Friday, May 17, 2013

You are Killing Your Garden...

The sodium in these products makes them toxic for your garden.

About forty miles north of here is a desert where little to no life can grown and even the weeds are overcome by toxic chemicals in the soil. If you scratch the white surface of the soil you will find a black goo that binds water to the soil in such a way that the water it contains can not be used by plants or even evaporated. The most surprising thing about this desert is that hundreds of home gardeners are trying to create the same landscape in their own back yards.

The desert is the Utah Salt Flats and the chemical that makes it toxic is sodium. You if you remember high school chemistry you know that sodium is contained in table salt and baking soda. And that is where the gardens come in.

There are now many recipes for weed and bug killers that contain one or both of these common substances. Home owner's look at either of these chemicals on their kitchen shelf and say, "These are familier and don't hurt me. They must be safe for my garden." And they are right about how safe they are in the kitchen. But they were meant for the kitchen and not the garden.

So do your garden and plants a favor, if you absolutely think you need to use a chemical, use one that is made for the job. And, that will break down into something that won't kill your entire garden.


  1. So would these be good to put under a rock garden where I don't want anything to grow?

  2. No. Salt is mobile enough to ruin other parts of your garden, or you neighbor's garden. At the same time, if it does not move it could kill the soil for a long enough time that if you decide to change your plans, you will be stuck with a dead spot.

    Remember, salt does not biodegrade. It does not change into something less toxic.