You may have noticed I add Epsom salts (1 tablespoon) at the bottom of my planting hole when planting tomatoes. Why in the world would I do that? Well, Epsom salts are NOT salt at all (as we think of salt) but rather magnesium sulfate. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral that originally came from Epsom, England.
The main ingredient is magnesium which strengthens the plant cell walls, helping the plant to take in nutrients. It also helps with flower and fruit production of tomatoes and peppers. The other ingredient is sulfur which has to help our very alkaline soil a little (can’t hurt). I have read where some people mix Epsom salts with ashes back east but DON’T do that here. Ashes will make our soil more alkaline which we don’t want to do. I also mix up a tablespoon of Epsom salts to a gal of water and put it on that way for established tomato and pepper plants at flowering time if I missed out at planting time. It also helps your roses. They will produce greener, lusher foliage and more flowers with Epsom salt.
It is considered a ‘home remedy’ but has been used by savvy vegetable gardeners for many years. All my tomato and pepper plants produce abundantly and I think this is do in part because of the extra boost of magnesium they get. So relax, buy Epsom salts at your local drug store, plant your tomatoes and peppers and take a nice bath with it afterwards!