Column: Salt your garden for benefits to production and vegetables


By Noah Herron 

Epsom salt can provide many benefits in the home garden. It has been shown to increase flower production, intensify greenness and increase yields with tomatoes, peppers and roses. It should be used in unison with a well-balanced fertilizer.

Epsom salt contains hydrated magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll that aids photosynthesis. Magnesium 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 also helps increase flavor within some vegetables.

Epsom salt is cheap to buy and easy to apply. I like to use it in a foliar spray, as Epsom salt is highly soluble and absorbs quickly into the plants when applied to the leaves. It’s typical to use 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per one gallon of water. One gallon can be used to spray 3 to 5 plants. So, just increase or decrease depending on amount of plants. The best time to apply is during bloom time and again 10 days later when tiny fruits have developed.

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