Epsom Salt, Tomato, and Pepper Growing (2022)

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  1. Never knew this.

    • Me either. I have a small garden. I did try this this year. Wow. It does work. My tomatoes are sweeter and not cracked or split anymore, like previous years. It also is great for green beans. I grow Blulake bush beans. I will use Epsom salt next year in my garden.

    • What is the ratio of Epsom salt to water. And how much to sprinkle on soil?

      • Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt to a gallon of water; water the solution into the soil. Work one tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height around the base of each plant.

      • The article gives you the ratio

  2. Good to know for you veggie gardeners.

    • This is the first summer I added epsom salt to my pepper plants and I am shocked at the number of peppers grown. Incredible!!! I’ll add epsom salt from now on.

      • How much , what form and how often

        • • Foliar spray during the season. Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt to a gallon of water and use tank sprayer to apply the mix once a month substituting the spray for regular watering. Use one tablespoon per gallon of water if you apply Epsom salt spray more often than once a month. Begin foliar spraying when blooms first appear.

          • Sidedressing during the season. Work one tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height around the base of each plant. Sidedress plants every six weeks beginning soon after leaves appear and continuing through the end harvest.

          • This is exactly the same information given in the above article

        • Read the article

      • How do you apply it to your peppers plants?

        • Dissolve 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water; you can pour the mix at the base of the plant or you can put it in a spray bottle and mist the leaves with the mix.

          • How much is one tablespoon Epsom salt in grams?

          • The tablespoon measurement is equal to 21.25 grams.

        • Detail you need is in the article

  3. Adding Epsom Salt to the soil for peppers and tomatoes is only beneficial IF there is a deficiency. Soil testing is used to determine what the soil needs. I always use commercial soil labs such as Brookside, Midwest, A&L or Waters.

    • Michael, you are right but for the few cents it costs to apply for the whole growing season, why spend much more money on a test. The plant will use the magnesium and sulfur that it needs.

      • but how much does that cost? How often do you do it? and I have been container gardening year round along with the garden, wouldn’t it cost a fortune to get that done for a bunch of different containers?

        • Epsom salt is not expensive. You can find it at a local supermarket or drug store. You will only need a pinch or two for each container. Add Epsom salt once a season at planting time.

          • Tom, it’s true that Epsom salt is inexpensive, but the fact remains that not every garden needs additional Mg. And too much of ANY mineral is almost as bad, and sometimes worse, than not having enough. When you consider that an organic tomato sells for more than $5/#, $25 for a comprehensive soil test is not that much to pay for good, quality, mineral rich produce.

          • Do I put it in the soil or on the plant itself

          • Epsom salt can be lightly worked into the soil or it can be mixed in water until it soluble then pour the mix around the base of the plant.

        • No – A whole large bag is only a few dollars and you only use a tablespoon mixed in 1/2 gallon of water, or a tablespoon a side dressing. I stumbled upon this hint years ago when my pepper pant didn’t look well – couldn’t believe how it perked up and started to produce peppers. I grow everything in containers as I only have a “patio” back yard.

          • I have a yard and this year decided to do the container garden.. so far so good. But how much salt to put around tomato plants? Can I just sprinkle around the far outer edge? Thank you Gayle!

          • Use about a quarter to one-third tablespoon for a 5-gallon container; sprinkle it on the soil and then gently work it into the soil. It will become soluble with watering.

    • I agree with Michael, There is a great website called gardeningmyths.com where all these old wives tales are tested in controlled experiments. Anytime I get sage advice about gardening I always check it on there. Epson salt is defiantly on it! I don’t know why anyone would dump any kind additive into there garden with out a soil test. My state provides them for free during most of the year through our cooperative extension, but I would still pay for it to know what my soil needed.

  4. This post implies that using Epsom Salt will always benefit tomatoes and peppers, and that is just not the case. IF you need magnesium, the MgSO4 is a great source but if you don’t you could do more harm than good. Test the soil OR test the plant. Do NOT guess.

    • Magnesium deficiencies are quite common in vegetable gardening, and a very inexpensive way to address that issue is by adding inexpensive Epsom salt to the garden’s soil. Epsom salt is a fairly innocuous additive to a garden’s soil. It will either aid a magnesium deficient soil, or it will do nothing in a soil which has adequate amounts of magnesium.

      It’s better to have it in the soil and available for the plant than to not. One would have to apply a ridiculously large amount of Epsom salt to their garden to cause damage to the soil composition or plants.

      • Wrong. Magnesium competes with calcium for uptake into the plant. If your soil is low in calcium adding more magnesium will cause blossom end rot due to lack of calcium. Do a soil test before adding any micronutrient.

