My dear German friends live in a picturesque little town of Waldenbuch near Stuttgart. And it was them who taught me some valuable lessons about being ecologically-friendly.
When I first visited them around 15 years ago, their devotion to eco-organic things seemed a bit odd and exaggerated to me. Namely, they separated their household waste impeccably, purchased only certified-organic cosmetic stuff and food, and did not leave their tap running by no means!
These mindful German farmers used manure to fertilize their fields, which was why a very unpleasant smell lingered in the air in the afternoons. Well, at the time, I was disgusted by this!
However, in the ensuing years, I also became more of a health-conscious person. It became crystal clear to me too that if we were to maintain our physical and mental health and make them a complete ZEN, we ought to live in unison and harmony with Mother Nature.
Hence, if we use potentially-dangerous chemical fertilizers and pesticides, not only do we eat fruit and vegetables full of harmful substances, but we also poison the soil, creating a vicious eco-circle!
Since my husband and I have a vegetable garden around our small cottage house, we have become interested in more natural ways to enhance the growth and quality of our precious vegetables.
So, I have discovered that a mineral compound, also widely used to remedy various human health problems, can do wonders for our garden plants as well! Its majestic name is Epsom Salt.
Now, what is Epsom Salt?
You may assume that Epsom Salt is just another sort of sodium chloride used for food seasoning. But in fact, the Epsom Salt is not intended for eating since IT IS NOT A REAL SALT, but it just looks like big grains of salt. Chemically, the Epsom Salt is a hydrated magnesium sulfate, which naturally occurs in the bitter spring waters at Epsom in Surrey, England. (Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO₄)
The Epsom Salt benefits for all living creatures – humans, animals, and plants – because it consists of around10% magnesium and 13% sulfur.
Let’s see how Epsom Salt helps gardeners as necessary paraphernalia, besides their scissors, shovels, saws…
The 2 important components of the Epsom salt given above are crucial for the development and growth of plants:
1. Magnesium enables the process of photosynthesis, and it gives the leaves their green color.
2. Sulfur is necessary for the production of enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins.
It is important to know that Epsom Salt is pH neutral, so it cannot cause damage to the soil. It feeds the plants with essential nutrients in a natural, safe, and easily-applicable way.
The Epsom Salt is not a costly item either, which is another important point for any gardener.
20 Reasons Why You Should Use Epsom Salt In the Garden
1. Epsom Salt enhances the germination of the seed
Magnesium strengthens plants’ cells, helping them to produce stronger seedlings. For this purpose, do this:
Mix some soil at the bottom of every hole with 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salt right before you plant the seeds.
2. Epsom Salt enhances nutrient absorption
It acts as an organic fertilizer since magnesium improves the ability of the roots to draw out essential nutrients.
3. Epsom Salt helps plant recover from transplant shock
You should know that plants suffer a certain shock when we abruptly transfer them to another pot, or when we change their environment. So, when you start plants indoors for outdoor planting later on, or move established potted plants to larger pots, it happens that your plants get shocked by this “moving house” and they can even die on you!
This phenomenon is known as transplant shock and happens because the plants’ roots were likely damaged during the transportation process. The Epsom Salt, according to Balcony Web, can help plants overcome this transplant trauma.
So, if you suspect that your plants have experienced a transplant shock, feed them with some Epsom Salt by sprinkling it on the topsoil near the base of the plant, and then watering or putting a little salt into the hole or planter you will be next planting your plant. Then, cover the salt with a little dirt before planting your plant on top of the dirt.
More precisely, you should do this:
Dig a hole in the soil, then sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salt, and lastly cover it with a layer of dirt so that the roots can gradually absorb the minerals and recover from the transplant shock.
4. Epsom Salt enables plants to become greener
When plants are not receiving their recommended daily amount of magnesium, their leaves start turning yellow, since magnesium is a vital ingredient for chlorophyll production. To remedy this commonplace, you can also feed your plants with a doze of Epsom Salt. To avoid this undesirable event, you can sprinkle some Epsom Salt around them to enhance their foliage.
It is recommended to feed your plants with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the mineral per 12 inches (30 cm) of height one time a month.
Note: The Epson Salt is especially effective when it is diluted with water, and used as a foliar spray, since it has excellent solubility and plants take it up in a jiffy!
