How to Use Epsom Salt and Vinegar in Organic Gardening

Epsom salt is very different from table salt. The word salt in epsom salt is used because of the similar chemical composition. Interestingly, the name epsom comes from Epsom, a small town in England, where Epsom salt was discovered. Epsom salt is not only used to fertilize plants but also treat a range of human and animal ailments. So, to answer people who have been asking about the uses of Epsom salt in the plants, here is some of the information on how your plants will benefit from Epsom Salt.

Epsom salt is actually a hydrated magnesium sulfate and based on its name, it contains magnesium which is needed elements for your vegetable plants. That is why experienced gardeners called the Epsom salt as “major minor nutrients.” This kind of “salt” will help speed up your plant growth, it will increase your plants nutrient update, increase flavor of your fruit, and most of all, it will give boost your plants’ health and as a result will provide you sweeter and tastier vegetable from your garden.

How will you apply Epsom Salt to your plant?

  • Before planting, mix 1 cup of Epsom salt into your soil per 100 square foot. Make sure to mix Epsom salt in your plant by tilling it.
  • When transplanting, dig a hole and place about 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt at the bottom and cover it with a thin layer of soil before planting your new seedlings or plants.
  • Or, you may soak the roots in ½ cup of Epsom salt diluted in 1 gallon of water before transplanting to avoid transplant shock.
  • After planting, you can still use Epsom salt by sprinkling about 1 tablespoon directly around the base of the plant and water it.
  • For watering your plants, add 2 tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water to boost and improve the overall health of your plants.

How will the Epsom Salt help my plants?

  • It improves nutrient absorption capacity. By using Epsom salt, your plants will increase the absorption of nutrients from the soil. That is the reason why tomatoes needed Epsom salt two times than any other plants because tomato plants needed calcium to prevent blossom-end rot and calcium is competing with magnesium which is needed to have higher yields and sweeter fruits. By foliar feeding your tomato with Epsom salt, it will reduce the competition between magnesium and calcium for absorption and will deliver magnesium to the plants at a faster rate. Water your tomato plants with at least 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt per gallon of water every two weeks.
  • If tomato plants love Epsom salt, peppers love it too. Do the same thing with your pepper plants to have higher yields. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for every foot of height around the base of your pepper plants once a week.
  • It will improve germination for your seeds. The magnesium in Epsom salt will help in the germination of seeds and it will strengthen the cell walls leading to a stronger seedlings.
  • Prevent transplant shock. The other day, I transplanted a few numbers of tomato seedlings and at least three of them wilted. This is our experience when we move them to another place. Epsom salt will help injured roots overcome transplant.
  • Lush green leaves. If your plant leaves are turning yellow, that is because they are not getting enough magnesium. When the plant does not get enough magnesium, chorophyll will not be produced in enough amount, thus, leaves will lose green green. Epson salts contain a lot of Magnesium. You can spray Epsom salt water on your plant every 3-4 weeks.
  • Stops curling of leaves. One thing comes to my mind when I see a curled leaf, there is an aphids or insects at the back of the leaves. But if there are not insects at the back of the leaves, then your plants need magnesium. Sprinkle some Epsom salt around your plants.
  • You want sweet flavor for your plants? Adding some Epsom salt will boost chlorophyll levels inside the plant cells and increasing their energy will mean more sugar and will produce higher and sweeter yields.
  • You love flowers in your gardens especially Roses? Why not use Epsom salt in your Roses to have more vibrant flower color because Roses loves Epsom salt. Epsom salt will increase the magnesium level in your soil and as a result, your chlorophyll level will also increase leading to more food and more vibrant flowers for your rose plants.

How to Use Vinegar in Your Garden

Do you have problems in your garden such as pests, insects, weeds, rusted tools, molds on pots, etc? Why not use something from your kitchen, the Vinegar! Vinegar contains acetic acid and this mild acid will help you in some of your garden problems. These are just few uses of vinegar, there’s a lot more but I am just giving you 7 of its uses.

  • Insect Repellent

Insects are always the problems of gardeners and they are spending more money to get rid of these pests. Vinegar has gazillion uses and one of them is to repel these stubborn insects. Vinegar contains mild acetic acid that harms insects. So instead of buying costly insecticides which is harmful to the ecology and to humans, give natural insect repellents a try. Here are some recipe:

  1. Recipe # 1 – 1 part water and 1 part vinegar. Add any or all of these herbs, mint, lavender, sage, thyme. Shake well and let it steep overnight. Spray it the next day.
  2. Recipe # 2 – 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. Add 10-15 drops of any of these essential oils: mint, tea tree, spearmint, lavender, lemon, lemon grass, clove, citronella, or eucalyptus.
  • Kill Weeds

Are you tired of pulling those stubborn weeds and stop them from competing nutrients with your plants? Use vinegar to kill weeds. CAUTION: Be careful in using vinegar to kill weeds because like most commercial herbicides, it’s non-selective, it can also kill your plants. But not like other weed killers, it is safe to the environment and to humans.

  • Get Rid of Ants

Did you know that ants are aphids helpers? The next time you see ants in your garden, remove them immediately. To kill ants with vinegar, mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar. Spray directly to the ants to kill them.

  • Extend Cut Flowers Life

If you’re selling cut flowers, I’m sure you will like this. It will save you from losing money. You can use vinegar to extend the life of most varieties of cut flowers. You need a combination of sugar and vinegar. The sugar will serve as food of the flowers while the vinegar creates a favorable pH balance.

  • Insect Bait/Attractants

Do you know what attracts insects? The same thing that attracts us, fragrance. To prevent these insects from harming your plants, go back to your kitchen and get some vinegar and use it as insect bait/attractant.

  1. Recipe # 1.  Make a mixture of sugar or molasses and dip banana peel and stir well for the sugar/molasses to dissolve.

2. Recipe # 2. Pour 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar in a plastic jar and cover it with a white plastic bag, and secure with rubber band. Cut a small hole in the plastic bag to let insects go inside. This will work as an insect trap.

  • Remove Rusts

To clean rusted garden tools, soak the metal in white vinegar for a few hours and then scrub it to remove the rusts. If the tool is too big to soak, pour a layer over the top and allow it time to set.

  • Clean Dirty Garden Pots

Over time, your pots will accumulate dirt, molds, and fungus and it will affect your plants. Clean them before reusing them with vinegar and water. Soak them in 3 parts water and one part vinegar. Scrub the stubborn dirt and rinse under cold water. Allow them to dry before using them.

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