        (Video) Why is Epsom Salt/Magnesium Sulfate Good For Tomato & Vegetable Plants: The Details! - TRG 2014

    • Epson salts are a cheap, efficient, time honoured, tested, true and natural additive that almost every household has a stash of (usually close to their bathtub). When I’m done tossing some into the soil, I end my day by pouring a bath loaded with it to soak away my own off-kilter lactic acid stressors from all that wonderful gardening. Whatever I don’t soak up, goes down the drain when I pull the plug and I’m out about 3cents…which translates…I don’t need to pay for gas to get to a spa to pay for a treatment to get the results I got for next to nothing at home. Kind of like not digging up soil samples and not paying for gas to not bring to a lab so I don’t have to wait for results that I don’t have the time or money to waste on because I plan on buying more Epson salts with the money I saved not going to a lab:)

      • Lol! I agree with you!

        • I love it that is so very true

      • 10000% Agree! The dollar tree store has epson salts for a buck a bag! a bag lasts a long time-I use epson salts on my aching feet and it helps!

        I used this on my container peppers last summer and they grew HUGE. I also dress the top of pots with 4″ of compost-so I fill the container 2/3 with 50/50 garden soil and compost then dress with compost on top=this gives the plants all the nutrients it needs! I no longer use bagged potting mix=mix has zero nutrients-although it’s good at breaking up clay soils and regular garden soil doesn’t dry out as fast as potting mix.

    • 100% agree! Follow the science. I would be especially cautious with container growing.

      • works great on container growing-I used it on my green peppers last year-they grew bigger and greener!

  5. Never knew,will try this!

  6. Great Service!

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

  7. life long learner

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

      • I will use the Epsom Salt first time. I am using container gardening at terres, since last 4 to 5 years..

        • Have planted tomato in the sack bag and want to use Epsom salt to spray

  8. i like the epson story and tomatoes planting , i need more guidance, i am an aggressive upcoming farmer on tomatoes , passion fruits.

    • You can do nothing better for your crops than feeding the soil a well-aged compost–rich in all the nutrients vegetables and fruits require. Concentrate on your soil and your tomatoes and passion fruits will take care of themselves.

      • Compost is really really good but if you have a I Magnesium deficiency No amount of compost is going to fix that. You can’t get magnesium out of compost. i grew up on a farm a real farm my dad farmed several hundred acres I have lived On a farm all my life. I’m not talking about a ranch I’m talking about A ranch I’m talking about row croup farm every thing from peanut corn Soy beans pretty much everything grown In the US but cotton. Post a 5 acre garden we sold produce out of. And we had to add trace generals about ever year. We did do soul test and our farms coop would you a fertile mix for each individual field. Or sections the field of one needed more than the other. So make sure you tell people right before just say compost fixes all evils in a garden because it want.

      • I noticed your name popping up after comments. How long has Harvest to Table been around, I’m a new reader.

        • Yes, thanks for visiting Harvest to Table. I started Harvest to Table about 15 years ago and have been visiting with many gardeners since.
          To know more about the site, see this link:STEVE’S STORY
          Thanks for reading and Happy Gardening!

  9. Are you talking British, or US gallons? Any chance to put liter equivalent in brackets, so we don’t have to guess? Would also save time re-calculating the volumes. Thanks

    • The reference is to U.S. gallons.

    • 3.8 litres per 1 US gallon

      • Thank you, this is very helpful for those of us who live in “metric'” countries.

        • Wow after reading many nearly all of the comments I have to give you loads and loads of kudos for sticking with this article and answering the repeated questions. Between the naysayers, the people that are too lazy to read the article and the others who seem to not be aware of Google’s existence to do the metric conversion because they live in a metric country la di da I would have stopped answering questions quite some time ago. Again kudos to you

    • 25 litres =

      • This was very helpful, thanks from a new gardener ☺

        • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table and Happy Gardening!

  10. Great advice !!

  11. Thank you for the great article Steve! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

  12. A tip from Kelvin. Just found a new way to help increase your harvest with 2 tablespoons of Epson salt and a gallon of water. Apply once a month while plants are blooming. Or 1 tablespoon when you want to water more frequent.

    • It’s EPSOM

      (Video) Epsom Salt for Growing Green Peppers : Growing Peppers

  13. want to try this

  14. Hi Steve
    I have been reading many articles about Epsom salt and I have found what you had to say most informative, I then read about your book, I quite like it the USA reviews and the information in the book in Amazon UK. So I bought the book. I have been gardening organically for a while, last year I studied permaculture design with Geoff Lawton.

