The Epsom Salt miracle on our garden – experiment over!

Summer heat and our garden is suffering. The problem seemed to go beyond just the heat and difficulty with keeping things hydrated, however. Both the cucumbers and eggplants had yellowing leaves and flowering (thus fruit production) has been really reduced from what it was in May. The tomatoes have also been looking –yikes. While they have been flowering (not a lot of flowers but a few), I haven’t really expected any new fruit production because the temperatures at night are now out of prime fruit-setting range. I’ve been looking sadly at the maybe 10 or 11 pounds worth of green tomatoes and thinking that, once they ripen, that will be it for tomatoes until the fall.

About a week ago, I came across a post on what would cure leaf curl on Poblano pepper plants — all our Poblano’s have curling leaves and watering them more didn’t seem to do anything for it. They’ve also been flowering but not setting much fruit. Epsom salt mixed with water and sprayed on the leaves (foliar application) was said to be just the thing. So I had to look more into this Epsom Salt thing and found tons of folks touting it as being great for tomatoes, peppers and roses. There were claims that it made the plants bigger and healthier, produce more flowers, set fruit better, and make the fruit bigger, tastier and all but cure world hunger. I also found some research saying…meh, no.

I figured it was worth a try to see if it would cure the garden ills but, because I’ve got that scientific bent of mind, I decided to get some and try it on half of the plants: half of the cucumbers, half of the eggplants, half of the tomatoes, half of the okra, and half of the peppers. If it did anything, I figured I’d see a difference between the treated plants and the untreated plants in a couple of weeks.

That was 3 days ago that half the plants got their first application and I’m already declaring the experiment over and every plant in the garden, even the squash and watermelons, are going to get a shot (or rather, a serious squirting down) of the miracle stuff this evening.

YO. Too high temperatures or not, the treated tomatoes and ONLY the treated tomatoes all have new baby tomatoes forming and a host of new flowers. The treated eggplants have come out with a major flush of flowers and the leaves are already a deeper green. The treated peppers now have double the number of flowers, compared to the untreated peppers and have already set a bunch of baby peppers. For the Poblano peppers, their leaves are still curling but way less than those on the untreated Poblano peppers.

I’ve not seen a noticeable difference in leaf yellowing on the cucumbers but the treated okra have shot up compared to their untreated brethren –no difference between them on number or flowers or fruit-set yet.

You guys know me and so know that I didn’t decide to apply it on plants in half the yard vs the other half of the yard as that could introduce too many other variables that could explain the differences (differences in soil, amount of sunlight). No, I did every other plant across the entire yard, so you’ve got treated Poblano A right next to untreated Poblano B next to…

I am totally sold and I didn’t even have to wait for two or three weeks to get the results! A tout a lours, we are going to have some tomatoes to eat in August.

2 responses to “The Epsom Salt miracle on our garden – experiment over!”

  1. Omer Zak says :

    The active relevant ingredient in Epsom salt is magnesium, an essential element which could be deficient in some soils.
    You may want to check into other missing essential elements and by adding the appropriate fertilizer, you’ll get even higher yield of vegetables.

    • israeliminx says :

      Omer, yes, Epsom Salt is not really a salt –I think they only named it that because it looks like salt. I do use an organic slow-release fertilizer and also add in compost as fast as I can compost it but the amount of compost I can produce is far short of what the garden needs, especially for ‘heavy feeders’ like tomatoes and squash. I also stick green beans in every available spot between plants for the nitrogen they produce via their roots. Our soil is pretty cruddy and deficient in a lot of things!

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