Epsom salt has long been a favorite for many gardeners and for some it is a best friend. With the push towards more “green living” and organic gardening, Epsom salt has been growing in popularity. Epsom salt makes for an ideal answer to a variety of organic gardening needs. Cost-effective, affordable, easy on your plants.
It can help:
- Grow the best-tasting tomatoes and peppers and improve vegetables overall.
- More vibrant flower color – Roses love it!
- Help in germination of seeds
- Reduce transplanting shock
- Even help in stump removal
… to name a few. It is a wonderful supplement, perfect for organic gardening. Learn more on ways you can make Epsom salt a welcomed addition to your grower toolbox below.
Epsom Salts are a safe and natural product to have at home for many health and beauty uses. In fact, it should be an essential item in every household to provide natural and frugal benefits.
However, today we will focus on the unique Uses for Epsom Salt in gardens. First, let’s look at what Epsom Salt is
Epsom Salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate in crystal form – “magnesium sulfate”, which I’ve used on plants for 40+ years. It is sourced from the bitter, salty spring of Epsom in Surrey, England.
So, is Epsom salt good for plants?
Surprisingly, it isn’t actually salt but a naturally occurring mineral compound of sulfate and magnesium. It derived its name from the spring where it is sourced from. It doesn’t have sodium chloride like in table salt.
Now, let’s look at some of the uses for Epsom Salt in the garden and Epsom salt uses for plants.
Epsom Salts Aids In Seed Germination
You can add Epsom salts for plants as an amendment before sowing seeds for your garden. This can give your plants a dominant boost right from the start.
Magnesium helps in seed germination by aiding to strengthen cell walls. This leads to an increase in germination percentage and stronger seedlings.
For best results, when planting directly in the garden, use 1 cup of Epsom salt per 100 square feet or plowed soil. You can also mix one to two tablespoons of salt in each hole before dropping in the seeds. Read how to use Epsom salt when starting seeds in small containers.
Tomato plants are popular garden residents and have fruits weight exceeding the plant size, leading to much higher chances of magnesium deficiency.
Related Reading: Gardeners Secret Weapon – Epsom Salt For Sweeter Tomatoes
This makes the plant demand a doubled amount of magnesium levels than other plants. Tomato vines are also prone to calcium deficiency, and that’s why most tomato fertilizer is calcium-rich.
This makes both (magnesium and calcium) compete for root absorption.
Therefore, to prevent this, use foliar spray on your plants with Epsom salt instead of only adding it to the soil;
- Foliar feeding will reduce competition for absorption
- Delivering magnesium to the plants at a faster rate
Water the tomato vines with two tablespoons of Epsom salt added to a gallon of water after every two weeks.
It’s essentially “Epsom salt fertilizer”.
Increase The Nutrient Uptake Of Plants
Magnesium is one of the elements that are added to fertilizer to help the plants roots absorb essential nutrients (Phosphorus, nitrogen, and sulfur). It’s sometimes called a – Major Minor element.
Therefore, since magnesium is one of the elements in Epsom salt, it can be added to the soil to help plant improve their absorption rate naturally.
This is a good way of eliminating processed chemical fertilizer especially for those who add organic materials to their gardens. More here.
Helps Plants Overcome Transplant Shock
Most seedlings or plants wilt when we transfer them from the seedling bed or greenhouse to the ground.
This happens because of the rapid environment change or because of the injured roots. To help them overcome this transplant shock, add Epsom salt to the holes where it’s being transplanted.
Remember to cover the Epsom salt with a layer of soil to prevent a direct contact with plants because of the presence of concentrated minerals.
Epsom Salt Helps Greening Up Foliage
Yellowing leaves in green plants are mostly caused by a deficiency of magnesium in the soil. This is because magnesium is a crucial component that helps in chlorophyll production. Not only is it excellent for greening up foliage, it helps palms with “frizzle top” along with helping roses bloom with vivid colors.
Try adding Epsom salt to your plants to help it achieve healthier and more foliage. Add one tablespoon every month around to the plants in your vegetable garden. It can also be added to flowers, shrubs, trees and grasses that you want to green up.
The production of fruits is the most demanding stage of the lifecycle of a plant. Therefore, it needs to have all the needed elements in place in adequacy in order to produce healthy fruits maximumly.
Applying Epsom salt to nut trees and fruits, vines, and bushes on a monthly basis at a rate of one tablespoon in a gallon of water to help boost the chlorophyll level inside the plant cells.
An increase in energy means more primary sugars, allowing your plants produce healthier and sweeter fruits.
It Can Help To Deter Pests
It may not dehydrate snails and slugs like table salt, but it can still be used to keep off pests.
Crystals of Hydrated magnesium sulfate are sharp and can irritate or scratch the feet and bodies of unwanted critters in the same way as diatomaceous earth.
However, it’s important to note that Epsom salt is highly soluble in water and will be washed away by any amount of rainfall or water.
Prevent Leaf Curling
Mostly, leaf curling in plants is as a result of magnesium deficiency. By applying Epsom salt to the soil around the base of the affected plant will bolster the absorption rate of the root zone and again add magnesium to the soil.
Add two tablespoons of Epson salt in a gallon of water, and apply it to the leaves.
Boost Pepper Yields
Peppers produce higher yields than the average fruits to plant size ratio. Therefore, the plants should be fed with magnesium regularly to enable it to achieve optimal and healthier fruits.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of Epsom salt for every one foot of height around the pepper plant once per week.
Feeding your rose plants with Epsom salt has been proven to make the flowers vibrant, deepen color, and achieve fuller blooms.
It not only adds vibrancy and color to the flowers but also improves the strength of the plants as well.
Once the magnesium level increase, the chlorophyll level will also shoot leading to more food production for the plants, and conversely more strength to the cell walls of the rose.
Removing Tree Stump
Get rid of the tree stumps by making holes in the stump and filling them with Epsom salt. Make angled holes in the sides and make them meet up with the top holes.
Add a substantial amount of water and wait. Stumps may take longer to decay and decompose.
Related Reading: Tree Stump Removal With Epsom Salt
Apply Epsom salt after every 3-4 weeks until the whole stump dies so that it can be removed easily. It’s a much cheaper process, although it takes time than hiring tree stump removal experts.
Why Using Epsom Salt – Magnesium Sulfate Is Good For Tomato and Vegetable Plants The Details
Magnesium is already pleasant in soil, but adding additional magnesium sulfate will go a long way in improving plant growth.
It also captures carbon dioxide which plants break down and use for energy. If your plants start to turn yellow, that’s a good indication that your plant has a magnesium deficiency. By using sulfate, your vegetables will actually have a stronger flavor.
The video below gives a good overview of Epsom salt for plant growth. Learn and enjoy!
Epsom salt is beneficial, cheaper, and easy to apply on plants, and there will be no time that it will become too much for your soil; magnesium sulfate has a neutral pH, and will therefore not harm the soil.
They are soluble salts in water and will integrate into the soil to provide two essential components to the plants-Sulfur and magnesium.
Moreover, it’s inexpensive making it an unrivaled tool for a responsible and health-conscious gardener.
This article from Saltworks.us is full of great detailed information on ways you can incorporate the use of epsom salt, in the garden and your home.