Introduction to Epsom salt for gardening
Epsom salts are a chemical compound known as hydrated magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate supplies two essential plant nutrients like magnesium and sulfur. So it stands to reason that supplied in the right amounts, they’d be good for garden plants. People commonly use Epsom salts to feed many plants that crave magnesium, including tomatoes, peppers, and rose bushes. They claim that Epsom salts mixed with water and then poured around the bases of plants or sprayed directly on the foliage result in more and bigger flowers and fruit. In this article we also discuss below topics;
- Is Epsom salt good for plants
- Does Epsom salt make plants grow better
- How to boost garden with Epsom salt
- Which plants like Epsom salts
- Can I sprinkle Epsom salt around plants
- How do you add Epsom salt to plants
- How often should water my plants with Epsom salt
- Does Epsom salt help tomato plants
A step by step guide to Epsom salt for gardening
Epsom salt used as a foliar spray or soil additive will help tomato and pepper plants grow and produce larger yields. Epsom salts will promote soil toxicity, often leading to ailments like blossom end rot, serious and long-term potassium deficiency, and sometimes (if enough is used) outright death of the plant.
Epsom salt helps improve flower blooming and then enhances a plant’s green color. Epsom salt can even help plants grow bushier. It is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to healthy plant growth.
How to apply Epsom salt to indoor plants as part of home gardening
There are several ways to apply Epsom salt to plants. One method is to dissolve about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of warm water. Water your plants with this mixture once per month. You can place the Epsom salt and water mixture into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the leaves of your plant. Some people swear that it makes the plant leaves turn greener. Applying this natural fertilizer to houseplants monthly will most definitely benefit your indoor plants.
- Foliar spray during the season. Add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to a gallon of water and use tank sprayer to apply the mix once a month substituting the spray for regular watering. Use one tablespoon per gallon of water if you apply Epsom salt spray more than once a month. Then, begin foliar spraying when blooms first appear.
- Side dressing during the season. Work 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height around the base of the plant. Side dress plants every 6 weeks beginning soon after leaves appear and continuing through the end harvest.
- Soil additive at planting time. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to the bottom of each hole before planting seeds or transplants.
Apply Epsom salt to the soil in the gardening
Nourish your plant’s roots by applying Epsom salts directly to the potting soil. If multiple houseplants that you wish to feed, save time by creating a big batch of Epsom salt. Mix about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with a gallon of water, and water them with enough of the solution that moisture appears in the bottom drainage holes of each pot.
Alternatively, measure the height of the plant in feet. You need a teaspoon of Epsom salt for each foot and sprinkle the salt around the base of the plant. Water immediately to help dissolve the salt and carry it down to the plant’s roots.
Apply Epsom salt to get sweeter fruits from the gardening
Apply Epsom salt 1 tablespoon per sq ft of fruit trees and shrubs to boost chlorophyll levels inside plant cells, which means improved photosynthesis, stronger plant growth, sweeter fruits, and increase productivity. Fruit trees such as citrus, apples, peaches, pomegranate, and plums perk up after the application of Epsom salt.
Apply Epsom salt before planting roses, tomatoes, and peppers
- Amend the soil in new garden beds with about 1/4 cup of Epsom salts per 25 square feet of garden bed area. Scatter the dry granules over the soil and then dig it into the top 6 to 8 inches of the bed.
- Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts to the bottom of planting holes when planting and transplanting roses.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts in the bottom of planting holes for tomato and pepper transplants. Then, set the seedlings in the holes and fill in around them with soil.
Foliar sprays for roses, tomatoes, and peppers
- Spray the leaves of roses with a solution of about 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts diluted in 1 gallon of water. Apply this dilution each spring when you see new plant leaves about to open. Use one gallon of the diluted mixture for every 12 inches of rose bush height. Spray roses on overcast days, or, if you’re spraying on sunny days, in the early morning and late evening.
- Re-spray the leaves of rose bushes with 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed in 1 gallon of water when the first rosebuds develop in late spring or summer season.
- Spray tomato and pepper leaves with 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts diluted in a gallon of water. Spray each plant until the plant leaves are thoroughly wet.
- Apply a second foliar spray to tomato and pepper plants in the summer season when the flowers start to bloom. Then, follow up with a final application when new peppers and tomatoes start to form on the vines.
What’s the correct dose of Epsom salts to apply?
For foliar feeding, Epsom salt is 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. For soil drenching, add about 1/2-cup per gallon of water. Epsom salts can rejuvenate tired plants, reduce stress, and, significantly, increase sensuality.
Ways to use Epsom salts as part of gardening
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Give seeds a better start
Magnesium boosts seed germination by strengthening cell walls and providing increased energy for plant growth. Sulfur is easily lost during the germination procedure, so apply a drench of one tablespoon of Epsom salts for every gallon of water to the soil after seeding. Alternately, you can mix about 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts into each hole before planting seeds.
