Uses For Borax In The Garden

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Boron is a mineral salt with acidic properties. It is naturally occurring, and it is the only ingredient in Borax. This product has been around for ages, but borax uses go beyond its excellent reputation as an all-natural cleaner.

Boric acid is made from the same chemical compound as borax and even looks like it. But while borax is commonly used in cleaning, boric acid is mainly used as a pesticide.

Borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate), also known as sodium borate, disodium tetraborate, or sodium tetraborate, makes a good laundry booster, and it has powerful, natural disinfectant properties. 

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. 

Many personal care products use Borax as a preservative. In this article, we will share some smart Borax powder uses in your garden.

Read on to learn more about using Borax in your vegetable gardening.

Augment Your Soil With Borax

Synthetic fertilizers and other products coupled with mismanagement of soil can lead to soil deficiency in boron. This is particularly the case with very sandy soil.

Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals, including calcium and magnesium. Hard water is found in 85 percent of the United States.

Soil lacking boron grows to produce lacking in boron. To get the most value and nutritional benefit from the veggies you grow, it’s easy to see why creating rich soil is key.

NOTE: Always get your soil tested before adding or amending your garden soil. A soil test will let you know the highs and lows of minerals in your garden soil.

How Can I Tell If My Plants Need Boron?

Plants show signs of boron deficiency in a variety of ways. Some exhibit dead leaf tips; others may present darkened fruit and/or leaves. 

Roots may also have dead areas, and root veggies may have black centers or black spots. Cruciferous vegetables, such as superfood broccoli and cauliflower, may grow cracked, hollow stems and stunted root growth.

Fertilize With Boron

Here’s how to add boron to the soil.

There are a number of ways to use powdered boron as a fertilizer. Adding Borax (boron) to your soil in the right amounts will deliver healthier plants and healthier food.

You do need to be careful not to overuse the boron fertilizer product as it can be toxic. Keep in mind that it is a weed killer, and it can also kill desirable plants.

The product can easily be used as a dry fertilizer applied directly to the soil. It only takes a very small amount of borax to have a positive effect. 

For example, if you have a very large garden, you only need to use about 6 tablespoons of the borax powder broadcast evenly and tilled into the soil before planting to realize significant plant growth benefits.

You can create a good liquid fertilizer mixture for general watering by mixing one part boron with ten parts of water. Try a little bit on just a few plants to see how it works. If it seems too strong, dilute it a bit and keep sampling.

For a still useful, very weak solution, mix a tablespoon of boron into three gallons of water. If in doubt about boron supplementation, start out with the weaker solution and monitor the results. If you get the improvement you want, you have done enough!

After blotting away as much of the pet urine as possible with paper towels, apply the paste to the carpet and scrub lightly with a soft-bristled brush. Let the paste remain on the carpet for 30 to 45 minutes, then vacuum it away. 

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In a very diluted solution, it is possible to use boron as a foliar fertilizer. To do so, you would add two ounces of borax to five gallons of water. 

Add just a tiny amount (several drops) of dish soap to help the solution disperse evenly. Spray very lightly and evenly, and do not drench your plants with this solution.

Use your boron mixture sparingly because this mineral builds up in the soil. A single application can last for three years, so even a light annual application could eventually build up to become toxic.

Use Borax To Kill Weeds

Borax mixed with water at a strength of half a cup of powder to one gallon of water makes a powerful herbicide that you can kill weeds by applying carefully at the base of the weed to hasten their demise.

Mix 1 tablespoon of borax into 1 cup of warm water, says Syren. Apply the mixture to the wall, covering the stain. 

This solution can also be applied directly to the leaves of the unwanted plants as a spray, but you must be careful to avoid having over-spray come in contact with your desired plants.

It is best to use a pump sprayer or a brush to apply the solution directly to the leaves of individual weeds you wish to kill.

Borax can also be used in its powder form to kill weeds. You can sprinkle it directly onto the plants for quick results. Be sure not to apply it when you are expecting rain because this could result in runoff and damage to your veggies.

Borax ad from Smith Brothers from Boston LibraryPin
Smith Brothers Borax ad roughly 1870-1900 from Boston Library

A Natural Ant Killer Borax Pest Control

Here’s a good borax insecticide recipe:

To prevent ants from eating up your produce, create borax and confectioner sugar ant traps. Mix the dry ingredients with a bit of water to create a paste. 

You can spread this borax solution paste on flat surfaces (such as the lids of yogurt or margarine tubs) and place your borax ant killer traps strategically around your garden.

Keep roaches, water bugs, and ants away by sprinkling equal parts borax and sugar anywhere you suspect they may be entering your home.

Equal parts of water and vinegar can be mixed together and put in a spray bottle. The solution can be used to clean sinks, counters, and floors around the house in the kitchen and bathroom.

It’s widely used as a household cleaner and a booster for laundry detergent. It’s a combination of boron, sodium, and oxygen. 

To keep nasty bacteria and mold buildup at bay, give your garbage disposal unit some TLC every two weeks. 

Placing it away from your crops can help lure the ants away. They will gather the mixture as food and carry it into their colony. Borax ant problems away!

Just make sure kids and pets won’t encounter it as you control pests. 

Disinfect and Clean With Borax, A Natural Cleanser

Borax can be used for laundry, washing floors, and making all purpose cleaner. Homemade cleaning solutions are helpful when you’re trying to save money, reduce waste, or cut down on your use of certain chemicals like bleach.

Borax is a powerful agent to remove rust, so you can make your farm tools look bright and new when scrubbing with borax. 

You can use borax, white vinegar, and essential oils to make an all-natural toilet bowl cleaner that works just as well as the store-bought stuff.  

Create a natural disinfectant for your tools and hard surfaces by mixing half a cup of Borax with a gallon of hot water. This solution is also useful for fighting mildew and deodorizing.

Clean up rust on garden tools by making a paste with:

  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice mixed with baking soda
  • Use a rag or sponge to rub the paste into the tool
  • Rinse with clean, warm water
  • All tools to dry before putting them away

To unclog a slow, greasy kitchen drain, pour one-half cup of borax and two cups of boiling water into the drain.

Use this warm solution to soak and scrub pots and tools. Once clean, rinse thoroughly and leave the items in the open air and sunshine to dry.

Borax can make an excellent laundry booster. It whitens whites, brightens colors, softens hard water, neutralizes odors, and helps to remove stains.  

Naturally, you can use Borax as a laundry booster to wash your gardening gloves, towels, aprons, and other garments and washable gardening items.

Borax alone does not have a high affinity for hardness cations, although it has been used for water-softening.

For All Borax Uses – Handle With Care

Borax is a natural product, and it is generally safe to use, but don’t make the mistake of handling it carelessly. It can be toxic if used or consumed in large amounts.

Using borax helps removes moisture from the blossoms and leaves to help prevent wilting while they dry. 

Borax can be used to clear rust from stainless steel pans, old gym equipment, and anything else around your home that has gotten a bit rusty.

Always remember, some most effective uses of Borax for plants involve killing unwanted plants and insects and combating fungus. 

While these powers make it an excellent support tool for gardeners, always remember to wear safety gear and handle it with care!

Image: flicker   

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