Gardening: Silly Sally Acid


Some of the plants treated with a dilute aspirin spray and the sprayer that we have designated for the job.

As a one time lab rat. A fellow lab rat and friend of mine at the 3M Factory in Valley, Nebraska used to call aspirin Silly Sally Acid. The main ingredient of aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid…pronounced uh·see·tuhl·sa·luh·si·luhk.

Say that 3 times fast. I’m digressing early, I know…

Any who. Nightshade plants like tomato and potato can benefit from being sprayed by a dilute aspirin solution.

Why? Good question. Not because the plants have a headache.

Poor dad joke aside. Aspirin spray is quite beneficial for plants. Spraying plants twice per month with a dilute solution of aspirin and water will ward off blight and pests. Aspirin spray also stimulates plant growth and increases yield.

Nightshade plants are particularly vulnerable to blight. They may need this the most.

Here’s what we did. We purchased a 1 gallon sprayer dedicated to the aspirin solution. Used our smoothie blender to blend 650 mg of uncoated aspirin and water. Poured the mixture in the sprayer and filled filtered water to the 1 gallon mark on the sprayer.

Blending the aspirin in water with Beth’s Ninja Smoothie Blender.

Why uncoated aspirin? Coated aspirin tends to clog up the spray nozzle.

Lightly coat the entire above ground tomato and potato plants once every other week and you are good to go.

Why does aspirin provide these helpful qualities to plants? All plants produce some acetylsalicylic acid when they are under stress. Introducing acetylsalicylic acid when the plant is not under stress boosts its immune system.

One more digression. We listened to a podcast Saturday evening describing the use of straw bales as garden beds. No weeds, no blight. Sounds intriguing, but that is a post for another day.

R Dub checking out, for now.

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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