The contentment we get from growing plants in a large yard or even in a little pot is just out of the world. We carefully sow the seeds and sit tight as seasons change for the plants to crop well. Each day we check for their wellbeing and healthy growth. Yet as days pass and when it is time for them to blossom, we get pissed off after all that holding up, just to figure out that either the fruits or flowers are not healthy or infected by some malady. I have always had this issue with my rose plants as they develop little blossoms which are not so healthy or completely developed. From that point onwards I started getting some information about solutions which can bail me out with my plants. At last I got the reply from a shrewd nursery worker who let me know how to make use of Epsom salts for tomato plants. Trust me this worked out well for my rose plants. Since then I have had a great time growing tomatoes and roses. Epsom salt is not a myth but it’s a fact that actually helps your plants to prosper. Here you will discover how to use epsom salt as a fertilizer for plants.
- Uncover the startling essentials about Epsom salts by going through the following:
- Origin of Epsom salt
- Epsom salts are better than chemical fertilizers
- Why tomato plants need Epsom salts
- How to identify a magnesium deficiency in tomato plants
- How to apply Epsom salts for healthy tomato plants
- Eight benefits of Epsom salts for tomato plants uncovered
- Few tips to plant tomatoes
Origin of Epsom salt
Heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite is commonly known as Epsom salt and it gets its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom, a borough in Surrey, England. This salt was discovered by a farmer who found that his cows were unhappy drinking the water from the wells nearby and he also found that the water was very effective in healing wounds and rashes. Since then Epsom salt is used by many for various purposes. It has been used as a natural remedy for various ailments as well as for beauty, household and gardening purposes. In this article I would like to highlight its benefits for growing tomatoes in epsom salt.
Are Epsom salts better than chemical fertilizers?
Growing plants is indeed an excellent task which most of us like to do but not everyone likes the idea of applying chemicals in the gardens as it may affect the soil quality as well as have a negative impact on the surroundings. Applying synthetic fertilizers exposes the soil and water bodies to dangerous toxins. The hard part is that once the soil is contaminated, it takes years to get rid of toxins and get back to its normal form. It is always better to look for natural alternatives instead of toxic pesticides and fertilizers which can help the plants to grow well without damaging the soil. One such interesting natural alternative which can be used without any hazards is the Epsom salt. They are naturally occurring mineral compounds which can be used as a fertilizer without any after effects. The constituents of Epsom salt (MgSO4-7H2O) are magnesium, sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen. This marvel salt is highly soluble and is effortlessly absorbed by the roots and the leaves. Epsom salt is easy on the pocket, quick acting and easily dissolves in water. So by any means applying Epsom salts is a greener alternative than sticking around with chemicals. I have a lustrous garden filled with juicy tomatoes free of toxins. All credits go to Epsom salts and that shrewd nursery worker.
Why Epsom salts for tomato plants
Tomato plants require sulfur and magnesium for various purposes starting from germination to the blooming phase. So what does epsom salt do to plants? While sulfur helps to provide essential vitamins, amino acids and enzymes whereas magnesium assists in seed germination, production of chlorophyll, strengthening cell walls and development of healthy fruits. Magnesium also helps in absorbing certain essentials like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. Basically tomato plants can easily get the mineral sulfur but it suffers from magnesium deficiency mostly due to soil depletion. So applying Epsom salts can help sort out this problem. By now you would have understood that Epsom salts can help a great deal in growing healthy tomatoes as it supplies the plants with plenty of sulfur and magnesium.
How can one identify a magnesium deficiency in tomato plants?
The best method is to do a soil test that can help you to understand what’s missing. Apart from that there are other factors which can point towards a magnesium deficiency and they are
- Yellowing of the leaves and areas around the veins (intervenial chlorosis)
- Curling of leaves
- Less number of tomatoes in a plant
- Plants become disproportionately thin
Applying Epsom salts to your tomato plants – How much epsom salts for tomato plants
- When sowing seeds or planting transplants, apply 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil.
- For every two weeks apply Epsom salt around the base of the tomato plants as they require both sulfur and magnesium for their growth.
- You can sprinkle Epsom salt according to the plant height which means that for a 4 foot plant, you will require four tablespoons of Epsom salt. After that, water the plants thoroughly so that the salt dissolves completely for better absorption by the roots. This can be done in the mid season for better foliage.
- The next method is by using a tank sprayer where you can add 2 table spoons of Epsom salt to one gallon of water and sprinkle it once a month. If you want to make it twice a month, then just reduce the quantity of Epsom to one table spoon for a one time use.
8 benefits of Epsom salts for tomato plants uncovered
Provides the exact soil pH
Epsom salt has the same pH range as that required by the tomato plants which is close to neutral value of 6.0 to 6.8. Applying Epsom salts can help the tomatoes to absorb all the nutrients as well as grow them in the right environment without making any complex changes.
Bigger and a better Harvest
Tomato plants require high levels of magnesium to bloom well and to produce a better harvest. Applying Epsom salts can help you to produce juicy tomatoes in a good shape and size better than ever before. Sprinkling Epsom salts a few inches away from the plants in a circular fashion nearer to the harvest time will help to ripen the tomatoes with full zest.
