With gardening season just around the corner, you probably have been perusing the plant care aisle at your local home store. I know I have! There are so many chemical solutions available to help with fertilizing, feeding, and protecting your garden plants. Plant food and fertilizers can sell for as much as $5.00 a pound! Not to mention the fact that the thought of dumping chemicals on your tomatoes and peppers is not very appealing.

So, are we destined to spend huge sums of money and mingle with nasty chemicals in order to have a beautiful garden? Nope! Here are a couple simple and inexpensive home remedies to help keep your garden looking (and tasting) its very best. Most of the ingredients can be found right in your kitchen!

Basic Plant Food:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder.
  • 1 teaspoon epsom salts.
  • 1 teaspoon ammonia.

Mix ingredients together in a gallon of room temperature water. Store the solution in an airtight, labeled container. Use it once every 4 to 6 weeks, or even less if your plants are happy!

Simple Pesticide:

  • 1 minced garlic clove.
  • 1 cup warm water.
  • 3-4 drops of dish soap.

Mix the three ingredients together and pour into a labeled spray bottle. Spray generously on plants, both edible and non edible. Bugs will find this mixture repulsive (as will any vampires buzzing about your garden) and will leave your plants alone.

Safe and Effective Weed Killer:

  • 1 gallon of distilled vinegar.
  • 1 cup of salt.
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap.

Mix the ingredients and pour into a labeled spray bottle. Spray directly on weeds in the garden or pour directly into cracks of walks and driveways. Repeat as needed.

All of these mixtures are safe to use around children and pets and can be stored and used throughout the summer. To make larger batches of any of these recipes, just double the measurements! So this summer, skip the harsh chemicals and costly fertilizers. Mix up your own batches instead and save! Perhaps with all of the cash you save, you can invest in those fun tiki torches you have had your eyes on!

Happy gardening!

This has been a guest post by Katie from South Bend, IN
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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12 thoughts on “Make Your Own Gardening Remedies for Pennies”

  1. Hoping this’ll work on the aphids eating my tulips and roses.. I sprayed them yesterday, but they’re still there. Sprayed them again today. Hope they’re gone soon.

  2. Megan Mart says:

     As a strictly organic gardener the ammonia mixture is not only unsafe…but ineffective…do you want to put poison on what you eat, ammonia is NO better than regular fertilizer?  We bought a 20 dollar rain barrel, and put all of our food scraps and clippings in it…come the following summer, there is enough organic nutrient rich soil in it to grow for the following year (and the neighbors composted horse manure).  If you are in an area with Tomato slugs, a bowl of beer really does work, and remember, most squash funguses can be prevented by not touching wet leaves!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I need something to spray on my lawn instead of using companies like TruGreen or the like.  My lawn is 75% weeds.  I think if I use the mixture above it would kill both weed AND grass right?  Any suggestions on something for the lawn (weed and feed)?

    • Anonymous says:

      No answers huh? I would love to know also, I got u beat my yard is 90% weeds and crabgrass is already getting started which is a monster to cut. I’m thinking about trying the weed and fertilizer recipes above combined all in one, on a small area and see how it works. It can’t hurt what’s already ruined!! Let me know if you have tried it yet.

  4. Liquid ammonia for the plant food?

  5. Dana Bird says:

    Loving these household tips! I’ll be trying the weed killer as soon as I buy some more vinegar.

  6. this is great we have tomatoes and bell peppers and cilantro and basil and we get these
    ugly grasshoppers that eat the leaves cant wait to do this tomorrow on all veges and flowers.thanks 

  7. Diana Martinez says:

    Awesome topic, I want something safe,since i have my pets outside.

  8. Britney Carpenter says:

    I was so excited to read this – I have been gardening for a few years, but wanting to stay away from harsh chemicals as much as possible! Most of the ideas I read for keeping pests and weeds out seem too complicated. Not these ideas…hope they work!

  9. dayna lloyd says:

    We have a MAJOR ant problem in our garden and have been looking for natural remedies to kill them without harming the plants.  It seems that cornstarch, garlic powder, or warm soap water seems to be the most popular.  I plan on using it this weekend to get rid of those little buggers!

  10. sully says:

    what a great timing for this article just when i was planning on starting a vegetable garden