pointer80
Senior Member
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:50 pm
Location: northern Michigan

Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

Hello all, Here in my neck of the woods we have been having cooler damp conditions as of late and after already having a bout with blight on a couple of my tomato plants as well as a touch of powdery mildew on a pumpkin I want to spray some baking soda based fungicide on the garden as a preventative measure. My question is; a lot of my plants have veggies hanging and some are on the verge of being picked but not quite there yet so is it ok to spray them with a baking soda/ natural dish soap mixture? Thanks for the advice in advance. PS. The baking soda and dish soap recipe (2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon soap per gallon water) is just one I got off line and seems to be working for me so far.

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4803
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

The best thing to kill, mold, mildew, fungus is vinegar. Put a little kitchen dish soap in the vinegar so it sticks to the plants. Spray in on the plants wait about 3 to 5 minutes wash it off. Spray leaves top and underside too then use the garden hose and wash it off. Use lots of water to rinse the plants very well.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

Dish soap - this is a very tricky area. Dish "soap" is almost always detergent which kills plant cells. To be safe, use only real soap for making plant sprays unless you are making herbicide.

Rinsing like Gary350 advised probably makes it safer, but if you miss the timing and leave on too long, or if direct sun hits the plant, there might be unfortunate consequences.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
!potatoes!
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1886
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

I suspect there could be unintended consequences of using undiluted vinegar directly on plants, too. I'd want to rinse it off pretty quickly indeed.

pointer80
Senior Member
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:50 pm
Location: northern Michigan

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

I have already used this formula in the past with no ill results but not on plants that have veggies on them. My main concern is if it will hurt the vegetables as far as eating them or can I just wash the veggies off after I pick them?

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27657
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

The baking soda wouldn't be a problem, but I personally believe the vegetables might absorb chemicals depending on the soap formulation. What kind of natural dish soap do you use? (that's the only "kind" I get too so I was curious which one worked for you) I would try to avoid any with fragrance essential oil that would not "work" with the vegetable's flavor.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

pointer80
Senior Member
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:50 pm
Location: northern Michigan

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

applestar wrote:The baking soda wouldn't be a problem, but I personally believe the vegetables might absorb chemicals depending on the soap formulation. What kind of natural dish soap do you use? (that's the only "kind" I get too so I was curious which one worked for you) I would try to avoid any with fragrance essential oil that would not "work" with the vegetable's flavor.
I believe it's called dawn natural, It is dye and fragrance free.

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1468
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

I spray potassium bicarbonate on many plants as a prophylactic, using a spreader/sticker (ThermX70 is one of them, Coco Wet another), instead of a dish detergent. It is even better as a fungicide when combined with oil, but this can't be done at temps over 90°, so most of the summer the oil can't be used. KHCO3 is better for plants than NaHCO3, since the sodium is not very good for plants, while potassium is an essential nutrient. And food grade KHCO3 can be bought fairly cheap.
Dave

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4803
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Is it safe to spray plants with veggies on?

Do a TEST experiment spray vinegar on grass and weeds wait 60 seconds then rinse with lots of water then watch see if the grass and weeds die. If grass & weeds don't die then you know it is safe to use on the garden.

Look it up online vinegar has been used for 100s of years to kill mold, mildew, long before Monsanto invented a toxic poison to do the same job at 50 time more expensive than vinegar. If people did not need vinegar for cooking and other things Monsanto would have lobbied to have vinegar make illegal long ago. There is 5% vinegar, 9% pickle vinegar and 50% acetic acid at a photography supply store. Vinegar is Acetic Acid mixed with water. Don't use vinegar stronger than 5% on plants it only takes 1 minute to kill surface mold and mildew. Does anyone know if mold and mildew gets down deep inside of leaves? 2 minutes is probably long enough to kill mold & mildew on leaves. As long as you wash vinegar off of your plants with lots of water it will never hurt the plant. Test it on 1 garden plant if it does not die spray the rest of your plants.

I never spray anything on my garden during the HOT part of the day even pure 100% water can kill plants in full sun in 90 degree heat. I spray my leaves late evening about 1 hour before dark.

I tried an experiment to kill mites with vinegar on tomato plants and squash but it takes longer than 2 minutes to kill mites with vinegar. Water spray form the garden hose blows the mites away. Even a 1 gallon hand pump water sprayer works to blow mites away but sprayer needs to be very close to the leaves.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”