    • Thanks for being in touch–and thanks for reading Harvest to Table and I hope the book is very useful!

      • It is 100% true that epsom salt is beneficial. I have always used it prior to reading your post. I love when someone out there validates what I believe. If your not using Epsom salt deficiency or not your not allowing your plants to reap the full benefits it could receive to give You the best harvest you’ll ever have. It’s a no-brain er after you’ve tried it at least once. I spray my foliage twice a month and feed the roots Epsom once a month one table spoon of Epsom salt to a gallon of water once a month. IT WORKS!

        • How is adding additional magnesium good for the soil if the soil doesn’t need it?

          • Soluble magnesium in the soil is drawn up to plant cells via the uptake of soil moisture. Not all vegetables need magnesium (leafy crops don’t need much), but most fruiting vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants for fruit cell development. If the soil magnesium levels are good, there is no need to add additional magnesium to support fruiting crops. Low soil pH, dry soil, and low temperatures can inhibit the uptake of magnesium. Most organic fertilizers for vegetables will have small amounts of magnesium added.

          • Why do you come on someone else’s site and argue the point, over and over- about an issue that, even if u were right, is insignificant BC the treatment seems to be benign enough. Giving your opinion once wasn’t enough? Its not a perfect world done by the book, and its a good general answer to something that’s usually the problem. Were not here to get advice from YOU. Everyone has opinions- and this site has never given me anything but great advice. You could start your own, but I doubt you will come close to the success that this one has had bc they are courteous, knowledgeable, and helpful.

  15. Most of my garden does well except for my lima beans and field peas. Need help there and also for my collie flower which turns black on top. At one time I grew great flowers. Most of my garden seems to come to fruit and doesn’t mature right. My beans and peas the worst. My dirt is a washout some times. I hit it heavy this year with sulfur 8-8-8 seven years ago I was taking the tomatoes out of my garden with the wheel barrel. They made a jungle and produced heavy. Normally I put fish oil bone meal and superphosphate under them. Las year they did not do well at all. My okra, butter nut jalapeno peppers did fare but that was all. I can and am getting short on beans and peas. Gerald

    • Your beans and peas need less nitrogen than you are feeding them– try 3-5-5, or a low nitrogen fertilizer. Improve your soil by adding aged compost to the planting beds twice a year. Spread 1-2 inches of compost across the planting beds in spring and again in late autumn.

    • Cauliflower

      • Cauliflower will turn brown or black because you didn’t take the outer leaves and gather at the top shielding the heads. I did this last year and my cauliflower was beautiful and the largest heads I’ve ever had. Don’t tye to tight near the bottom just on the top leaf area. Good luck and happy gardening.

  16. Iv never heard of this. I’m going to try it. Friends say it works well.

  17. I would reiterate what Michael LaBelle said earlier: “Adding Epsom Salt to the soil for peppers and tomatoes is only beneficial IF there is a deficiency.”
    Your local state university extension department should have all sorts of information regarding soils in your area of the country, and they’re often the body that can do the soil testing too. The soil test is quite comprehensive and will tell you much about the various components of your soil, and how to remedy an overabundance, or a deficiency, of a particular element. They will also tell you how to collect the soil sample used for the test.
    In Colorado, for example, our soils are often quite alkaline, as well as being deficient in nitrogen and over-supplied with magnesium. The addition of Epsom salt and/or dolomite are NOT recommended here.
    Like Steve says, “concentrate on your soil”.
    It’s the biggest factor in gardening success. Know your soil! All soils are NOT alike.

    • But Penny, don’t put all of Colorado into one category… My soil is alkaline, but has tested deficient in magneseum. In my case, Epsom Salts are helpful. Like you said, testing is important, but Colorado’s a big state… different areas in the state will have different needs, and no one should be told to eliminate a potentially helpful additive.

      • Thank you both Penny and Eric. Every state has multiple soil profiles. Scientists at the University of California, Davis have identified more than 40 different soil profiles in California alone. For the everyday gardener, there is no substitute for aged compost to improve the soil.

    • Steve’s comments about well aged quality compost is spot on. The issue with ANY advice like this is that unless you know what the soil needs just adding something is a guess at best and could actually do more harm than good.

  18. When planting from seeds my tomato’s are spindly we have used just miracle grow they get tall and skinny, also can you use both epson spray sidedress at the same time I live in central ms.

