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
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