5. Epsom Salt does not allow leaves to curl and thus receive less sunlight!
Leaf curling is a ‘red sign’ of a lack of magnesium in a plant! To get around this problem, it is necessary that you apply some Epsom Salt around the bottom part of the plant. If the leaves on your plant are curled, for a quicker intake, you can directly apply foliage spray by making this solution:
Mix 2 tablespoons of Epson Salt with a gallon of water (3.8 liters) or the lighter option with mixing only 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of Epsom salt with a gallon of water.
6. Epsom Salt is a pest repellent – it efficiently ‘nixes’ garden pests
Garden pests are the worst indeed! You spend a significant amount of time planting something that you enjoy, and the next thing you know, it is ruined by pests almost overnight! Luckily, the Epsom Salt can help with this big problem.
Though the Epsom Salt won’t make snails and slugs wither away like table salt, it still does irritate them. The Epsom Salt works much like diatomaceous earth to keep unwanted pests at bay. The only caveat about using the Epsom Salt to deter pests is that it is water soluble, so you will need to continuously reapply it.
Epsom Salt crystals that you sprinkle around the base of plants are hard and sharp. Because of this, they ward off the undesired pests in the garden since the crystals cause irritation and scratching of their bodies.
7. Epsom Salt makes tomato fruits delicious
Tomatoes are especially susceptible to magnesium deficiency. So, it is necessary to double the amount of magnesium they receive. The most efficient method of giving them enough magnesium is through giving them foliage feeding in this way:
Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt in a gallon of water (=3.8 liters) and water the tomato vines with this solution once in 14 days.
8. Epsom Salt enhances the growth of bigger peppers
Peppers also require more magnesium. They should also be given a “magnesium shot” every 2 weeks to produce bigger veggies.
9. Epsom salt helps roses yield more plentiful and beautiful blossoms
Yes, roses look stunningly beautiful and smell gorgeous, but they can be tricky to grow. Again, the Epsom Salt makes it a little bit easier for you to grow them. By adding the Epsom Salt to rose-bushes you encourage them to produce larger flowers with darker and deeper crimson or pink colors. And if you want to incorporate the Epsom Salt to your rose bush’s ‘diet,’ remember to add it at the time of planting, as well as when flowers are blooming.
In addition, gardeners and florists alike will all agree that magnesium stimulates the growth of new stems. The production of chlorophyll will also be improved due to the Epsom Salt application, leading to greener leaves.
If you want to have the most beautiful, eye-catching roses, they suggest feeding them with Epsom Salt crystals at least 3 times:
First, when you plant them,second, as soon as you notice they have begun to grow,
Third, when the flowers are blooming.You can also soak root of roses in Water-Epsom Salt Solution right before planting them.
10. Epsom Salt makes fruit taste ‘sweeter, not bitter’!
When added to trees, bushes and vines that produce fruit, the Epsom Salt boosts the chlorophyll inside the plant. Plants having more chlorophyll also have more energy. The benefit goes on – when plants have more energy, they produce more sugar. More sugar means sweeter fruit for you to enjoy!
So, the Epsom Salt increases the production of chlorophyll in the cells, thus causing the plant to make more glucose as food. The more glucose is produced in the plant, the more it makes it sweeter for consumption!
In fact, the Epsom Salt, aka magnesium sulfate, works well in any home garden because it gives the fertilizer and soil a much needed boost of both magnesium and sulfate. The additional minerals in it enable plants to receive more nutrition from the soil they are growing in. In turn, this increases the plant’s quality.
11. Epsom Salt helps produce abundant nightshades
Lots of people enjoy growing plants from the ‘nightshade family ‘ such as peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes. All ‘nightshades’ need a lot of magnesium, so they can produce greater yields. The Epsom Salt also helps improve the flavor of nightshades. To ensure the nightshades you grow in your home garden are abundant and tasty, we recommend this:
Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of Epsom Salt to your peppers and tomatoes by sprinkling it around the bottom of the plant.
Note: If you want the salt to dissolve more quickly, add it to a gallon of water (3.8 liters), and water the plants with the mixture.
You should continue to add the Epsom Salt to your plants every 2 weeks.
