If there’s one thing you know about us, it’s that we love a good multitasking tool, especially one we probably already have on hand anyway! And today, we’re excited to find all kinds of uses for one we can nearly guarantee is hanging out under your bathroom sink as we speak: baby powder.
Whether you use it on your infant or on yourself, you probably have some— and you probably have a bit more than you really know what to do with! (After all, a little goes a long way!) So after discovering all the ways we can use it around the house, we started to wonder: could we use this toiletry outside?
Turns out, we can, and our gardens LOVE it. Check out all the ways below that baby powder can benefit your plants, and prepare to add it to your list of unexpected gardening helpers.
Avoid ants . . .
Granted, ants aren’t the worst pest you can find in your garden, but every home gardener knows the more tempting your landscaping, the more likely the little working insects will find their way through it and into your home.
Thankfully, baby powder can help! Just sprinkle some around your foundation, doorways, and other points of entry. Ants hate the stuff, and they’ll divert their path another way – and away from your house! – when they come across it. And even better . . .
. . . aphids will stay away, too! Also known as plant lice, greenflies, blackflies and whiteflies, these sap-sucking, plant-killing pests enjoy a mutualistic relationship with ants. That’s right— some species of ants protect and feed on aphids and the milk they produce, and even carry eggs from plant to plant. (Kind of creepy, right?)
So if you want to keep the aphids away? Keep the ants away, too, by simply sprinkling some baby powder around the garden bed(s) where you’ve noticed them.
Baby powder’s pest powers aren’t limited to ants and their “pets.” Another common problematic garden insect hates the stuff just as much: the Japanese beetle! Use it to keep the leaf-destroyers from munching through your plants.
How to do it? Just sprinkle some baby powder onto the leaves, and reapply after every rain until beetle season is over. The new taste will prevent the bugs from taking their usual meal, and your garden will thank you.
It’s not just the insects gardeners have to worry about attacking our plants; pests can be of the furry and adorable variety, too! Rabbits are one of the most persistent, hopping into beds to munch on just about everything.
Baby powder can discourage them from eating the younger plants and seedlings. Simply shake baby powder over them to discourage rabbits from putting them on the lapine menu.
. . . and deter nighttime thieves.
Of course, other mammalian gardening thieves like to sneak into our plots and beds, too, and their palates aren’t nearly as discerning as a rabbit’s. We find it very easy to believe that something like a raccoon or an opossum wouldn’t be put off by some baby powder seasoning; they do eat literal garbage, after all!
But baby powder WILL still deter them— because they hate the feel of it on their paws! Make a little wall of baby powder around your gardens, and those critters will stay away rather than risk the irritation.
Make gloves gentle . . .
Your fruits, flowers and veggies aren’t the only things that will benefit from adding baby powder to your gardening routine; your hands will thank you too! Ever notice how at the end of a day of gardening, your gloves are difficult to take off and/or leave your hands raw and red? Baby powder will help!
All you need to do is sprinkle some inside the gloves before you put them on and go to work. They’ll slip off much more easily at the end of the day, and leave your skin baby soft, too.
. . . and tools less rough.
Another way to protect your hands while you work? Prevent your spades, shears and shovels from giving you blisters in the first place! Not only will coating them in baby powder make protect your hands from their roughness, it’ll add some gentle friction to prevent them from slipping.
Freshen up your footwear.
At the end of the day, we all know two things: 1) baby powder has a fresh, lovely, distinctive scent and 2) one of the only unpleasant aspects of gardening is the smell that clings to you and your tools afterward. See where we’re going with this?
Freshen up your boots, sneakers and/or other gardening footwear with some baby powder. Just add some inside to the soles to soak up moisture and prevent both stink and mold.
Baby your bulbs.
Tiny seedlings can be babied with baby powder just as much as any human! Give any bulbs you start indoors a headstart and extra protection from rodents with a baby powder bath before you put them in the ground.
All you need to do is place the bulbs in a large plastic zip-top bag, 5 or 6 at a time. Add in 3 tablespoons of baby powder, and then shake to coat. Plant, and enjoy bulbs whose roots won’t rot or be eaten by mice!
Genius! Who knew this bathroom staple could be so useful outside?! We’re going to add a bottle to our garage and gardening sheds immediately.
So did you know these tricks already? Are there any other ways you know to use baby powder in your garden? Have you ever used any other toiletries outside? Share with us and your fellow gardeners!