Why You Should Sprinkle Epsom Salt Around Your Tomato Plants - Backyard Boss
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Why You Should Sprinkle Epsom Salt Around Your Tomato Plants

Growing your own tomatoes is a great way to have the freshest produce available right in the comfort of your own backyard. But just like any activity, gardening requires proper care and attention to ensure that you get the best quality tomatoes each season. One surprisingly simple solution that many gardeners don’t realize? Sprinkling Epsom salt around your tomato plants!

This seemingly unimportant step actually makes all the difference when it comes to producing sweet and juicy tomatoes perfectly ripe for picking and eating. Using Epsom salts has major benefits for growing delicious trees you want to harvest. Discover why adding this common home staple is beneficial next time you tend to your tomato patch!

What is Epsom Salt?

epsom salt on branches of a conifer
Image credits: Martina Unbehauen via Shutterstock

Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate. It is a mineral compound found in the form of white crystals. It’s composed of 13 percent sulfate and 10 percent magnesium, both of which are essential nutrients for plant growth and development.

You can use it to supplement a deficiency in soils in order to provide quick absorption into their system. Applying it as part of a healthy care regime ensures your plants get all the micronutrients they need for optimal health.

Benefits to Your Tomato Soil

Companion planting with tomatoes and marigolds.
Image credits: Sharon Epperson via Shutterstock

Adding Epsom salt to the soil provides many benefits. Such as increasing plant color pigments and foliage color, helping seeds germinate, producing vitamins, reducing the amount of fertilizer needed, and making fertilizer more effective. It also helps promote photosynthesis and increase chlorophyll production. Moreover, it aids in flower blooming, making it invaluable for gardens.

Magnesium and sulfate are two essential nutrients found in Epsom salt that increases nutrient uptake by plants. Magnesium helps to create enzymes responsible for photosynthesis while sulfate is required for protein formation, which helps in cell growth. All these properties make adding Epsom salt to your soil a smart choice for a healthier, vibrant garden.

The Right Amount for Tomato Plants

Magnesium Sulfate, also known as Epsom Salt or Epsom Salts.
Image credits: Diane C Macdonald via Shutterstock

When using Epsom salt on tomato plants, use the right amount. A good rule of thumb is to use 1/4 cups of Epsom salt mixed with water until dissolved, for every 500 feet of soil in your tomato patch. Doing so ensures that your tomato plants receive an adequate dose of magnesium without being exposed to too much and risking nutrient burn.

However, never apply Epsom salts directly out of the package onto the soil or foliage. You must dilute it in water first. The best way to apply Epsom salt for tomato plants is to create a drench solution with Epsom salts and water and pour this solution around the base of each plant. Alternatively, use this solution to spray the foliage of your tomato plant. Avoid spraying your tomatoes during hot summer days as this could cause damage to their leaves.

To get the most out of your Epsom salt regime, apply every two weeks for optimal results.

The Myth of Blossom End Rot and Epsom Salt

blossom end rot on green tomato
Image credits: Alabama Extension via Creative Commons

The myth that you can use Epsom salt to prevent or treat blossom end rot is unfortunately just that — a myth. Epsom salt does not contain calcium, which is the element necessary for preventing and treating blossom end rot. In fact, using Epsom salt may actually make matters worse, as magnesium and calcium ions compete for nutrients in the plant. If there is more magnesium than calcium in the soil, there is less chance for plants to absorb calcium.

When it comes to addressing blossom end rot, ensure your soil has enough calcium available. Water well and often, but do not oversaturate the soil. Tomatoes are heavy feeders but dislike soggy soil. Additionally, mulching helps reduce the likelihood of blossom end rot.

Also, avoiding over fertilization helps. Choose a fertilizer with higher levels of calcium, like calcium nitrate.

Grow Your Tomatoes (Like a Boss!) With Epsom Salt

Growing your own tomato plants is a rewarding endeavor and using Epsom salt takes it to the next level. When applied in the right amounts at the right time, it gives your plants that much needed magnesium level boost to increase yield. With an easy-to-follow care routine and mindful use around your tomato plants, you’re sure to cultivate those healthy and delicious results you’ve been dreaming of.

Imagine the feeling of serving homemade sauce featuring tomatoes from your very own garden — surely nothing beats that. With a little bit of extra effort, you can take your gardening experience to new heights and enjoy home-grown tomatoes for years to come!

Do you have any tips or tricks for using Epsom salt in your garden? Leave a comment below and don’t forget to share with your family and friends.