be hampered. To get an idea of your soil’s pH, use baking soda and white vinegar to perform a home experiment.
Find how to go about the simple home experiment and get easy DIY recipes for all the above-mentioned solutions here.

4 Baking Soda Recipes to Cure and Prevent Plant Diseases

Be it preventing fungal growth, treating powdery Mildew, treating diseases in Tomato plants if you have one in your vegetable garden or making your own Cornell University Organic Spray (all-natural recipe is very effective and very popular for treating and controlling a wide variety of plant ills), get all these easy DIY recipes right here!

8 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Discourage and Eliminate Pests Naturally

When used regularly, carefully prepared, homemade baking soda concoctions provide safe and effective defense against a wide variety of pests, such as spider mites, aphids, silverfish, cockroaches, slugs, snails and more.
1.   For a very gentle deterrent that will effectively combat spider mites and aphids but will not harm beneficial insects combine:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoonful of baking soda

Spray this mixture carefully onto the affected areas of plants every few days until aphids and spider mites are gone. This concentrated mixture is also effective against black spot fungus on roses and grape vines.
2. Eradicate harmful insect infestations.
3. Eliminate ant hills. Use baking soda and powdered sugar to create a fatal bait.
4. Kill gnats in leaf piles or the smelly compost pile.
5. Repel a wide variety of insects. Mix up a concentrate consisting of:
6. Prevent ground dwelling pests.
7. You can also kill slugs on the spot by sprinkling them with baking soda
8. Get rid of cabbage worms. These hungry caterpillars love to eat brassicas such as cabbage, broccoli and kale.

2 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Combat Weeds

Weeds and crabgrass growing along the edges of your walkways and patios and in cracks between pavers can be dealt with easily with a generous application of baking soda. It burns back foliage and feeder roots to eliminate current weeds and prevent future weed growth. Kill crabgrass and weeds in your lawn as well as get rid of weeds along walkways and patios and in cracks and crevices with these simple solutions.

10 Ways to Clean Up Around Your Yard and Garden With Baking Soda

Bicarbonate of soda is a very safe cleaning product to use in the garden. It is non-toxic and will not harm birds and other desirable wildlife. Use it as a non-abrasive scouring powder or mix it up with other gentle ingredients to create custom cleaning products.

  • Deodorize your compost pile or bin.
  • Deodorize your garbage cans. Sprinkle a thick layer of baking soda in the bottom of the can to absorb odors.
  • Make a simple baking soda and water cleaning spray consisting of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a quart of water to use when wiping down lawn furniture, gardening equipment and the like.
  • Make a baking soda and liquid castile soap paste for use when scrubbing up flowerpots, birdbaths and feeders and more.
  • Make an abrasive scrubbing paste with equal parts salt, baking soda and warm water.
  • Use plain baking soda as a soft scrub powder to clean just about anything safely.
  • Clean your garden furniture. You can make resin garden furniture almost as good as new with a thorough cleaning using a simple solution consisting of half a cup of baking soda, a tablespoonful of dish soap and a gallon of very warm water.
  • Clean your walkways and patios.
  • Soak up oil stains with dry baking soda.
  • Wash and beautify your hands. Baking soda makes an excellent, gentle scrub for grimy garden hands.

Find recipes and easy DIY solutions for all of the above uses of baking soda right here.

Precautions When Using Baking Soda In The Garden

  • Use baking soda concoctions carefully. Don’t spray them around willy-nilly or use them excessively because buildup can cause damage to your plants.
  • Do a patch test before spraying any solution over your entire garden. Just apply the mixture to a couple of leaves and wait 24 hours before treating your entire crop. If the solution seems to burn the leaves, dilute it and try another patch test. Keep adjusting until you hit the right strength.
  • Protect heating elements, electrical wiring and metal items from exposure to baking soda as it can cause corrosion.

What Are The Drawbacks of Using Baking Soda In The Garden?
Although baking soda can be a very effective tool in your collection of natural gardening techniques, you should not rely upon it entirely. If overused, its efficacy will dwindle with the passage of time. You will soon find yourself using more and more of it with less and less effect. This is why it’s always a good idea to establish a schedule of sound garden management. Be sure to plant your seeds, seedlings and grown plant specimens properly with the right kind of soil, drainage and sun exposure.
Green living is simple UrbanMeisters! It is more about thinking big. So give your lifestyle the green edge and celebrate a healthy and pollution free environment all around you. Now that you are feeling more confident about taking care of your plants, give your indoor plants the added aid of this magic pot that helps them clean air 8 times faster & clear it of 75% toxins. Airy!

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