12. Epsom Salt helps with getting fancy full ferns
If ferns start growing yellow and dull-looking, they are not an ‘eye sight’ any more. The Epsom Salt helps ferns [and plants similar to ferns such as elephant ear] to have richer and dark foliage. Do this:
Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of Epsom salt to a gallon of water (3.8 liters) and spray ferns and elephant ears to achieve the look.
Only ‘time spendthrifts’ like weeding their gardens! So, to cut down on weeding time, it is very wise to incorporate the Epsom Salt into your garden-maintenance schedule. You can terminate spreading weeds by mixing a couple of cups of the mineral with a gallon (=3.8 liters) of vinegar and some liquid dish detergent.
Put the mixture in a spray bottle, and “go to town” on any weeds you see. In a really short time, the weeds should die! Note: Take care not to spray any of this powerful solution on plants you want to keep, or they might die.
14. Epsom Salt acts like a lush lawn fertilizer
If your lawn isn’t looking as lush and beautiful as it used to in the past, it probably needs a little magnesium boost in its plant life. To perk up your grass areas, we suggest adding 3 pounds (1.35 kg) of Epsom Salt to every 1,250 square feet (116 square meters) of grass, and then abundantly watering your lawn to make it swiftly absorb the precious mineral.
15. Epsom Salt is a tree stump remover
A tree stump-removal can be rather costly, but if you don’t have the money to get a stump removed, let the Epsom Salt come to your rescue and do the job. We recommend drilling holes into the stump and filling them with Epsom Salt. In a matter of week or two, the stump will begin to rot.
16. Epsom Salt is a”Frizzle top” fighter
In sunny areas [where palm trees extremely-well thrive], one of the most common things to see is palm trees that are yellow at the top. This look, which is likened to a “bad hair day,” is called frizzle top, and it is due to a lack of magnesium. You can restore your palm trees’ good health by spraying their crown and base with Epsom Salt and water.
17. Epsom Salt helps for perky potted plants
According to Balcony Garden Web, plants in containers go magnesium-deficient faster than in-the-ground plants. To remedy this issue, the site recommends adding 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of Epsom Salt to the surrounding soil only once a month.
18. Epsom Salt increases nutrient uptake
When added to the soil around any soiled plants, the Epsom Salt acts like a “sucking channel“ to help them suck other nutrients more efficiently. In fact, most commercial fertilizers contain large amounts of magnesium. Yet, by adding plain Epsom Salt, you won’t have to bother with so much fertilizer and possible chemical substances in it.
19. Epsom Salt can help you with various decorations
This salt can be used for different crafts all year-round, including luminaries. And because the Epsom Salt looks like snow, it is just perfect for Christmas holiday decorations!
20. Finally, Epsom Salt is also good for your own health!
Magnesium is a very important mineral for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves. It also regulates the activity of numerous enzymes in our body. The magnesium sulfate promotes the elimination of toxins and the absorption of nutrients, and it participates in the production of life-supporting amino acids as well.
Here is how the Epsom Salt can help us:Epsom Salt is often used for relaxing the nervous system. For this purpose, you can simply add a few cups of Epsom Salt to your steamy tub water and soak in it. The Epsom Salt reduces the feelings of stress and tension, improving both sleep and concentration. It also detoxifies the body inside out.
Epsom Salt bath alleviates muscle pain, reduces swelling, treats bronchial asthma, and eases headaches.Epsom Salt bath also soothes aching and tired feet, softens the skin and eliminates bad odor.
Splinters are an inevitable nuisance when you are gardening. The Epsom Salt can help you with that too by soaking the area in an Epsom Salt bath. If you get a splinter while gardening, soak the area of the splinter in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of Epsom Salt and water. This should make the splinter pop out of your skin on its own.
Epsom Salt is an excellent exfoliating skin agent and a face cleanser.
Although people typically use the Epsom Salt crystals externally [that is in the bathroom] to relieve their body aches and pains, it can also be used internally as a laxative to help with constipation since it has a laxative effect on the intestines.
Now you have seen that the Epsom Salt is incredibly useful in gardens, backyards, lawns, plantations, pots… and in our bathrooms as well. In addition to helping plants get more nutrients from the surrounding soil, the Epsom Salt also enhances the flavor of fruits and veggies, keeps leaves healthy-green, stops transplant shocks, and keeps away pests. Did you know all this?
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