If you thought the secret to growing big juicy tomatoes was as simple as popping the plants into a bucket or container of rich, organic soil, think again. These vigorous growers are heavy feeders requiring both frequent watering and supplemental fertiliser. Adding Epsom salt to your tomato care regimen may give them the boost they need to produce robust stems and abundant fruit.
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Things you need
- Epsom salt
- Measuring spoon
- Watering can
Apply Epsom salt to the soil around the base of the tomatoes every two weeks to provide needed magnesium and sulphur to the soil. The Epsom Salt Council explains that plants need both magnesium and sulphur, the active ingredients in Epsom salt, to produce chlorophyll and for proper absorption of both phosphorus and nitrogen.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt for each foot in plant height. A 3-foot tomato plant requires 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt. Water the plants thoroughly to dissolve the Epsom salt. This distributes it to the roots of the tomato plant in a usable form.
Mix Epsom salt with water before applying, if preferred. The University of Alaska Fairbanks recommends mixing 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to 1 gallon of water and watering plants as usual. This method is particularly useful when watering young seedlings.
Tips and warnings
- Container-grown tomato plants are more likely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies, such as magnesium or sulphur, since nutrients leach from the soil when the pots are watered.
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