Sunday, September 8, 2013

Epsom Salts, "In The Garden?"

   Using Epsom salt in gardening is not a new concept, its something I would see my Grammy and Aunt Annice use often in there vegetable garden and flower garden and then soak their tired feet in a hot tube of water with it after a long day in the garden! Using Epsom Salts in the garden has been around for many generations. But does it really work? I know I personally have seen differences since recalling this trick they used, so lets look at why I may have seen a difference.
  Why put Epsom salts on plants? Is Epsom Salt Good for Plants? Yes, Epsom salt helps improve flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green color. It can even help plants grow bushier. Epsom salt is made up of "hydrated magnesium sulfate" (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to healthy plant growth.  Even if you don’t believe in its effectiveness, it never hurts to try it. Magnesium allows plants to better take in valuable nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. It also helps in the creation of chlorophyll, which is vital for photosynthesis. In addition, magnesium greatly improves a plant’s ability to produce flowers and fruit. If the soil becomes depleted of magnesium, adding Epsom salt will help; and since it poses little danger of overuse like most commercial fertilizers, you can use it safely on nearly all your garden plants.
  How to Water Plants with Epsom Salts? It’s easy. Simply substitute it for regular watering either once or twice a month. 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 also be aware that many plants, like beans and leafy vegetables, will happily grow and produce in soils with low levels of magnesium. Plants like 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, especially when applied as a foliage spray. Most plants can be misted with a solution of 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 foliage spray of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water for each foot of the shrub’s height. Apply in spring as leaves appear and then again after flowering.
  For tomatoes and peppers, apply 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt granules around each transplant or spray (1 tbsp. per gallon) during transplanting and again following the first bloom and fruit set. One great article I found was"Fertilize with Epsom Salts" By: Charlie Nardozzi, it's a very good introductory into this subject!
 Another benefit that I have found personally with using Epsom salt in the garden is as a "natural pesticide" for snails and slugs around my hosta's and other shade loves. I mean think about it, if you sprinkle salt on a slug what happens but if you just sprinkle Epsom salts around the base of the plants, it deters the slimy buggers!
  It has many other benefits but we are just sticking with the garden aspect of it, here is a quick video to help get all of this stuck in your mind! "Epsom Salts" with Dr. Bruce.
  I hope you have a successful go with Epsom Salts and hopefully I can remember some more of these old tricks that I saw used growing up!

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it."