Borax is used for various house chores but did you know this naturally occurring mineral can be used in the garden too? Check out!
What is Borax?
Borax (Na2B4O7·10H2O) is a natural mineral. An important boron compound. It is an essential ingredient in many laundry and cleaning products you buy from grocery stores. Besides this, it has many uses on its own.
Is Borax Safe?
Read this article for help, and this one too.
Where Can You Find Borax?
You can find borax in the cleaning supplies section of most grocery stores.
1. Kill Weeds
Borax can be used to kill weeds. Add 10 ounces of powdered borax to 2.5 gallons of water, mix thoroughly, and use a sprayer to coat the leaves of unwanted weeds in your yard. Keep overspray off of any plants you want to keep, avoid saturating the soil with the solution, and avoid contact with bare skin. Find out a few more natural herbicide recipes on Treehugger!
2. Remove Rust from Tools
Mix borax and lemon juice together to make a paste. Apply this paste to your rusty tools and allow it to set for at least 30 minutes, and then scour with a scrub brush. Repeat these steps if necessary, and always rinse clean with water when finished.
3. Ant Killer
If you want to get rid of ants in your garden, try this borax bait recipe. For this, you’ll need borax, honey or maple syrup in equal amounts. Mix well and place this in the affected spot. To learn more about this recipe, click here.
4. Disinfect and Clean your Garden Tools and Surface
Mix half a cup of borax in a gallon of warm water. Make use of this solution to soak and scrub pots and tools. Once clean, rinse thoroughly and leave the items in the open air and sunshine to dry. You can also clean gloves and other gardening objects.
5. As a Fertilizer
Boron (B) is the second most widespread micronutrient deficiency problem worldwide after zinc. It improves plant’s health and growth. Its deficiency commonly results in empty pollen grains, poor pollen vitality and a reduced number of flowers per plant. The lack of boron also causes stunted root growth.
The common symptoms are dying growing tips, bushy stunted growth, low productivity but these symptoms are very common. So the way to determine Boron deficiency is to get your soil tested. Soil that is acidic, sandy and low in organic matter often has a deficiency of Boron. Also, cabbage family crops and a few other plants like celery, strawberry, apple, etc. require Boron in a higher amount than other plants and they get help from the application of borax.
If the soil test for Boron is less than 1 ppm, apply household or agricultural grade borax (11 percent B) at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 100 square feet where Boron requiring plants will be grown. Apply the borax evenly and mix thoroughly with the soil. It may be easier to dissolve 1 tablespoon of borax in 1 gallon of water and apply the solution evenly with a sprinkling can. Apply 1 fluid ounce of solution per plant.
6. Kill Green Fly on Roses
Dissolve 25 gm borax in a little hot water and make up to 600 ml by adding cold water. It will kill greenfly on roses and other plants.When applied to the stems of fruit and other trees, it destroys all insects in and about the bark. Read here in detail!
It is amazing to know what the Borax is?
Bought my first box for laundry, didn
t know it would do all this too.
Did anyone else notice that the article listed Borax as a way to kill plants as well as a way to fertilize plants? Does anyone know which application is proper?
Yes Tess I noticed that and was extremely confused by it. In fact I re-read it 2 or 3 times to try and figure out what I was missing. I don’t know the answer, I’ve always been told and read where it could be used as a weed killer. In the picture it looked like grass to me, not weeds. I’m fairly certain of it’s use as a weed/grass killer. But this is the first I’ve seen it written as a fertilizer. I too would like to know the explanation for what seems like a discrepancy.
If you use borax in a significant amount, it kills the plants, and if used in minimal quantity it will fix the boron deficiency.
That’s why it’s written there to use 10 ounces in 2.5 gallons to kill weeds and 1 tablespoon of borax to 100 sqft for fertilizer.
The application of for borax on weeds are different amount of Borax. Perhaps you may need to read the article again
Everyone interprets what they read a little differently Mary and of course everyone’s foundation is different. Obviously your ready and comprehension skills are far superior. It’s unfortunate they don’t translate to empathy.
More strength to kill, less to fertilize
Borax in small amounts will fertilize plants but larger mixtures kills plants
I saw in the garden store a repackaged 1 kilo of borax and underneath the label it says “feritlizer.” Can I use this kind as a cleaning agent? Or is the fertilizer kind different from the cleaning kind? Thank you!
I use Borax to make slime for the kids along with water and Elmer’s glue…patty bass….St. Petersburg
You can also use Borax detergent to tan hides from deer or elk. I use it instead of salt as salt will cause rust to occur on hooks if you use the hair from the hide to tie flies.
Thank you for so many useful solutions to muli problems for gardens and lawns.
I use Borax with salt and sugar to cure salmon eggs for fishing for salmon and steelhead
Thank you that was very helpful thank you for all your suggestions!
is it safe for cats in the garden???
Not if you are using it to kill weeds or insects! If using it as a fertilizer, I don’t believe it would be toxic enough to harm animals.
borax will also kill roaches when they walk through it tracks it back to the nestand kills others
Has anyone used Borax for outdoor gnats
If you use the Borax treatment to kill ants, when can you seed after it? How much time do you need to allow to have the strength of the Borax not affect the seed?