    • There are a couple of reasons tomatoes grow spindly: (1) if they are not growing in direct sunlight, they may be reaching for the sun; move them into direct sunlight; as well, place them where they get some breeze each day–a breeze and moving air will help the stem to grow more stout; (2) the fertilizer you are using may be too rich in nitrogen–use a low nitrogen fertilizer; try an organic 5-10-10.

  19. it was quite excellent

  20. If someone was allergic to sulfur would Epsom salt effect them?

    • Consult a medical doctor in regards to allergies. “Epsom salt” is the colloquial name for the hydrated chemical Magnesium Sulfate; Epsom salt contains sulfur.

  21. Grandioso…..excelente….

  22. I bought some Epsom salt to use on my roses, but noticed when opening the bag it also contains mint and rosemary oils. Is it ok to use as a spray?

    • Mint and rosemary oil can be used to keep some pest insects away from plants; the strong smell of those oils make many pests turn away.

  23. Great

    • What about if you use the solution are there going to be impacts or??why is it that when you use the solution the plants become yellowish compared to plant where the solution has not been used??

      • It is best to under-apply fertilizer solutions than to apply too much. Cut the solution in half and then test it on two different sets of plants to test the results.

  24. Useful .. And most important
    Organic in nature ..

  25. it works

  26. I had no idea. My tomato and pepper plants look like they are deficient. I’ll be trying this today.

  27. How does e salt work when growing cantaulopes

    • Yes, melons can be sweetened by giving them a dose of Epsom salts and borax. Add about 6 1/2 tablespoons of Epsom salts and 3 1/2 tablespoons of household borax to five gallons of water. Spray the plants when the vines start to run and again when the fruits are between one and two inches in diameter.

      (Video) See what happen when you use Epsom salt to grow Tomatoes

      • What would be the ratio for2 gallons of water. I’m math illiterate

  28. Can I use and Epson salt with lavender?

    • Yes, but do not over apply any fertilizer or soil amendment. Epsom salts is hydrated magnesium sulfate (about 10 percent magnesium and 13 percent sulfur). Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll and it helps strengthen cell walls and improves a plant’s uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

  29. I am a new farmer who would like advises do l have a chance to to get some advices from you

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table. All of my best advise is right here on the website. Check the Topics Index for subjects you want to know more about.

  30. Just finished spraying my tomato and pepper plants…our first attempt at container gardening.

    • Keep a daily eye out on your plants and you should have success. Keep the soil just moist throughout the growing season–sometimes a moisture meter can help gauge soil moisture in containers. Happy gardening!

  31. I’ve used epsom salts around my rose bushes for years. This is a great article detailing which plant benefit from Epsom salts and which do not. I’m social sharing this with all my gardening friends.

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

  32. How often should I spray my seedlings with the solution? They are only about one and a half Inches tall.

    • Allow plants to gain some height, width, and maturity before feeding them Epsom salt. Seed starting or potting soil should have sufficient nutrients to get the seedlings up to about 6 inches tall. The set pot them up to the next size container or set them in the garden. After plants have been in the garden for a few weeks you can give them their first Epsom salt feeding. Then feed plants with compost tea once a week and Epsom salt once a month.

  33. Helpful article. I will try these.

  34. Magnesuim sulfate MgSO4 by definition is a salt.

  35. Can’t this formula be used on Roses as well?

    • Yes, Epsom salts can help roses. Epsom salts are comprised of magnesium sulfate. Magnesium and sulfur are important elements in the soil and are secondary nutrients for plants. Magnesium is necessary for plants to generate chlorophyll, which is important for plant photosynthesis. Magnesium also helps plants absorb phosphorus which is essential for plant growth and blooms. Give roses one-half to three-quarters cup of Epsom salts each spring. Sprinkle the salts in a ring around the perimeter of rose bushes. Mix the Epsom salts into the soil with a hand fork.

  36. I have Blossom End Rot, long story, but tested soil and the ph was way off the chart of 7.5. I did get some stuff that is used on Hydranges for blue to lower the ph. Market people told me the high ph would not allow the plant to use the Calcium so by lowering it would allow the plant to get the calcium. But now I am getting a few to ripen and they taste horrible and bitter. Would Epsom Salt lower the ph and maybe make the fruit sweeter.

    • Epsom salt will not affect soil pH; so it will not lower the pH. The best approach to lowering pH is both short-term and long-term addition of aged compost (or organic commercial planting mix) to the planting bed. Add 3 or 4 inches to the top of the bed and then turn it under. Do this at least twice a year; in about a year’s time the soil pH should drop on its own. In the short term, do the above, then plant in a raised bed or a mounded bed of commercial planting mix. The bitter flavor will abate once the soil is less alkaline.

