Using Baking Soda To Control Blight, and Powdery Mildew

There are countless garden-related disease-preventing tools and methods. Unfortunately, for organic gardeners, there seems to be a shortage of useful options.

Most of the time, you’re left up to chance with methods that don’t fully work – until now.

We’ve all heard (or lived) the same story: a beautiful organic garden destroyed by blight and powdery mildew. Many vegetables, ranging from pumpkins to potatoes and everything in between, get an early death because of these issues.

There’s a way you can prevent that from happening! Not only prevent but also stop the spread of both blight and mildew.

It doesn’t cost much, and it’s doesn’t require anything hard to find. This time-and-tested method only requires one common household item: baking soda.

What is baking soda?

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Even though its name sounds like a rare, weird chemical compound, sodium bicarbonate is a natural element found worldwide.

It’s more common than one might think. Sulfur rich places, hot springs, and geysers have one thing in common: the presence of baking soda. This is more than enough proof to realize baking soda counts as an organic supplement for your garden.

How does baking soda work against blight and mildew?

There is a complex scientific background behind baking soda’s effectiveness. Simply put, there are two circumstances at play:

  • First, you have fungus (both blight and powdery mildew are considered fungi). Fungi needs a neutral pH (7.0 pH) to colonize and grow on any leaf.
  • Second, you have baking soda. When applied to a leaf, baking soda raises its pH to a number above 7 and close to 8.

When you spray baking soda on a leaf, you’re destroying the necessary conditions for fungi to thrive – but you’re not damaging the leaves! Because of that, fungi cannot grow on a baking-soda-covered leaf.

How do you apply baking soda to your garden?

  • Get a gallon of water. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda in there. You can use any kind of baking soda you want. Personally, I prefer Arm and Hammer Pure Baking Soda.
  • Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil or cooking oil. Whichever you prefer. This will help prevent the spray from sticking on the leaves. Don’t forget about it!
  • Add two little drops of dish soap into the mix. This will help all ingredients blend into one blight-and-mildew-killing formula. Try to get a gentle soap to avoid any harsh chemicals from getting into your soil once you spray it. Planet Ultra Brand is the go-to option for me.
  • Mix thoroughly and spray away at the bottom of the leaves.

If fungi are still growing after applying one time per week for three weeks, increase the baking soda dosage from three tablespoons to three and a half.

Do not spray in the morning or evening. This spray, combined with heat, can harm your leaves. It’s best if you spray your leaves when the sun is not at its strongest.