I’ve always used powered Epsom Salts in the bottom of my hole when I transplant my tomatoes in late spring. I read it helps with producing more blossoms and hence more tomatoes. It’s also good for peppers and roses. Epsom salt is a natural mineral that was originally found in a well in Epsom, England. It is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is critical for seed germination and Sulpher is used for lowering the pH level in alkaline soils like we have here in New Mexico. Sulfur, is also a key element in plant growth.
What I didn’t know was that it is more immediately available to tomatoes and peppers when sprayed on your plant’s leaves vs sprinkling it on the ground. Dilute 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts with one gallon of water, and applied as a foliar spray. When applied this way, Epsom salts can be taken up quickly by plants.
Here is an internet article on Epsom Salts that goes into more detail about it, a trial using it, and how to use it. From now on I will be spraying it on my plants instead of adding to the soil.
I do not add Epsom salts to my other vegetable plants, just my tomatoes and peppers.
Here is the complete article from Garden.org on Epsom Salts.
Epsom Salts May help increase blossoms in tomatoes and pepper plants. Increase in blossoms means more tomatoes and peppers!
Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate, two important elements for plant growth.
Magnesium– can become depleted in soil usually later in the season. Magnesium helps strengthen plant cell walls, helping the plant to absorb nutrients. It also helps to increase blossoms.
Sulfur– improves the growth and overall health of plants, it may also help our high alkaline soil here in the southwest.
There are two ways to use Epsom salts for tomatoes.
1. Mix 1 tbsp of Epsom salts into the soil at the bottom of the planting hole when transplanting tomatoes or peppers or mix 1 tbsp in a gallon of water and water the transplant. It may help plants absorb Calcium and other nutrients from the soil.
2. Use as a foliar spray of 1 tbsp per gallon of water when the plants flower. Epsom salt helps set more blossoms.
I’ve used Epsom Salts on my tomatoes, peppers and even roses for years. It will help roses produce more flowers. Scratch in 1/2 cup of Epsom salts in soil around rose bush and water in.
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!