You may have heard of people using Epsom salt as a bath soak, but did you know Epsom salt for tomatoes offers them a crucial mineral they need?
Normally combined with some essential oils and a good book, a cup of Epsom salt in a warm bath is a great addition to your relaxing night due to its pain-relieving properties.
But do you know why Epsom salt helps support relaxation and muscle recovery? Hint: it’s for the same reason that Epsom salt can be a great additive to your tomato plant maintenance.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of Epsom salt for tomatoes!
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is just another name for magnesium sulfate. It’s said to help relax sore muscles because the minerals in the magnesium compound are essential to our molecular function and can absorb through the skin as you soak.
Magnesium is a nutrient that plays a vital role in supporting muscle recovery and energy. Sulfate, another ingredient in Epsom salt, is also an essential nutrient that aids in cell repair and reproduction.
And funny enough, plants need the same nutrients to thrive! In particular, tomato plants can really benefit from incorporating Epsom salt into your plant care routine.
Why Tomato Plants Need Magnesium
Just like we do, your tomato plants need magnesium. It’s a crucial nutrient in plants and powers chlorophyll production. So, one of the tell-tale signs of magnesium deficiency in tomato plants is yellowing leaves.
Magnesium deficiencies can come from overwatering or overfertilizing, both of which can cause the magnesium to wash out of the soil.
Unfortunately, typical tomato plant fertilizers and feed tend to be high in potassium, making it difficult for the plant to take in the magnesium it needs to flourish. In addition, plants also need sulfate to produce proteins, though this nutrient isn’t quite as easy to lose through imbalanced soil.
Using Epsom salt for tomato plants can alleviate this issue, though.
When you’re looking for Epsom salt for tomatoes, make sure you choose an agricultural-grade product like this one from Amazon.
Because people like to use it in the bath, some kinds of Epsom salt might incorporate fragrances or essential oils. Some bubbles and lavender oil alongside Epsom salt in the bath can be soothing for us but won’t be so great for your plants.
However, it’s important to remember that only some kinds of plants will flourish under the same conditions! Some plants do better with lower levels of magnesium. Before using Epsom salt on other plants in your garden, make sure that they actually need it first!
The Benefits of Epsom Salt For Tomato Plants
One benefit of using Epsom salt for tomato plants is the positive impact it can have on the flavor of your tomatoes.
Magnesium and sulfate are both crucial micronutrients that aid the tomato plant in photosynthesis, making the fruits themselves healthier, therefore, juicier and sweeter once they begin to grow.
Growth and Fruit Production
Because of its chemical makeup, using Epsom salt for your tomatoes can aid in processes like root development, photosynthesis, cell repair, and nutrient uptake. This combination of benefits makes for a great starting point for big, leafy, fast-growing tomato plants that fruit longer.
Correcting Nutrient Imbalances
Any kind of nutrient imbalance can lead to problems with your fruits and vegetables. Luckily, the magnesium in Epsom salt helps to create energy, allowing for more efficient uptake of other essential nutrients like nitrogen.
Myths About Epsom Salt For Tomato Plants
It’s a Pest Deterrent
One myth about Epsom salt is that it can act as a natural pest deterrent. While this would be an awesome added benefit, nothing shows the Epsom salt has anything to do with pests whatsoever.
It Aids in Tomato Seed Germination
Yes, magnesium does aid in plant growth and photosynthesis. But, using Epsom salt for tomatoes that are still germinating will have no effect on the plant.
While using Epsom salt for tomato plants can help correct acquired deficiencies, it does nothing for the seeds before they sprout since they start out having everything they need to grow.
It Acts as Plant Food
Though sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference between plant food and plant fertilizer.
Plant food consists of the same nutrients that are created through photosynthesis. Plant food is naturally occurring sustenance and cannot be added to the soil.
On the other hand, plant fertilizers are prepared nutrients that can be added to the soil to aid in other processes in the plant.
By these definitions, Epsom salt can be used as fertilizer but is not plant food and will not make up for lack of sunlight, oxygen, or water.
How to Apply Epsom Salt to Tomato Plants
When First Planting Tomato Seedlings
Though Epsom salt doesn’t help with seed germination, once the seeds become seedlings, adding fertilizing ingredients like the magnesium and sulfate found in Epsom salt can set your tomato plants up for success from the start.
As Tomato Plant Maintenance
Epsom salt can also be used ad hoc in your plant maintenance. If you start to notice yellow leaves (a sign of magnesium deficiency), add one tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot in height to your soil and work it in twice a month.
As a Soil Drench or a Foliar Spray
Your tomato plants can benefit from an Epsom salt bath, too! Use the same formula as above, but instead of adding the Epsom salt to the soil, add it to a gallon of warm water and use a garden sprayer to drench your tomato plants twice a month.
Foliar refers to the leaves of the plant, so this Epsom salt spray is safe to apply to the soil or to the plant itself.
Testing Your Soil
If you aren’t sure if your tomato plants are suffering from a magnesium or sulfate deficiency, you can use a soil testing kit to determine what steps you need to take to correct any imbalances.
You don’t want to overdo it or add more nutrients than necessary, so if the signs of nutrient deficiency aren’t there, try out a soil testing kit to make sure you actually need to add Epsom salt or any other fertilizer.
Does Epsom salt prevent tomato blossom-end rot?
Unfortunately, no. Blossom-end rot points towards a calcium deficiency or incorrect watering patterns for your plant, neither of which can be corrected by Epsom salt.
Does Epsom salt treat yellowing leaves on tomato plants?
Yes! As discussed earlier, yellow leaves are a sign of a magnesium deficit. Because Epsom salt provides magnesium, using Epsom salt for tomato plant care can reverse yellowing leaves.
When should you use Epsom salt on your tomatoes?
You should use Epsom salt for tomatoes when you suspect your tomato plants are experiencing a micronutrient deficiency.
But remember, using Epsom salt for tomato plants preventively isn’t effective if the seeds are still germinating, so keep your eye out for signs that your plant might need some extra help!
Use Epsom Salt For Tomatoes Today!
After myth-busting the use of Epsom salt for tomato plants and sharing some tips and tricks about best practices, we hope you feel well-prepared to tackle yellow leaves and produce your sweetest tomatoes yet!
If you want to learn more about caring for your tomato plans, you can check out all of our tomato plant information here.
- About the Author
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Leah is a writer, editor, and content manager with Minneopa Orchards and holds a master’s degree in English.
She grew up in the south and enjoyed long growing seasons spent in her father’s lush vegetable garden. Buying produce from the store was unheard of in her house!
As such, Leah enjoys writing about gardening and sharing her knowledge and experiences with others.
Leah can be reached at email@example.com