  37. Actually, magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) is a salt of magnesium. In chemistry, a salt is chemical compound that results from the reaction of an acid with a base. In this case, sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2). In the reaction is as follows:

    H2SO4+Mg(OH)2 = MgSO4 + 2(H20)

    Salts can be found in nature or can be made in a laboratory. In this case, the source of the sulfuric acid is sulfur dioxide in the air which has combined with water to form sulfuric acid. It’s the same process that tarnishes silver. The problem is that people assume that salt means table salt. Sodium chloride. But there are many different kinds of salt with all different properties.

    • Thank you for this explanation and addition to the post.

      • When fixing to till your garden up can you just pour some Epson over the whole garden and then it will be good and mixed in after the tilling is done? Or is rhe salt harmful for some plants and only needs to be around peppers and tomatoes?

        • Just add Epson salt to each individual planting hole; this will give you the best return for your money.

  38. The one thing ive always liked about gardening for a hobby is the fact your always learning and what a better way to learn than to share from others of the same interest.

    • Yes. The garden is never the same from year to year and there is always something new to learn. Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

  39. I added one tablespoon of epsom salts to every plant one year to my tomato plants. Almost every tomato in the field developed blossom End Rot. Problem is that calcium competes with magnesium for uptake. So with all that magnesium in the soil, the plant could not uptake the calcium it needed and BER was the result. Now I add one Tums for calcium and there is no longer a problem with BER.

    So if your soil is low in magnesium epsom salts will help. If your soil is low in calcium adding Tums will help. Do not add these micronutrients without a soil test first.

    • Thanks very much for passing along this excellent tip.

      • खीरे के पौधों में डालने से लाभ मिलेगा

  40. Hurrah, that’s what I was looking for, what a data! existing here at this website, thanks admin of this website.

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

  41. I have a cherry tomato plant in a container. It wasn’t growing so I sprinkled a tablespoon of es around the soil and within 2 weeks it began having new growth and flowers so now I’m wondering how often I should apply the es and how much?

    • You can give your plants a light Epsom salts boost once a month or so; a tablespoon is more than enough and water it in. You won’t need to add more once the season is half over.

      (Video) How to use Epsom Salt in the Garden and on Your Potted Plants
  42. Epsom salt is a salt. When an acid reacts with a base, the reaction products are water molecules and salts. NaCl is one of the infinite possibilities for this larger definition of the word “salt.” for example 1 H2S (sulfuric acid) + 1 Mg(OH)2 (milk of magnesia) = 2 HOH (water) + 1 MgS (epsom salt). NaCl is the salt produced by the reaction of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and lye (NaOH).

    • Your quite close, but epsom salt is MgSO4. MgS is magnesium sulfide

  43. Epsom salt, or Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4) actually is a salt. It consists of two ions. It has the positively charged magnesium ion and the negatively charged sulfate ion, bound into a crystal with strong ionic bonds. Water, being a highly polar molecule, aggressively rips these two species apart from each other, the magnesium grabbed by oxygen, the sulfate grabbed by hydrogen and pulled apart. Ionic compounds are defined as salts. Usually there is a metallic positive ion, just as in table salt has sodium as it’s metallic component, epsom salt has magnesium. Anyway, the bottom line is that epsom salt is in fact a salt.

  44. I grow organically.
    Epson salts is out.

  45. This is news to me and i will try it for sure.

  46. I have an issue with squash… they all seem to get blossum end rot and will rot even when very small. I did a soil test -pH- 6.5-6.8 very low in potash and potassium. Tomatoes usually do well although have had issues with BER with Krim tomatoes. I have a compost tumbler-style of composter and will dump the contents in October or so. The soil used to be poor in texture but noe is essily “workable”. I don’t have issues with other vegetables (beans, Swiss chard, lettuce, kale, radishes, spinach) it’s primarily squash (ih, peppers do NOT do well hete either) so I’m not sure what to add or do si that squash will grow. Even zucchini rots… and that’s saying something! Would Epsom salts help??
    I will appreciate any suggestions! (I predominately love my winter squash- Hubbard, butternut, and acorn).
    Thank you!

    • Add a tablespoon or two of epsom salt or dolomitic limestone to the planting hole when transplanting, or sidedress around plants with epsom salt or dolomitic limestone. Epsom salt contains magnesium which aids early root and cell development and plant growth which in turn will slow to stop blossom end rot. Keep the soil evenly moist so that plant roots can draw up magnesium and calcium from the soil.

