10 Ways to Use Epsom Salt for Your Garden

Looking to stop bugs and boost your veggies this year? Try using Epsom salt for your garden. This common drugstore ingredient has many uses.

epsom salt for gardenDianePeacock/Getty Images
There are many ways to use Epsom salts for your garden

Use Epsom Salt for Big Garden Yields

To grow huge flowers (and lots of veggies), I use Epsom salt for my garden. Mix 6 tablespoons Epsom salts and 6 tablespoons Miracle-Gro fertilizer in the hand sprayer attached to my garden hose, says Birds & Blooms reader Juanita Scalia.

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Water Potted Plants

Mix 1 tablespoon Epsom salts in a gallon of water for watering container plants, says Therese Barry.

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Use Epsom Salt for the Rose Garden

Scratch 1/2 cup of Epsom salts into the soil around each rose bush in spring, Garlic planted around roses is also a great way to keep pests away, says Linda Canfield.

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Add to Epsom Salt When Planting Bulbs

Add a pinch of Epsom salts to the hole when planting bulbs. It helps the bulbs get started and keeps squirrels and moles from digging them up, says Joan Eiffes.

epsom salt in a hand with garden glovesMartina Unbehauen/Getty Images
Use gloves when handling Epsom salts or fertilizer

Grow Bigger Tomatoes

Epsom salts can be used to provide magnesium sulfate to tomatoes, which increases yield and size. Mix 2 tablespoons Epsom salts in 1 gallon of water and apply 1 pint to each plant when blooming begins, says Sandy Traster.

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Jump-Start Your Pepper Plants

To boost production of green pepper plants, I sprinkle them with an Epsom salt solution soon after planting. Mix 3 to 4 tablespoons in a gallon of water. Continue sprinkling until the peppers set, says Marilyn Brusven.

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Pest-Free Root Crops

When planting root crops like radishes, turnips and onions, sprinkle Epsom salts over the area to be planted, and you won’t be bothered with bugs, says Wallace Shelby.

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Sweeten Melons

Epsom salts and borax can sweeten cantaloupes. Mix 7 tablespoons Epsom salts and 4 tablespoons borax in 5 gallons of water. Spray when the plants begin to vine and again when the cantaloupes are baseball sized, says David Van Ness.

Stop Tomatoes From Splitting

To prevent tomatoes from splitting, dig a hole about 6 inches from the plant, 4 to 6 inches deep. Pour in 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt, cover with dirt and thoroughly water. Since doing this, we no longer have tomatoes that split, says Brenda Trumps-Robinson.

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Keep Bugs Off Flowers

This recipe keeps pests off my flowers. Mix 1 cup Epsom salts, 1/4 cup Ivory liquid soap, 2 tablespoons liquid fertilizer and 5 gallons of water. I put it in a watering can and sprinkle it on, says Evelyn Quigley.

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Bonus: Easy Garden Gift Idea

Homemade bath salts are easy. Mix Epsom salt with dried herbs like chamomile, lavender or rosemary. Add a few drops of food coloring to get the desired color and then pour the mix into decorative jars. Kids can help with this fun project, and the jars are perfect for teacher gifts, says Darcy Larum.

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Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori enjoys growing vegetables and flowers for pollinators in her backyard gardens. She also is an avid bird-watcher.