With more and more people resorting to organic gardening, epsom salt is fast emerging as a garden supplement and as an alternative to commercial plant foods. It is added to the soil either directly or after mixing with water. It is widely used in flower gardens as well as vegetable gardens. Even lawn grass, shrubs and some trees are said to benefit from epsom salt.
Even though, there is no solid proof or evidence to show its effectiveness as a garden supplement, most of the gardeners who use it on their plants vouch for its efficacy. The use of epsom salt for tomatoes, roses and peppers is very common.
What is Epsom Salt
Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) is a naturally occurring chemical compound, which is composed of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. This chemical compound is devoid of water, but in its hydrated state, magnesium sulfate is called epsom salt (MgSO4-7H2O). The name is derived from the town of Epsom in England, which is the place where this salt was discovered for the first time. Nowadays, epsom salt is commonly available in health stores and is used for a wide range of household applications.
This compound is one of the indispensable ingredients in bath salts and is also widely used for its healing properties. It is also used as a cleansing agent. You might have heard about the use of epsom salt for tomato plants, roses and peppers. So, it is also used as a garden supplement. It is said to be very much effective in growing healthy plants and for promoting production of blooms and fruits.
Use of Epsom Salt for Plants
As mentioned above, there is no scientific backing for the effectiveness of epsom salt for tomatoes and other plants. However, it is found to be effective for the healthy growth of plants. It is said that the benefits of epsom salt for plants are due to its main constituents - magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium is beneficial for plants, right from the stage of seed germination. It strengthens the plant cell walls and assists the plant in making chlorophyll.
Magnesium also enhances the plant's efficiency in absorbing nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil. Sulfur is also essential for plant life. Apart from aiding the process of chlorophyll production, sulfur is useful for repelling pests and making the plant resistant to diseases. Adding epsom salt is said to be helpful for the plant to develop a healthy foliage and also to boost the production of fruits and flowers.
Epsom Salt For Tomatoes
In case of tomato plants, one tablespoon of epsom salt per foot of plant height is added twice every month. It will be beneficial to add it to the soil before planting tomatoes. One or two tablespoons will be enough for a single plant. Epsom salt is found to be more beneficial for certain plants like, peppers, tomatoes and roses. Magnesium deficiency is common in such plants, especially tomatoes. In such cases, the leaves of the plants start yellowing and even the production of flowers and fruits may get affected. So, use of epsom salt right from planting stage, throughout the growing season is found to be of great benefit, as far as the health and fruit production of the plant is concerned. Even diseases of tomato plants like, blossom end rot is said to be preventable with epsom salt.
In short, the use of epsom salt for tomatoes is found to be beneficial in many ways. However, it will be wiser to test the soil, before using it. Tomatoes, peppers and roses are said to be some of the plants that are greatly benefited with this chemical compound. If you have these plants in your garden, try epsom salt on them and feel the difference.