  47. I live in Arizona, I have both pepper plants and tomato plants. The paper plants are growing very slow and not flowering. My tomato plants are growing but have a few flowers not produce, I would like to try the es but not sure how much to use. Also I water every day am I possibly watering to much,? Could that be the reason they are not flowering? Any help is greatly appreciated. This is what all I’m growing in my raised bed garden, regular tomatoes, Roma tomato, cherry tomato, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, green onion. They all seem to need some help. I do use miracle grow fertilizer. Can you use regular es from like the bath area or does it come from the garden section? Sorry for all the questions I’m new at this whole garden thing in Arizona I came from Oregon I didnt have any issues there. Thank you in advance for you advice.

    • Hold off on Epsom salts for now. The plants are stressed. If the plants are taller than 8 inches, they do not need water every day; get a moisture meter and check the moisture at 8 inches deep; water accordingly. Get a 5-10-10 fertilizer such as Lily Miller Mor-Crop (which also contains calcium and magnesium) and give the plants half of the recommended dose for the next month. If the plant gains strength then give it a full dose after a month–follow the directions, but use half as much as recommended until the plants flower and set fruit.

  48. Remarkable! Its genuinely amazing piece of writing, I have got much clear idea about from this paragraph.

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table and Happy Gardening!

  49. Epsom salt is OMRI approved so it can be used in your organic garden if your soil is magnesium deficient. I always soil test before planting and once during the season. Every few years a test is sent to the local cooperative office and gives me a full analysis of my soil including its composition. Twice a season I test it myself with a kit. This tells me what my plants have depleted from the soil during the growing season and I know what needs to be amended for the fall crops. 20 bucks for a home test kit that gives me 40 tests and tells me my ph and n, p k. is more than worth the money. I use epsom usually only when the plant tells me it needs it and it works well for me.

  50. How i can use the Foliar spray during the season for grape tree and what is the method of applies that.what is the best treatment for Bunch Stem Necrosis in grape during middle of season .pleas advice me.

  51. Hello
    I planted my tomatoes in early June. Usually I plant in late April but we’ve had a cold spring and I wasn’t really sure if covid-19 would have any negative effect on the plants. I planted early girls, big boys, cherry and dwarf Roma. I trim the suckers regularly and water every 3rd day. Once a month I add eggshell which the plants love. They are healthy, flowering well,and producing fruits but only the cherry fruits are ripening. Will E.S. help with ripening? It is now the middle of July. Thank you.

    • It sounds like your larger tomato varieties are on schedule to ripen in mid to late August. It is expected that the cherry tomatoes would ripen first. Epsom salt will not ripen the tomatoes quicker. Keep the plants happy with a feeding of a dilute solution of fish emulsion or kelp meal every 10 days with watering. Check the days to maturity for each variety–you will find that they are due to ripen in August.

  52. Thank you, Steve

    Live long and prosper!

  53. First, it’s so great that you take the time (even if repeating is sometimes needed) to answer every question. For me, this is the first time I’ve ever planted a tomato plant. Cherry tomatoes. I do have them (only 2 on my patio) in pots. In the beginning, they grew like crazy and were beautiful and seemingly perfect. Then all of a sudden the bottom portion of the leaves began turning golden brown. Not soft and yellow, like over-watering might suggest, And not crispy dry ones either. Also not the curling leaf thing that I’ve read about. It’s very odd. With every new growth (that still looks great), right below it, the leaves do the same thing. It’s done this from the beginning. So, I trim off the bad ones almost on daily basis. So, now it’s just naked almost all the way to the top. They’re about 5-6 feet tall. They’re still producing pretty good, but beginning not to ripen as well. And now also beginning to have some smaller (grape/large pea sz) fruit. I’ve wondered if it is coming to the end of its life span. IDK I did use miracle grow when I first potted them and have used it, maybe twice since then. My farmer’s daughter DIL said she’d never seen anything like it before. Does this make any sense to you ? Can you offer any suggestions ? Thanks in advance for any help.

    • It is not unusual for the lower, older leaves to die. Leaves can readily fail if they do not get plenty of sunlight or air circulation; make sure the plants are not crowded. At 5 to 6 feet tall, the plants are at or very near maturity. Pinch away the growth tips at the top of the plant and also growth tips on side branches. This will allow the plant to concentrate it energy on producing flowers and maturing fruit already on the plant. Removing excess flowers will allow the plant to increase the size of the fruit on the plant–but will end production as well. If you have 12 or more weeks of warm weather left in the season; you can clip some a few sections of new growth and root them to create new plants/clones which can go on to produce more fruit. If you suspect the curling leaves are related to insects or disease, spray the affected leaves with Neem oil late in the day when the sun is not intense.

