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gixxerific
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Epsom salt, do you use this?

I purchased some the other day. I even put a little down in my garden.

Do you guy's/gals use this? I know it is supposed to good for plants. I just couldn't get over the fact that it looked so much like salt. Knowing that salt is bad for the food web I don't want to screw things up with using this.

Any comments on the use of Epsom salt?

Thanks Dono

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kimbledawn
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Yeah Dono,

I was kinda hesitant last season but I add it to my tomatoes at planting and every once and a while during the season.

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applestar
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I still have my big box of epsom salts in the shed because I haven't been using it.... I've been using dolomitic lime -- that takes care of calcium and magnesium. I'm hoping all the eggshells in the compost will have taken care of sulfur... that and *all* the wild onion grass tops I cut this spring to add to the compost :x

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gixxerific
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Thanks.

Apple not sure if it matters to you. But before I posted this thread I looked it up at [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_sulfate]Wikipedia[/url] the only real thing they said that made magnesium sulfate better than other amendments (which they singled out dolomitic lime) was its high solubility. Just thought i throw that out there.

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rainbowgardener
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This is something I posted back in Mar. Here it is again:

There's an epsom salts thread in the Tomato forum here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4239&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

It's an old thread, recently resurrected. You will see lots of different opinions there.

Most organic gardeners do not use epsom salts. They are a salt (chemically- not sodium, not table salt, but they are a salt -- technically , salts are ionic compounds which can result from the neutralization reaction of acids.)

"Epsom Salts' (technically Magnesium Sulfate, or MgSO4) is one of just a few water-soluble Sulfate minerals, and it is a soluble salt -- a salt that dissolves in water. ALL chemical fertilizers are also 'soluble salts'. When Ammonium, Potassium, Chloride or Nitrate dissolve in water, they are soluble salts. A little will fertilize the plants. Too much will damage and sometimes destroy a plant. That can happen quickly --or it can take time and build up slowly. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR USE OF EPSOM SALTS AND THE USE OF A CHEMICAL FERTILIZER LIKE MIRACLE GRO. Because ALL chemical fertilizers ARE SALTS. Salts KILL microbes in your soil. I love my microbes. I love my soil foodweb. I love all the beneficials down in the dirt. One teaspoon of healthy soil holds MILLIONS of friendly microscopic organisms. If salt hurts my microbes, it's got to go." from https://en.allexperts.com/q/Fertilizer-717/EPSOM-SALT-HYDRANGEAS.htm
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gixxerific
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Whoa! I should have posted before I used it. I didn't use a whole lot. Up to or less than the recommended rate which was a teaspoon per foot of growth.

RBG what you stated has me a little worried now that I might kill all of my plants. Should I go out and try to pick up some of it and dispose of it. Like I said I didn't go hog wild with it. But those links talk about plants dying from it. Not sure if they overdid it or what. If I loose all my tomatoes I will not be a happy camper.

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rainbowgardener
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No, no, no... you didn't kill anything, any more than you would have killed it if you put Miracle Gro on it.

The point in there is just that it's not particularly different than using MG or other chem ferts. They are soluble salts and can build up in the soil, and EVENTUALLY become harmful to soil microbes.

But tons of people plant their tomatoes with Epsom salts just as tons of people plant with MG and their tomatoes do fine... Relax.
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Great info, RG! I, too, looked into epsom salts and all I really found is that they help the plants to uptake nutrients. Nothing that can't be accomplished much more organically.
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gixxerific
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[Gixx wiping his brow]

I sure hope everything will be cool. It was this quote from Brandywinegirl that had me bit shaking up the most.
I used Epsom Salt last year and many of the plants died out of the blue. I guess I overdid it, or Epsom Salt is just not good for the garden veggies.

I am going with compost, manure and topsoil this year!

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Gixx, I keep Epsom Salts in stock as a medicinal product. If your tomatoes or peppers develop blossom-end rot, Epsom Salts is an excellent quick solution. That and purple leaves are the only times I use it, though. I'm betting you are going to be fine!

A friend of a friend OD'd some type of flower with it, and she knew within a day or two that she had messed up :-)
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I sprinkled a Tablespoon of Epsom Salts around each of my Pepper plants this year, and they appear to be very healthy.

However, I have considered myself to be a "no chemicals" kind of guy, so Rainbow's post definitely gave me something to think about.
I tend to think that a tablespoon of Epsom Salts is not in the same league as spreading around a cheapo bag of 10-10-10 ... but, even if that's true, a lesser level of "bad" is still not a good thing.
I am going to have to give this some more research and consideration, to decide if I want to us Epsom Salts any more. :?:

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gixxerific
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I feel you FLon I thought it was more of an organic thing But I was wrong. In a way.

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! ...

In aromatherapy I make lavender bath bombs for people sometimes. You mix epsom salt with lavender essential oils and I think a little food coloring. Its nice for your skin and helps to calm and relax your mind.

There is a sea Salt or something that is better for plants than epsom. My friend has researched this before so I will talk to her again. I should really pay closer attention when smart people speak to me.
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garden5
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Re: ! ...

Sage Hermit wrote:In aromatherapy I make lavender bath bombs for people sometimes. You mix epsom salt with lavender essential oils and I think a little food coloring. Its nice for your skin and helps to calm and relax your mind.

There is a sea Salt or something that is better for plants than epsom. My friend has researched this before so I will talk to her again. I should really pay closer attention when smart people speak to me.
Hmmm, but if it's still a "salt," Isn't it still harming the soil biology.
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farmerlon
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Re: ! ...

garden5 wrote:...Hmmm, but if it's still a "salt," Isn't it still harming the soil biology.
But, I have to wonder about that too... :?:
Isn't salt essential to life? ... I know that we humans can not survive without salt ... would that not also be true for living organisms in the soil?

Maybe salts are not bad, except when you have "too much of a good thing"?
I'm just thinking out loud... (and I may be thinking wrong :roll: , that happens often)

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applestar
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Huh, no one has linked [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26065&highlight=]TZ's thread about salt[/url]here. I guess I will. :wink:

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farmerlon
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applestar wrote:Huh, no one has linked [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26065&highlight=]TZ's thread about salt[/url]here. I guess I will. :wink:
That's what I'm thinking ... if people can water their garden with saltwater, is a little bit of Epsom Salts really going to "kill" your soil? ... it doesn't seem like it would cause any harm, and seems to be beneficial (judging by plant response).

The jury (in my head) is still out, but I think it's leaning toward a "not guilty" verdict for Epsom Salts.

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applestar
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I think in terms of microbe safety, using the crystals in undissolved form (e.g. 1 Tbs under each tomato plant in the planting hole -- I think is the usual "secret formula" -- would be a mistake. To a microbe, a single crystal would be a gigantic solid mass. Other members of the soil food web may be affected as well.

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I tell ya what. i don't use Epsom salt in the garden, but i do use it in my lawn. Though i can no give you hard proof, but my grandfather always said that if you used in the lawn it would kill off the grubs. his reasoning was that once ingested they'd poo themselves to death. Like i said. i have no proof, but he swore by it and so do i.

It's one of those things where despite you killing them all off your neighbors haven't.



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