Saturday, 26 July 2014
Epsom salts in the garden and home
We've had a couple of warm days, but last night another cold front moved in, dropping temperatures to below freezing again. I've been checking on my potted Echeverias, moving them from under cover to protected sunny spots in the garden and hope this cold spell doesn't adversely affect them. Most of the beds have been cleared of debris and dead plants, ready to take on spring's Marigolds and Nasturtiums that will be showing their little faces again.
With nothing much better to do, I've been going through my files, trying to find ways and means of giving my plants a boost in spring, and remembered about Epsom Salts, so here's a few tips for the garden and in your home.
Composed almost exclusively of Magnesium Sulfate, Epsom salt is intensely rich in these two minerals that are both crucial to healthy plant life, a stronger root structure and to facilitate the uptake of chlorophyll.
Magnesium is beneficial to plants from the beginning of their life, right when the seed begins to develop. It assists with the process of seed germination; infusing the seed with this important mineral and helping to strengthen the plant cell walls, so that the plant can receive essential nutrients. Magnesium also plays a crucial role in photosynthesis by assisting with the creation of chlorophyll, used by plants to convert sunlight into food. In addition, it is a wonderful help in allowing the plant to soak up phosphorus and nitrogen, which serve as vital fertilizer components for the soil. Magnesium is believed to bring more flowers and fruit to your garden, increasing the bounty as well as the beauty of your space.
For potted plants, simply dissolve 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, and substitute this solution for normal watering at least once a month – although it is safe to do this as often as desired. Epsom salts help to clear up this accumulation of natural salts in the pot, and lead to a revival in the plant's health and vibrancy.
Sprinkle approximately one cup per 100 square feet. (10’x10’) and mix into soil before planting. It is also a natural pesticide for snails and slugs.
Add a tablespoon a week to the soil around rose bushes before watering for faster growth.
I myself have been using Epsom salts in my home for many years. As a relaxing bath soak I add at least 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. This also helps for sunburn, which I used to suffer from a lot in earlier years (no more!)
After a hard day's work in the garden, I add 2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes to help relieve muscle aches and pains. It is wonderful for aching feet, just add 1 cup of epsom salt to hot water in your foot spa and soak for 10-20 minutes.
When we were children, we had to take a teaspoon of Epsom salts every Friday night as a general laxative. My father believed it cleaned out the system and got rid of unwanted toxins. It's a habit I continue to this day.