  54. Never knew, MAGNESIUM AND SULFUR were of such immense use until now

  55. Can epsom salt and rock phosphate also be used for cucumber, egg plant, beans, other ethnic asian beans, carrots, and all other home gardening fruits and vegetables ?

    • Epsom salt applied in moderation will likely benefit all vegetables, but especially tomatoes and peppers.

  56. Thanks Steve for all the info. I have been growing tomatoes for 45 yrs; but never heard of adding Epsom salt, I’ll try it because we have BER a lot. We live in what used to be a river bed and have had to add planter mix almost every year to our raised beds (the soil is too rocky to dig in). In the past, I’ve always used B1 when transplanting them to help with the root growth. It will be interesting to see how well they do this year with the Ep, so I’ll let you know at the end of summer.

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table and Happy Gardening!

  57. By the way, great article and very informative if one just takes the time to read the article.

    • Thanks for reading Harvest to Table and Happy Gardening!

  58. Thanks for reading Harvest to Table.

  59. ohn also the leaves of my spagetti plants are turning yellow, and dying

  60. Yes, adding Epsom salt to the soil (or spraying the leaves) will make your tomatoes taste sweeter. Dissolve about a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a a gallon of water and then water around each of the plants or you can foliar spray the plants. This will add magnesium to the soil and improve the plants’ overall health–and yield and flavor. For best flavor, let the tomatoes ripen on the vine, do not pick them too early.

  61. There are many reasons the leaves of squash plants turn yellow, usually environmental: (1) weather too hot; (2) not enough moisture in the soil–keep the soil evenly moist; (3) soil not well-drained, add plenty of compost around each plant to keep natural nutrients optimal. Disease can also cause leaves to yellow; fungal diseases can infect squash plants and lead to plant failure–often this is the result of soil that is not well drained.

  62. hi, grateful to dropby harvest to table..got so much idea about epsom salt…is it ok to foliar spray to eggolants, pechay and other vegies? i have peppers and tomatoes but their leaves are yellowish…can epsom salt help? thanks for the advice,, more power to you..

  63. Yes, you can foliar spray Epsom salt solution. You may want to begin feeding the plants with a dilute solution of fish emulsion or seaweed/kelp meal solution every 10 days; that should give the plants a boost.

    (Video) See What Happens When You Add Epsom Salt to Your Plants


Is Epsom salt good for tomato and pepper plants? ›

Epsom salt can be especially beneficial to vegetable gardens with tomatoes and peppers.

Can Epsom salt be used on pepper plants? ›

Basically take two tablespoons of Epsom salt mix it with a quart of water and spray onto the leaves

Can you put Epsom salt around tomato plants? ›

Make up a solution of about a teaspoon of Epsom salts per litre (quarter gallon) of water in a spray bottle. Simply wet the foliage on your tomato plants every two weeks using a fine spray setting. It will quickly be absorbed by the leaves. Avoid spraying on hot, sunny days or when rain is imminent.

When should I give my tomato plants Epsom salt? ›

How to use epsom salt on your tomato plants epsom salt is magnesium sulfate it's magnesium and

How often should I put Epsom salt on my pepper plants? ›

Sprinkle one tablespoon of Epsom salt per one foot of plant height around the base of the plant every 4-5 weeks. Begin side-dressing the plants with Epsom salt once the leaves start to appear.

What is the best fertilizer for tomatoes and peppers? ›

An ideal fertilizer ratio for fruiting tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants is 5-10-10 with trace amounts of magnesium and calcium added. Liquid organic fertilizers can be watered-in around the base of plants or applied directly to crop leaves as foliar feeds.

What happens if you add too much Epsom salt to plants? ›

When using too much Epsom salt, you could cause an imbalance in your soil. This imbalance can lead to stunted growth in your plants, dark foliage, burned roots, and can also make it difficult for your plants to absorb calcium. Therefore, before you start adding Epsom salt to your garden, be sure to test your soil.

What plants will benefit from Epsom salts? ›

Roses, peppers, and tomato plants require high levels of magnesium to thrive, so it is these plants that would benefit from the micronutrients contained within Epsom salts.

How do I get my pepper plant to produce more fruit? ›

Peppers need more phosphorus and potassium to set fruit. They don't need a lot of food, 1 teaspoon of 5-10-10 at planting time and an additional teaspoon just at bloom time. Peppers need more phosphorus and potassium to set fruit.

