Borax is a white powder that easily dissolves in water. Made from boron and sodium, this naturally occurring compound is mined from the ground. The largest mine in the world is found in Boron, California, the home of 20 Mule Team Borax. Borax is a very practical substance with many uses in and around the garden.
Soil Fertilizer For Sunflowers
Borax is especially useful as a fertilizer for the sunflower plant. Borax contains the element boron which is essential for plant growth. BC Living notes that sunflowers respond favorably to a borax fertilizer. The fertilizer gives the plant strength and durability.
Mix ½ tsp. of borax with 1 gallon water and water the sunflower early in the morning, before the sun gets too hot. The optimal time to apply the fertilizer is before the blooms open and while they are only halfway mature. Repeat in one month.
Treatment for Boron Deficiency in Vegetables
The Royal Horticultural Society notes that boron is essential for healthy plant development. Some plants suffer from boron deficiency. Broccoli displays this deficiency with hollow stalks and beets with black spots. Other crops may also develop a boron deficiency including cabbage, strawberries, cauliflower and strawberries. If you suspect that your plants may have a boron deficiency, conduct a soil test to be sure.
Add 2.5 oz. of borax into 5 gallons of water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray the solution evenly on plant foliage. Do not concentrate the solution in one area.
If your garden is overrun with ants, you may want to try using a borax ant trap. The Ecology Center recommends using a borax-based ant trap as a non-toxic ant eradication method.
Mix a cup of sugar with a cup of borax and distribute the mixture around anthills. Since the borax is white, like sugar, the ants will mistakenly carry it back to their colony. The borax will kill the ants.
Creeping Charley is a perennial weed that can easily intrude a vegetable garden. According to the University of Illinois Extension, borax is an effective herbicide that stops this annoying weed before it invades your garden.
Dissolve 10 oz. of borax in 4 oz of warm water. Put the solution in 2.5 gallons of water. Spray only on the lawn when warm. Do not spray if rain is expected.
The University of West Virginia Extension Service recommends using borax to preserve flowers. Flowers that are preserved using borax hold their shape and seem to experience minimal shrinkage.
Mix two parts borax to one part cornmeal. Sprinkle a layer of the mixture in the bottom of a box. Lay the flowers down, not touching, in the bottom of the box. Cover the flowers with more of the mixture and put the lid on the box. Let the box sit somewhere for 14 days.
Borax Is a Gardener's Friend
Borax is a cost effective substance that can be used in and around the garden to help solve a number of common garden problems. Mined borax is truly a natural wonder that has many uses not only in the garden but also around the home.