[Market-farming] Using Epsom Salt on Solanaceous Crops

Dave & Katharine Campbell dave.kathy at att.net
Wed Jun 11 13:00:08 EDT 2008

I tried it last year because I'd read (somewhere!) that Epsom salts give a boost to the solanaceous plants.  It was actually a double test--when I transplanted them I gave one row a half cup of "Coleman mix" at the bottom of the transplant hole, and the other row got nothing.  My "Coleman mix" is equal parts of greensand, bone meal and blood meal, without the lime that Coleman includes in his recipe.  Every third plant also got a half cup of Epsom salts.  Result: all the Coleman mix plants (tomatoes, peppers and eggplants) got an early boost and did better all season than the others.  However, I saw absolutely no difference between the Epson salt plants and the others.
I'd bet my result won't translate very well elsewhere, though; too dependent on local soil conditions.  You probably need to do your own test.  It did show me something useful, tho...
==Dave Campbell / Certified organic by IDALS / Tiffin IA / Zone 5
P.S.  Heavy rain here, 23 inches so far this year in my gague, already almost a match for the TOTAL I had in 2005.  All rivers are flooding.  I haven't been able to get into many of my wet vegetable plots, like to even plow down the winter rye.  I'm now planting stuff up on the hillsides.  Needless to say,  my vegetable crop rotation scheme is out the window. 
-------------- Original message from <clearviewfarm at bluefrog.com>: -------------- 

Have any of you used magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) on your eggplant, peppers or tomatoes, particularly in organic production?  If so, what rates have you used and when?  Do you look for certain symptoms before using it?  Do you foliar feed or put on through drip tape?  What sort of benefits does it impart?  Anything else I should know?

Kurt Forman 
Clearview Farm 
Palmyra, NY 14522
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