The wonder of Epsom Salts

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Epsom Salts and why every gardener should use them.

I think it is pretty fair to assume that most people will have heard of Epsom salts however its use in the garden has taken a serious decline in recent years. The big firms not including it in their product lines or maybe they just don’t want to give you too much of an advantage.  Fashions change but the fact remains it is simply one of the best products you can have for in and around your garden. Sometimes the old ways are the best.  It is very simple to use, very cheap and very, very effective.
The mains reasons for the use of Epsom salts are the high levels of magnesium and sulphur, two essential but very often overlooked minerals which play a role in the plants chlorophyll production, overall vitality and cell structure. Early in a plants life these minerals will also help reduce transplant shock, keep the plants growth vigorous, maintain its energy levels and also make the plant more resistant to pests, diseases, drought or stress from environmental conditions. The stronger the plant becomes the more resistant it will become even to a point that pests simply leave them alone.
Continued use will lead to overall stronger, bushier, greener plants, which are able to take up more and make better use of available nutrients. This in turn will lead to plants with more blooms or fruits and many claim extra magnesium actually improves flavour and the sulphur will help increase the size and robustness of blooms and fruits. With higher brix levels and higher levels of all the beneficial vitamins and minerals which in turn will help keep you healthy.
All fruit, flowers and vegetables will benefit. In fact lawns, houseplants, bushes, trees, even bonsai trees will all benefit. In tomatoes and peppers it will correct the dreaded magnesium deficiency also will help prevent bottom end rot providing if used on a regular basis.
Below are ways Epsom salts can be used in and around the garden. Please remember that after a hard day’s work Epsom salts can also be used in the bath. It helps to ease and soothe all those aches and pains. What is there not to like about this simple product.
Watering:
Some recommend mixing tablespoon to 2 tablespoons in a gallon (approx 5 litres) of water which is applied as a root drench every 2 weeks. Another effective way would be to apply a teaspoon to a gallon of water and apply every other watering. More intensive growing methods a teaspoon to 2 teaspoons in 5 gallon of water and applied with every watering alongside your normal feeding schedule.
Foliar applications:
This is more vital as an effective natural pesticide or where there is a clear nutrient deficiency present and uptake needs to more prompt. Mix 2 tablespoons in a gallon of water and simply apply as foliar spray once a month. Another method would be to apply the foliar spray weekly with 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed in a gallon of water. It would be advised for either of these methods not to apply any further Epsom salts as a root drench. If you want to get the best of both worlds apply a watering one week then a foliar the next at the reduced levels.
Soil applications:
Adding anything from a pinch (for seedlings, plugs, cuttings etc.) to a handful (when final potting) in the potting hole mixing in under a layer of soil will provide you plants with a quick source of magnesium and sulphur. This will reduce transplant shock and increase the time for a plant to “TAKE” after it has been planted on. This then means more growth in a shorter space of time and bigger, stronger plants. If you choose this method there is no need to water in or foliar with Epsom salts for a couple of weeks to a month.
Top dressing on a regular basis: Apply one tablespoon for each foot (30cm) of plant height. Apply around the base of the plant and lightly dig into the surface of the soil. If choosing this method its is advisable to apply every six weeks and again there is no need to water or foliar spray plants with Epsom salts.
Slugs: Is effective against a wide range of pests including slugs when sprinkled directly on the slugs or as a barrier on the soil around your prized plants.
Lawns: Mix 2 tablespoons per gallon of water and water your lawn with this solution every couple of weeks.
Please remember that Epsom salts is not a stand alone fertiliser more. It is an additive to be used alongside your regular fertiliser regime. Please also remember not all fertilisers are the same and many companies uses very low quality sources of nitrogen and their fertiliser have no trace elements in them that all plants and animals need to truly thrive.
More product lines will follow including a high quality general purpose fertiliser and more garden guides will follow. I hope you have found this guide informative and hope you will try out Epsom salts and enjoy their benefits.    

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