Applying Epsom salts before sowing the seeds will help the seeds to germinate well and produce healthy saplings. They will be less prone to any mineral deficiencies and having a healthy foundation will help the sapling to grow into a fully fledged plant.
Lack of magnesium causes leaves to curl and turn yellow which makes it difficult to photosynthesize nutrients. Supplying healthy levels of magnesium through Epsom salts helps the leaves to grow healthy and also improves chlorophyll production. Healthy leaves help to produce better fruits and trigger healthy stem growth.
Epsom salts helps to improve the intake of other essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur which helps the plants to grow larger and bushier than normal ones without any supplements.
Stronger cell walls
Sulfur in Epsom salts provides enzymes and amino acids which helps the stems to grow strong at the cellular level thereby creating a healthy stem system which can withstand all odds.
Protection from ailments
Epsom salts protects tomato plants from all diseases like fusarium, verticillium wilt and blossom end rot by supplying all the essential nutrients from early growth.
Resistance towards pests
Epsom salts wards of bugs like aphids, hornworms, slugs, snails, mice and other rodents which hinder the growth of the plants. Epsom salts also act as a pesticide as well as an effective fertilizer for the plants.
The benefits of using Epsom salts have been proved by many studies and it is widely used to grow tomatoes, peppers and other flowering plants by experts as well as newbies.
Use Epsom salt for Blossom End Rot
Applying Epsom salts before planting tomatoes will help you to prevent blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is nothing but black blotching at the ends of tomatoes. Either mix Epsom salt with the soil along with some organic manure and water them well so that the roots can absorb all the nutrients or give a side dressing of Epsom salt. Supplying healthy nutrients will prevent the ends form blotching. Blossom end rot picture
Few tips to plant tomatoes
- Choose a location which gets sunlight the whole day.
- Maintain at least a 3 feet space between all the saplings as tomato plants need more space to grow well.
- Add proper soil and draining system.
- Maintain proper air circulation
- Pinch and prune regularly
- Use canes and netting to provide support
- Water little and at regular intervals
- Do not wet the plants. Water only the soil beneath
- Warm the soil using black plastics before sowing or planting as tomatoes love warmth.
Uses of epsom salt for your garden
1. Improve seed germination
Use epsom salt to amend your soil before installing seeds. This give speed up the germination process. Use 1 cup of salt for 100 sq. ft of tilled soil or simply mix 1-2 tbsp to the soil before putting the seeds.
2. Nutrient absorption
Many commercial growers use mag to push up the nutrients (NPK) to various areas of the plants. Adding epsom salt can improve the absorption of nutrients easily without the need for any chemical fertilizers.
3. Transplanting crops
Plants can wilt once you move them from indoors to outdoor environment. Using bit of epsom salt can cut down the shock of their sudden change and help them to recover easily. Keep a mental note to add a layer of epsom salt with soil. This is to prevent roots from coming to direct contact of these concentrated minerals.
4. Greeny foliage
If your plants are turning yellow, it means that they are not getting enough magnesium. Mag is important for proper function of chlorophyll. Sprinkle epsom salt for getting healthier foliage. A tablespoon for 12 inches of height in a month will do good for your plants.
5. Stop Curling leaves
Magnesium deficiency can cause leaves to curl up. Add Epsom salt to the soil base and you can even mix two tbsp of epsom salt in a gallon of water and spray it to the leaves for faster absorption.
6. No more pests
Though Epsom salt won’t dehydrate slugs or snails like table salt, it can still drive little rodents away. As they are hydrated the crystals are quite sharp and can scratch and irritate the bodies of pests. As epsom salt dissolves easily in water, even a few amount of rain is likely to wash it away.
7. Ripen fruits
Apply epsom salt to fruit and nut trees, vines or even bushes to boost the chlorophyll levels in plant cells. It will increase the energy by adding more sugar which will help in preparing the plants to deliver sweeter and healthier fruit.
8. Tasty tomatoes
Tomato vines offer suffer from mag deficiency. If you are craving for rich and ripe tomatoes make sure you feed your plants with good amount of epsom salts that will fertilize it right from the roots to deliver ripe and sweet tomatoes every cycle. Dissolve two tablespoons of epsom salt for a gallon of water every couple of weeks.
9. Bountiful peppers
Peppers just like tomatoes are another garden plant with a higher than average fruit to plant size ratio. Feed them with magnesium every two weeks to get bigger and better harvest. Do not overwater hot peppers as it will result in less yields. Sprinkle a tbsp of epsom salt for every foot of height once a week.
10. Redder and gracious roses
Yes, epsom salts can give you larger blossoms in high amounts. Ask an expert rosarian and he will agree that magnesium can give you good yields every day. Do not forget the chlorophyll production that gives you darker leaves. Make sure to feed your roses with good amount of epsom salt during the time of planting which will give you good growth.
Epsom salts provide more benefits than many other common chemical fertilizers. They are natural and do not contaminate the soil and harm the environment. You can use these safely without posing any danger to pets and children. Epsom salts are clean and odor free and do not emit any unpleasant odor like those of the chemical fertilizers. You also don’t have to worry if you apply an overdose than what is required because it won’t cause any harm to the plants. This natural remedy is used by many commercial growers as well as small scale ranchers. If you want to grow juicy tomatoes, then it’s worth a try. Grow healthy juicy tomatoes in an organic way using Epsom salts.