Is Your Vegetable Garden Magnesium-Deficient? How Epsom Salts Can Help Improve Your Summer Crop

For humans, soaking in Epsom salts is a great way to get more magnesium and speed recovery after athletics. But did you know that certain fruit and vegetable plants can benefit from Epsom salts and its high magnesium content, too? In plants, magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll. Magnesium helps strengthen cell walls and improves plants' uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Vegetables such as beans, peas, lettuce, and spinach can grow and produce good yields in soils with low magnesium levels, but plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and roses need high levels of magnesium for optimal growth.[1]  A summer of Epsom salts can result in higher yields and tastier produce. Here are some tips for making sure your peppers and tomatoes are getting their magnesium this summer.

 Peppers

  • At planting time, put a teaspoon of Epsom salts into each dirt hole before placing in a transplant.
  • Later in the season, the best time to spray peppers is when they are blooming. Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt with a gallon of water.  Put this mixture in a spray bottle.  Spray enough so that the pepper plant leaves are dripping. The ideal time to do this is in the morning before the sun is at its peak.
  • Ten days later, repeat the spray again. 

Tomatoes

  • As with peppers, at planting time, put a teaspoon of magnesium into each hole before placing in a transplant.
  • Spray tomatoes with Epsom salt every 2 weeks.  Use 1 tablespoon of the sales diluted in water per foot of plant height.
  • There’s another technique tomatoes like. It’s called sidedressing. Steve Albert, a master gardener who blogs at Harvest to Table recommends that for every foot of growth, work a tablespoon of Espom salts into the soil around the plant.  Repeat this every six weeks.

 

Sources

[1] 1 Charlie Nardozzi, Fertilize with Epsom Salts, National Gardening Association

http://garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=68

Harvest to Table, http://www.harvesttotable.com/2012/08/epsom-salt-tomato-and-pepper-growing/

Epsom Salt Council, EpsomSaltCouncil. org