The Best Uses For Epsom Salt In Your Garden

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The Best Uses For Epsom Salt In Your Garden
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Epsom salts are not actually a salt. They are a pure mineral compound made up of magnesium and sulfate. They were named after a saline spring called Epsom in Surrey, England, where they were first discovered. Most people use Epsom salt in detox baths for flushing out toxins, improving nutrient absorption and relief from pain. But did you know that you can use Epsom salt in your garden?

Epsom salt can be extremely beneficial for your plants and you can find detailed information about it in this article (which also has specific advice on how to use Epsom salt for tomatoes, roses and peppers).

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Benefits of Epsom Salt for Plants

Magnesium can help plants grow quicker due to its nutrient absorption abilities. It may also be able to keep pests away, increase the output of vegetation, and make your fruits and vegetables taste better!

The main cause of magnesium deficiency in plants is an actual lack of soil magnesium which is most commonly occur in soils described as light, sandy, and/or acid, though occasionally clay soils under intensive production can show magnesium deficiency as well.

Chemically, Epsom salt is hydrated magnesium sulfate (about 10 percent magnesium and 13 percent sulfur). Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll, fruit, and nuts. It also helps strengthen cell walls and improves plants’ uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

Sulfur, a key element in plant growth, is critical to production of vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. It’s also the compound that gives vegetables such as broccoli and onions their flavors.

Before you use Epsom salt on your plants, it is advisable to test your soil before adding any nutrients to it.  Don’t rely on Epsom salt to correct large soil magnesium deficiencies, but rather use it as a supplement to soils with adequate or slightly low magnesium levels to boost plant growth, flowering, and fruiting.

Epsom Salt Prevents Transplant Shock

Not all seeds respond well to being moved. The transition from a small pot to a larger one, indoors to outdoors and a greenhouse to ground can cause roots to die.

To ensure that they fare well in their new environment, try feeding them a little Epsom salt once they are in their new environment to encourage growth. It is a good idea to add a layer of soil on top of the sprinkled salt to make sure the seed does not come in contact with the salt right away.

Epsom Salt can Increase Nutrient Absorption

Injured plants or plants that have just been moved may also benefit from Epsom salt because it can increase nutrient uptake.

Commercial fertilizers usually contain magnesium to help plant roots take up vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. If you use all organic materials to feed your garden, adding Epsom salt to soil can improve absorption naturally, eliminating the need for processed chemical fertilizers.

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Keep Pests Away with Epsom Salt

Gardens are at risk of being munched on by nearby animals. You can deter pests away from your garden by sprinkling Epsom salts around the plants.

The sharp edges of the salt crystals can scratch and irritate unwanted feet. Remember that Epsom salts will dissolve with water, so be sure to restock your garden after a rain or watering.

You can also use eggshells to deter pests and even make your own natural garden pesticides.

Epsom Salt Prevents Leaves from Curling

Your plants need magnesium as much as you, and indeed magnesium deficiency in plants may cause the end of their leaves to curl up. This can be cured by sprinkling Epsom salt around the soil of the base of the plant.

To help the leaves get their supply of magnesium faster you can apply a foliar spray (also called foliar feed). Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt with a gallon of water and spray it over the leaves. Foliar plant spray involves applying fertilizer directly to a plant’s leaves as opposed to putting it in the soil and it should be applied in the early morning before the sun becomes hot. Spray plants until you see the mixture dripping.

To help the foliar application stick to plants, you can add horticultural oil, such as neem oil. Do not forget to spray the underside of leaves as well.

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Epsom Salt to Improve Seed Germination

The magnesium found in Epsom salt helps with seed germination by strengthening the seed’s cellular walls. This allows the seeds to become stronger and will get you more of them!

Start by adding one cup of Epsom salts to every 100 square feet of tilled soil. You can also mix one or two tablespoons of Epsom salts into the soil at the bottom of the hole before dropping the seeds in.

How to Use Epsom Salt For Tomatoes, Peppers and Roses

A garden is an opportunity to show off your personality. If you are new to the game, you may want to fill your garden with plants that suit your style. But whatever you decide to grow, there are a few staples that many gardeners have. Below are some tips to help you grow your best tomatoes, peppers and roses with a little help from Epsom salt.

Epsom Salt for Tomatoes

Magnesium deficiency in the soil may be one reason your tomato leaves yellow between the leaf veins late in the season and fruit production slows down. Test your soil every 3 years or so to check on nutrient levels.

Feeding your tomato plants with Epsom salt can correct magnesium deficiency and may get you more blooms and less rotting, stronger plants, more fruit, and a deeper green color. You may also get a sweeter tasting tomato! Plants that lack magnesium also tend to lack in sweetness. Epsom salts are a cheap and effective solution to dull, and bland tomatoes.

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You can use Epsom salt when you first plant the tomato plant by adding the salt to the bottom of the hole before putting the plant in. Make sure you apply a thin layer of soil over the salt so that there is a thin layer of soil between the plant and the salt.

To apply in liquid form, mix one tablespoon of Epsom salts into a gallon of water and water at transplanting, first flowering, and fruit set.

Here is an interesting article you may want to read, on how to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease with tomatoes.

Epsom Salt for Peppers

Like tomatoes, peppers easily become deficient in magnesium. Epsom salts may help your peppers grow in larger batches and improve their taste and appearance.

You can follow the same directions for tomatoes when adding Epsom salts to your pepper plants. Either sprinkle the salt under a thin layer of soil when you plant the pepper plant or water the plant with an Epsom salt mixture at transplanting, first flowering, and fruit set.

Epsom Salt for Roses

Roses are not only beneficial for your health, but they also add excitement and a splash of color to your garden!

Roses come alive when Epsom salts are added to their feed. They turn over more vibrant blooms with richer colors and stronger plants. Using Epsom salt regularly on roses can also help with chlorophyll production and seed germination.

It is generally recommended to apply 1/2 cup of granules in spring before buds first begin to open and 1/2 cup in fall before leaves drop.

You can also apply a foliar spray (1 tablespoon per gallon of water per foot of shrub height) after the buds first begin to open in spring and again at flowering. Foliar plant spray involves applying fertilizer directly to a plant’s leaves as opposed to putting it in the soil.

How To Use Epsom Salts To Remove A Splinter

Working with wood tools and nature can cause painful blisters in your hands. Did you know that you can use Epsom salts to remove a splinter? Combine 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with one cup of warm water and soak the infected area in this mixture. Epsom salt remove splinters by increasing the osmotic pressure of the skin to help draw the splinter out on its own. Best of all, you will not have to use any tweezers!

Don’t limit the use of Epsom salt just for your garden – there are many other extraordinary uses for Epsom salt!

You can also add Epsom salt to your bath – An Epsom salt bath offers health benefits that have led many people for years to make soaking in the tub a regular routine.

According to some sources, Epsom salt can also help you lose weight and you can read my article on how to make Epsom salt bath for weight loss.

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