Gardening with Epsom Salt

Billie Nicholson

      epsom saltDid your grand parents use Epsom salt for something more than a hot tub bath after a hard day’s work? In addition to human health and wellness, it can help garden plants thrive, too. Epsom salt, Magnesium Sulfate, gets it’s name from the town of Epsom, England, where it was first distilled from water in the late 1500’s. It works to correct a magnesium or sulfur deficiency in the soil as an “organic fertilizer.”

Magnesium is an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule that allows plants to be able to convert light into energy. Photosynthesis is the chemical process that makes this conversion of light into energy-rich glucose molecules using water and carbon dioxide. It is the basis for life.1  Magnesium aids in nitrogen and phosphorus absorption and helps seeds germinate. Sulfur is an ingredient in two of the amino acids, methionine and cysteine, necessary to synthesize proteins. It also aids in other nutrient absorption.  The chemical compound, magnesium sulfate, is a highly soluble soil amendment, which means it can be absorbed by plants through their leaves as well as through their roots. It is also pH neutral, so it will not alter the soil pH. It promotes growth, color and overall plant health.2

Before you plant, add one cup of Epsom salt to every 100 square feet of soil. Mix it in thoroughly. If you have already planted, lightly sprinkle it over the newly planted area and water in with a hose sprinkler. Once plants are established, make a liquid fertilizer mixture of one tablespoon Epsom Salt to each gallon of water and apply four times during the season.3 Tomatoes and peppers are prone to magnesium deficiency. Add a tablespoon or two per hole before planting seeds or transplants and supplement with the liquid as they grow and develop fruit.

Epsom salt can revitalize your garden. It does not cause a chemical build up in the soil or harm plants when used.  Many gardeners credit their garden success to Epsom salt applications.

References

  1. http://drsircus.com/medicine/magnesium/magnesium-the-lamp-of-life
  2. http://www.ehow.com/way_5714066_much-salt-should-put-plants_.html
  3. http://www.saltworks.us/gardening-with-epsom-salt.asp

 

Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:

  • A reminder to review and rotate three types of items in your 72 hour emergency kit.
  • A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
  • What are your plans to provide protein in your diet in an emergency situation? Here are some items to add to your supplies
  • Are members of your family hearing impaired that might not hear a smoke alarm?
  • Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of ReadyNutrition.com. She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
  • Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
  • Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more
  • We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
  • Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.

Billie Nicholson, Editor
April 2014

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