Prevent root shock
Transplanted roots need tender care and to prevent root shock, which causes wilting and leaf discoloration, mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts for every one gallon of water. Or try adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry salts directly to the hole before transplanting a bush or flowers.
Deter pests naturally
Instead of using plain table salt to dehydrate and also kill snails and slugs, banish the pests with Epsom salts and you’ll give roots and blooms a boost in the process. For general pest control, mix one cup of Epsom salts with 5 gallons of water and spray onto foliage. For slug and snail control, sprinkle dry Epsom salts to the plants.
How to water plants with Epsom salts
Before applying Epsom salt, however, it’s a good idea to have your soil tested to determine whether it’s deficient of magnesium. You should be aware that many plants, like beans and leafy vegetables, will happily grow and produce in soils with low levels of magnesium. Plants such as rose, tomatoes, and peppers, on the other hand, require lots of magnesium, and therefore, are more commonly watered with Epsom salt. When diluted with water, Epsom salt is easily taken up by plants, particularly when applied as a foliar spray. Most plants can be misted with a solution of about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water once a month. For more frequent watering, every other week, cut this back to one tablespoon. With roses, you can apply a foliar spray of about 1 tablespoon per gallon of water for each foot of the shrub’s height. Apply in spring as plant leaves appear and then again after flowering. For tomatoes and peppers, apply 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt granules around each transplant and spray during transplanting and again following the first bloom and fruit set.
Spray Epsom salt on the houseplant’s leaves
The minerals in Epsom salt are taken up quickly through the plant leaves when the salt is sprayed directly on the foliage as a foliar spray. Foliar sprays can work faster than root applications. Dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt into a gallon of water and pour the salty solution into a spray bottle and mist all exposed parts of the plant evenly. Use enough spray so that the plant leaves are dripping wet.
Gardening tips for using Epson salt
Here are some important tips for using Epson salt in the garden;
Houseplants – 2 tablespoons per gallon of water and feed plants monthly.
Roses – 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant and apply every 2 weeks. And, scratch 1/2 cup into the soil at the base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth. Soak unplanted bushes in 1 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help plant roots recover. Also, add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time.
Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron) – 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet.
Lawns – Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.
Trees – Apply about 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet.
Garden Startup – Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet and mix into the soil before planting.
Epsom salt uses in the gardening
Epsom salt to deter insects
Applying Epsom salt to the surface of the soil, at the base of your plants, acts as a natural insect repellent because of the physical nature of the salt.
The crystals that makeup Epsom salt are uncomfortable for bugs to walk across and cut the insects that walk over the salt, causing them to dehydrate and die. If you try this process, keep in mind that you’ll have to reapply the Epsom salt every so often because it’s water-soluble and will dissolve into the soil when you water your plants.
Epsom salt to treat leaf curl
Leaf curl is just one symptom of a magnesium deficiency in the plant. Leaf curl is when the tips of the leaves of the plant curl inward towards the base of the leaf. To combat this, simply apply Epsom salt to the soil to begin increasing the magnesium levels. Otherwise, if plants haven’t experienced leaf curl yet, adding a dose of magnesium to their soil before the issue pops up will leave you with one less headache in the garden.
Prevent leaf curling
Sometimes due to magnesium deficiency, leaves could curl inward or upward. In this case, the application of Epsom salt around the base of the plant helps a lot. Alternately, for quick absorption, you can mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and spray directly on the foliage.
For better blooming roses
Adding Epsom salt helps in the chlorophyll production, which favors the bushier growth of the roses. Also, its addition encourages more blooms. Feed rose bushes with Epsom salt at the time of planting and again at the first sign of new plant growth. The application of Epsom salt when the plant is flowering is helpful. You can soak bare root roses in water that contains dissolved Epsom salt before planting.
Get rid of weeds
If you want to get rid of weeds in the garden but don’t want to use herbicides. Instead, mix 1 liter of vinegar with 2 tablespoons dish soap and about 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts. Stir everything well and then pour this into a spray bottle. Spray this solution on weeds and make sure you don’t spray this on other garden plants.
Care for potted plants
Potted plants become magnesium deficient quickly than plants grown on the ground. Therefore, add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to 1 gallon of water and feed this solution once a month to container plants. Water until it starts to flow out from the bottom of the pot.
How to add Epsom salt to potting soil in the gardening
Step 1) Instead of buying plant food for fertilizing houseplants, try amending ordinary potting soil with Epsom salt. Epsom salt supplies magnesium and lowers the pH level of potting soil, making it easier for plants to absorb other nutrients.
Step 2) Measure 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt for each foot of plant height and sprinkle it directly onto the surface of the potting soil of the houseplant. Water the plant after applying the Epsom salt so the nutrients can sink into the soil and repeat every week.
Step 3) Pour a tablespoon of Epsom salt into a gallon of water and then mix well. Spray the solution onto the foliage of plants and the surface of the potting soil. Both plant roots and leaves will absorb the nutrients. Repeat every several weeks.
Step 4) Then, mix a pinch of Epsom salt into regular plant food. Prepare and apply the plant food based on its label directions.
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