What do you add to soil for tomatoes and peppers? ›

Compost and composted manure are great additions to the soil for tomatoes and lots of other plants. Compost adds basic nutrients and improves soil structure. Composted manure provides nutrients all season long.

What helps tomatoes and peppers grow? ›

Epsom salt used as a foliar spray or soil additive will help tomato and pepper plants grow and produce larger, tastier yields.

How often should I fertilize my tomato and pepper plants? ›

Feed tomatoes and peppers every month during the growing season.

Is Epsom salt good for tomatoes and cucumbers? ›

Adding Epsom salt to the soil tomatoes are growing in can actually promote blossom-end rot, a truly disappointing garden woe. The tomatoes start to bear fruit and then rot on the bottom. Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in the plants.

Can you dump Epsom salt water on plants? ›

Adding Epsom salts to soil that already has sufficient magnesium can actually harm your soil and plants, such as by inhibiting calcium uptake. Spraying Epsom salt solutions on plant leaves can cause leaf scorch. Excess magnesium can increase mineral contamination in water that percolates through soil.

What is the ratio of Epsom salt to water? ›

The Mayo Clinic recommends adults use 2 cups of Epsom salt per gallon of warm water. More than that can make the water feel slippery. It may also be drying to your skin.

How much Epsom salt do you use when planting tomatoes? ›

As your tomatoes mature, continue adding Epsom salt to the soil. How much Epsom salt for plants? The ideal solution ratio is 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height. If your tomato plant is two feet in height, you'll be feeding it two tablespoons of Epsom salt at least twice a month!

What plants like to soak in Epsom salt? ›

3 Plants That Benefit From Epsom Salt
  • Pepper plants: Peppers need extra magnesium, especially if you grow them in pots. ...
  • Roses: Rose bushes benefit from the magnesium in Epsom salt. ...
  • Tomato plants: While some Epsom salt can benefit vegetables and can help increase the flavor profile, too much can lead to blossom end rot.
27 Aug 2021

Do cucumbers like Epsom salt? ›

Like any other plant, the cucumber thrives on nutrient-rich soils. Epsom salt holds the key as far as these nutrients are concerned. It ensures your cucumber has enough Magnesium and Sulfur supply as lack of them leads to stunted growth.

What makes peppers grow fast? ›

Keep the seeds very warm for germinating. Keeping pepper seeds warm at 80-90˚ F is best for fast and successful germination. Most pepper seeds germinate within 7-21 days, but some can take longer than that so be patient and keep them consistently warm. Seedling heat mats can help greatly!

What do you feed pepper plants when fruiting? ›

During the fruiting stage, plants need less nitrogen but plenty of phosphorus and potassium for the best yields. This can be achieved using an even-grade fertilizer all season, or ideally by switching fertilizers halfway through the growing season.

What is a good natural fertilizer for pepper plants? ›

Add Epsom salt to the soil before transplanting your pepper plants, and you can also use it in the form of a foliar spray. Drench the plants with it about once a month. You can also use homemade compost to fertilize your pepper plants.

What does magnesium deficiency look like in pepper plants? ›

Magnesium is the most commonly deficient secondary nutrient. In many cases deficient plants show no obvious symptoms, except reduced yields. The most common visual symptom is the yellowing of older leaves, especially in the areas between the veins (leaf margins and veins stay green), giving the leaves a mottled effect.

How do I make my pepper plants healthier? ›

How to keep HEALTHY PEPPER & CHILIE plants + ... - YouTube

Which Miracle Grow for peppers? ›

Miracle-Gro® Performance Organic® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules will feed your pepper plants for up to 6 weeks, providing loads of extra nutrients to the beneficial microbes in the soil as well as to the plants. A month after planting, mix this into the soil around your pepper plants, following label directions.

How could you tell if a plant is not getting enough magnesium? ›

The first signs of magnesium deficiency appear on the older lower leaves as magnesium moves towards new growth. As the deficiency develops, chlorosis can move to the younger leaves as well. Eventually as chlorophyll reduces, some plants may display red, purple or brown tints.

How do I know if my soil needs magnesium? ›

Perhaps the most obvious symptom of magnesium deficiency is interveinal chlorosis, where the plant's leaves turn yellow, but the veins stay green. You can see the appearance of a leaf with interveinal chlorosis in the picture below.

How can I get magnesium in my plants naturally? ›

Providing magnesium for plants begins with annual applications of rich, organic compost. Compost conserves moisture and helps keep nutrients form leaching out during heavy rainfall. Organic compost is also rich in magnesium and will provide an abundant source for plants.


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