There are many reasons why borax should be used in your gardening routine. For starters, it acts as a fertilizer, an herbicide, and can even get rid of a lot of pests that would otherwise plague the plants in your garden. In short, it’s a wonder chemical and can do a world of good for your gardening efforts.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we move on to the section that you’re eagerly waiting for, let’s first have a look at what borax is.
What Is Borax?
Borax is a natural mineral salt that is made of sodium and boron. It has been in use as a cleaning agent for centuries and is still a major component of many renowned commercial laundry detergents. It has powerful disinfectant properties and has the ability to kill pests.
Even though it’s a natural substance, you should always handle borax with care. It is highly toxic in large quantities. Therefore, you should make sure that you’re equipped with the necessary safety gear (gloves and dust mask) while using this substance.
Some Benefits of Borax
Borax consists of boron, sodium, water, and oxygen. It is an essential mineral nutrient that helps rebuild teeth and bones. It is also an important hormone regulator and helps in the metabolism and absorption of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. However, those are just the benefits of borax for the human body.
When you mix borax into your soil, it helps with plant growth. The best thing about borax is that, unlike most other chemicals that perform the same functions, borax is not harmful to your plants when used in moderation. Now that you’re armed with that information, let’s shed some light on the numerous uses of borax in your garden.
1. Borax as a Fertilizer
Just like in humans, a deficiency of certain elements affects the growth rate and health of plants. A boron deficiency is the second most common micronutrient deficiency in plants. As a result of this, plants suffer from stunted root growth, poor pollen vitality, empty pollen grains, and fewer flowers.
Some plant varieties require more boron than others. You can get your soil tested to confirm a boron deficiency when you start observing any of the above-mentioned signs. If the soil test indicates that your soil has a boron deficiency, you can add borax to your soil to supplement it. Adding borax to the soil can improve the overall health of the plant, its growth, and its ability to reproduce.
When you’re using borax as a fertilizer, you should make sure not to use more than the recommended quantity since it can be lethal for your plants. Also, frequently adding borax to your soil can be toxic for plants, so make sure not to apply it too often. One application of borax to the soil can last for as long as three years!
2. Borax for getting rid of Ants
Ants are one of the most common types of garden pests, especially when you’re growing vegetables and fruits. Although there are many commercial pest control formulas in the market, not many people are comfortable with the thought of treating their gardens with chemicals. They prefer natural products instead. This is where borax comes in.
Borax has the ability to kill ants. If you ever wanted to know why borax should be used in your gardening routine, this is it. The most effective way to use borax for this purpose is to mix equal parts of borax with honey, powdered sugar, or maple syrup, and a little bit of water to form a paste.
Once you’ve prepared the paste, place it on a flat surface and put it near the anthill. The sweet paste attracts the ants, who then take it back to their colony. When the other ants in the colony consume the borax, they die! You can also use borax to kill roaches, so that’s just a bonus!
What you need to remember is that borax is a strong substance and can be dangerous if ingested. Therefore, you should not use it in the immediate vicinity of your fruits or vegetables.
3. Borax as a Weed Killer
As mentioned earlier, too much borax can kill. While this is something you don’t want for your plants, you can use it to kill the plants you don’t want! You can use borax to kill any unwanted weeds in your garden. Spraying a mixture of about 10 ounces of borax in 2.5 gallons of water on the stems and leaves of the weeds will help you get rid of these pesky weeds for good.
You have to be extra careful when spraying this borax solution, though, as it can also harm the plants that you’re trying to grow. Also, make sure that you spray only a moderate amount of this mixture. Spraying too much will cause it to drip into the soil and reach the healthy plants in your garden, killing them as well.
4. Borax as a Green Fly Killer
No matter what aesthetic you’re going for, no garden is complete without roses. However, roses come with their fair share of pests. If you notice green flies on the roses in your garden, you need to address the problem right away.
Borax, once again, comes to your rescue. Dissolve borax in a small quantity of hot water and make up the rest of the volume with cold water. Spray this liquid solution on the roses to get rid of green flies and other pesky insects that only want to cause harm to your precious roses.
5. Borax as a Rust Remover
So far, on this list of reasons why borax should be used in your gardening routine, we’ve talked about borax as a killer of pests and weeds. However, you can also use borax to get rid of non-living gardening problems.
You can use borax to clean your gardening tools and get rid of rust. Rust is quite a common but severe problem that affects most gardening tools. However, you don’t have to replace your tools every time they get a bit rusty, and this is also thanks to borax.
A paste made by mixing borax with lemon juice can help you get rid of the rust on your gardening tools. All you have to do is leave the paste on the tools for about 30 minutes, scrub it, and rinse with water.
6. Borax as a Disinfectant
Disinfecting your gardening tools every now and then is a good way to keep yourself healthy and free from any germs or pests. Just mix a half cup of borax in one gallon of water, soak your gardening tools in the mixture, scrub the tools, rinse them off with water, and allow them to dry in the sun. It’s as simple as that!
Borax is almost like a magical solution to all your gardening problems! Be it a nutrient deficiency in the soil, an ant or weed infestation, rusted gardening tools, or green flies on your roses, borax seems to be good for everything. This is precisely why borax should be used in your gardening routine.