You have probably heard of Epsom salt and know, that it can be good for your health. Usually it is associated with baths, as this natural salt helps relieve muscle tension, pain, cramps and inflammation in joints. Epson salt helps to regulate fluid retention in cells, and facilitates the body’s use of calcium to transmit chemical signals throughout the nervous system. It also helps to regulate blood sugar, relives constipation, helps to remove splinters and exfoliate your skin.
But do you know that Epsom salt can also be used in your garden?
Epsom salt is a popular supplement in organic gardening. For those interested in “green” living, Epsom salt is an ideal component in an organic garden. It is an affordable, gentle and green treatment for your plants — both indoors and out. Most plants need nutrients to stay in good health, and Epsom salt makes the primary nutrients in most plant foods (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) more effective. So, if you prefer organic gardening, adding Epsom salt to soil will improve absorption naturally, eliminating the need for processed chemical fertilizers.
What is Epsom salt? Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.
Magnesium sulfate may be used to fertilize your plants, green up your lawn, remove unwanted insect pests, and prevent slugs among other things.
Epsom Salt does not accumulate in the soil or harm any plants when used, so it can be used safely and effectively during any stage of the plant’s life.
So, check out some amazing ways you can use Epsom salt in your home garden:
1. Improve seed germination and help transplanted plants
Using Epsom salt as a soil amendment before seeding will give your garden a powerful boost right from the start. Magnesium aids in seed germination and helps to strengthen cell walls, leading to more and stronger seedlings. Sprinkle 1 cup of salt per 100 square feet, and then work it into the soil before seeding or planting. You can also mix 1 – 2 tablespoons into the soil at the bottom of each hole before dropping in seeds.
It can also aid more mature plants that will be added to your garden, since the transition can be difficult for their growth and health. Feed transplants with Epsom salt once they’re in their new place to help week or damaged roots overcome transplant shock. You can either sprinkle some Epsom salt around the soil near the base of the plant and then water it, or sprinkle Epsom salt into the holes or a new planter. But before moving your plant, Remember to add a layer of soil on top of salt, so roots don’t come into direct contact with these concentrated minerals right away.
2. Produce more and tastier vegetables
All nightshade family plants need magnesium, as it will help them produce better yields. Plants in the nightshade family include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of Epsom salt around the base of your plants, or mix the salt with a gallon of water and water the plants with the mixture. Repeat this every two weeks.
For hot peppers, over-watering can lead to fruit with less heat, in this case you can use the soil amendment method. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for every foot of height around the drip line of your pepper plants once per week. You can use this method for tomato plants as well every two weeks.
3. Better roses and other flowers
Roses truly thrive when you feed them Epsom salt. The salt encourages the rose bushes to produce larger flowers in greater numbers, and make foliage greener.
For maximum benefit, bare root rose bushes may be soaked in half a cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water before planting, to help strengthen the roots. At the time of planting, add one tablespoon of salt per hole. After the roses are planted, and especially at the first sign of new growth make the same salt solution for your plants, or simply add in one tablespoon of Epsom Salt per foot of the plant. During the beginning of the season, it is also advised once to add half a cup of salt into the base of the rose bush.
You can also use Epson salt for other flowers in your garden. Make a liquid solution containing one tablespoon of salt per gallon of water. Use this solution after the initial planting, then later when you see growth, and finally when they bloom.
Mixing a tablespoon of Epsom salt with a gallon of water and spraying your ferns and similar plants, such as elephant ears will help them to grow richier and darker foliage.
Please, note! Do not use Epsom salt in soil where you grow sage. This herb is one of the few plants that doesn’t like it.
4. Grow sweeter fruits
Help boost the chlorophyll inside the plant, by adding Epsom salt to trees, bushes, and vines that produce fruits. This will increase plants sugar production and will make fruits sweater. Mix Epsom salt with water at a ratio of about a quarter-cup of Epsom salt per 500 square feet when you water your plants.
5. Greener lawns
Use 3 pounds of Epsom salt for ever 1,250 square feet of grass. Apply with a spreader or diluted in water.
6. Trees & shrubs
Trees and shrubs can also benefit from Epsom salt. For the trees, use 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet by diluting in water. Apply 3 times per year over the root zone. For shrubs (especially evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron), apply 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet by diluting in water. Apply every 2 to 4 weeks over the root zone.
This will allow roots absorb more minerals, giving you strong, healthy plants.
If you have palm trees and notice the yellowing, which occurs at the top, known as “frizzle top”, it means there is a lack of magnesium in the soil. Spray the crown and base of the tree with some Epsom salt diluted in water.
7. Better houseplants and potted plants
For potted plants, simply dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water, and water with this solution once a month. It is useful for houseplants that have been potted for a long time, because of natural salt buildup, which can accumulate in the soil and clog the root cells of the plant. Epsom salt can help to clear up this accumulation of natural salts in the pot. Newly potted plants will benefit from the salt as well, because they will more easily receive the proper nutrients and have a healthy start in life.
8. Make the foliage greener
When the leaves turning yellow, it could mean that the plants might not be getting enough magnesium. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per 12 inches of height, once person month.
9. Stop leaf curling
Curling leaves could be a sign of magnesium-deficiency in plants. Try to add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil around the base of the plant. For the faster absorption you can mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and apply directly to the leaves.
10. Eliminate weeds
Mix 2 cups of Epsom salt with a gallon of vinegar and some liquid dish detergent. Spray this solution on any weeds that pop up. Make sure you will not spray it on other plants.
11. Tree stump removal
Drill holes in the stump and stuff them with Epsom salt. Wait for several weeks. The stump will begin rotting away.
12. Remove a splinter
It is so easy to get a splinter while gardening. Try this trick: mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with warm water and soak the area with a splinter. This will help the splinter get out of your skin.
Please, note: Before using Epsom salt in your garden, make sure you check the existing magnesium levels in your soil.
Share with other fellow gardeners in the comments below if you have already tried these gardening tips.
Cover photo: pixabay.com
This website is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent gardening problems. Please consult your local plant nursery, gardener, or landscaping specialist or any specific questions.
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