Epsom Salts has been used by gardeners for many years and Epsom Salts, has a number of benefits for plants. It is simply Magnesium Sulphate and this assists plant growth in a number of ways including :
- Improving the uptake of minerals, especially nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus.
- It helps strengthen the cell walls of plants.
- Epsom Salts is a great source of magnesium.
In brief it increases plant growth rates, deters some insect pests and improves the production and health of many plants. This is especially true in the vegetable patch.
How does Epsom Salts work in the garden ?
If we move away from the common name ‘Epsom Salts’ and look at the chemical makeup, what we have is Magnesium Sulphate.
Magnesium Sulphate can play an important part in plant growth. What it actually does is improve the production of chlorophyll, and chlorophyll is important in photosynthesises.
In plants, chlorophyll basically equates to good plant growth.
Magnesium Sulphate helps to increase cell strength in plants, and this improves plant resistance to disease, drought and infection.
It also improve the ability to plants to take up iron, and iron itself is often found to be a deficiency in plants. What Magnesium Sulphate basically does is make it easier for plants to access the minerals in iron.
Magnesium Sulphate also contains sulphur, and this is another important element in plant growth. Sulphur improves the uptake of some of the basic elements that we commonly find in fertilisers, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
How to use Epsom Salts
So Epsom salts, is used as an adjunct to fertiliser, it can be used as a foliar spray, or watered into the soil around the root zone.
In general, 1/2 cup of epsom slats to a 10 litre watering can of water is a good solution. You can break the Epsom salts down by grinding before using, or you can soak it over night to help break it down.
How often you apply it depends on your local conditions, we tend to use it every 2 months on plants that will benefit the most. The veggie garden is a prime example, the acid loving plants such as Gardenias, Camellias and Citrus are others. Gardenias in particular seem to benefit.
Where can you buy Epsom Salts ?
You can buy Epsom Salts just about everywhere, Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, IGA, Mitre 10,Home Hardware, Bunnings, you name it they have it.