Epsom salt, typically used in baths for sore and achy muscles, has proven itself to be more than basic. Also known as magnesium sulfate, it contains the minerals magnesium and sulfur, both found to be beneficial to plants.
In case you weren’t aware, Epsom salt is considered a BFF for many gardeners. If you’re looking to earn a green thumb, or just want to use less chemicals outdoors, check out these ways that you can use Epsom salt outside.
Epsom salt in your flower bed or garden can help keep pests like snails, slugs, or groundhogs away. Try sprinkling some around your plants, or make a spray solution with 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt and 1 gallon of warm water.
Nip weeds in the bud with a few shots of this mixture: 1 gallon of white vinegar, 2 cups Epsom salt, and ¼ cup of dish soap. Spray it directly onto the weeds; dish soap helps it to cling while the salt dehydrates the weeds. Extra tip: vinegar with 10% acidity or higher works the best.
A favorite of pepper and tomato growers, Epsom salt can boost the size, flavor, and amount grown in the garden. Used dry, toss some at the base of the plant, 1 tablespoon for each foot of height; water immediately. Applied every 2 weeks, this foliar spray recipe will also do the trick: 1 – 2 tablespoons Epsom salt + 1 gallon of water in a spray bottle.
Home gardeners and small farmers have taken to using Epsom salt for vibrant, sweeter crops. Cantaloupes benefit from a handful sprinkled in the soil during the last few weeks of growth. Peaches, strawberries, watermelons, and citrus can also get a dose in the soil or foliar spray every 2 weeks. Seasoned growers report sweeter fruit with greener foliage.
Notice that the leaves on your plants are curly or yellow? Remedy cases of magnesium deficiency with either a spritz or sprinkling of Epsom salt. Spray the leaves directly with the recipe above or add a handful and water it into the soil.
For you folks with palm trees in your yards, add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt around the trunks to prevent yellowing and drying. To get rid of tree stumps, drill holes all over the stump, about 8 inches deep. Fill the holes with Epsom salt and add just enough water to moisten. Cover the stump with a tarp or dirt. This process will dry and rot out the stump.
Gardeners cheer the results of Epsom salt for richly colored roses. Before planting new bushes, soak the roots in ½ cup Epsom salt dissolved in 1 gallon of water. When in bloom, rake 1 tablespoon into the soil at the base and water it, once per month. Use foliar spray 1 – 2 times per month.
Epsom salt feeds soil because of its magnesium and sulfur content. It contributes to nutrient intake, chlorophyll production, and many farmers and gardeners find it to be an outstanding fertilizer. It’s good for household plants too!
Adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to the soil before planting will help with seed germination and transplant shock. Simply add it in the bottom of the hole and cover it with a little bit of soil before planting new seeds or seedlings.
While you’re outside putting in all this work, you might encounter any one of these outdoor hazards: sunburn, poison ivy, or bee stings. Tame them all with Epsom salt compresses. Dip a washcloth in a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of dissolved Epsom salt.
Epsom salt is another one of those household staples that wears many hats. Now, you can let others know how your garden grows so well! Note: it’s wise to test your soil for low magnesium levels before drenching it with an Epsom salt mix. You can do it yourself with a soil testing kit or check with your local county extension office.
Have you been in the know on Epsom salt gardening tips? Has it helped your plants? What other ways do you use Epsom salt? Tell us in the comments!
I get mine in NZ from Wallys
I'm freaking out right now. Major psychic connection alert!
Luke and Nicky decided to make some bath-bombs as a holiday project. Nicky learned that Epsom Salts are a prime ingredient, and Luke asked what the scientific name is and what uses it has.
Also, I've been cleaning up our gardens as a holiday project, and have been looking for a nature-friendly pest deterrent.
These two things were literally just being discussed while I'm blogging, and I turn to the main page, and this article is the first thing I see.
Thanks, Psychic Rose!
That's so cool, Martin!
That is good to know that Epsom salt baths have sulfur also.
I recently bought a pack and read on the side about it's garden use for curly, yellowy leaves. Didn't realise all the other great uses. Duh! Thanks Rose.
edit: tip on my box says it can also be used a fabric conditioner.
Bloody Excellent article. I love soaking in my Epsom salt baths too.