[Market-farming] Using Epsom Salt on Solanaceous Crops

Crnerblitz at aol.com Crnerblitz at aol.com
Wed Jun 11 16:50:13 EDT 2008

I'm no expert but I use 1 tablespoon Epsom salts per gallon of water at 
transplanting, first flowering, and fruit set in a foliar spray on my tomatoes and 
peppers. The plants love it and reward me with higher yeilds. 
The main reason why I prefer "foliar" epsom feeding over "in the hole" can be 
found at this link. 
Soils with a pH above 7 and soils high in calcium and potassium also 
generally have low magnesium levels. Calcium and potassium compete with magnesium for 
uptake by plant roots, and magnesium often loses. Sometimes, a soil test will 
show adequate magnesium levels in soil, but a plant grown in that soil may 
still be deficient because of that competition.
In a message dated 6/11/2008 12:01:56 PM Central Daylight Time, 
dave.kathy at att.net writes:

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. 

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