Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 179
Latest Activity: 9 hours ago

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Comment by Bertold Brautigan on July 22, 2017 at 4:06pm

Daniel - what kind of concentration of the epsom salts do you use? Or how much? (Do you dissolve it in water first?)

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 3:50pm

Daniel, thanks for your information on "The Garden of Herbivores." We have a nice chart now that I didn't have before your wrote of your  pests. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 3:35pm

Thomas, excellent question

Fertilize with Epsom Salts

"Chemically, 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, fruit, and nuts. Magnesium helps strengthen cell walls and improves plants' uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

"Sulfur, a key element in plant growth, is critical to production of vitamins, amino acids (therefore protein), and enzymes. It's also the compound that gives vegetables such as broccoli and onions their flavors. Sulfur is seldom deficient in garden soils in North America because acid rain and commonly used animal manures contain sulfur, as do chemical fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate.

"The causes and effects of magnesium deficiencies vary. Vegetables such as beans, peas, lettuce, and spinach can grow and produce good yields in soils with low magnesium levels, but plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and roses need high levels of magnesium for optimal growth. However, plants may not show the effects of magnesium deficiency until it's severe."

"Some common deficiency symptoms are yellowing of the leaves between the veins, leaf curling, stunted growth, and lack of sweetness in the fruit."


"When diluted with water, and especially when applied as a foliar spray, Epsom salts can be taken up quickly by plants. Epsom salts' magnesium content, high solubility, and ease of application as a foliar spray are the main reasons for the positive results many gardeners see in their plants."


"Four out of the six testers reported that the Epsom salts-treated pepper plants and fruits were larger than the controls. For the treated roses, testers reported greener foliage, bushier plants, and more roses than on the control plants."

"Before you try Epsom salts, test the soil to determine its magnesium content. Don't rely on Epsom salts to correct large soil magnesium deficiencies, but rather use it as a supplement to soils with adequate or slightly low magnesium levels to boost plant growth, flowering, and fruiting. For severely magnesium-deficient soils, use dolomitic lime or Sul-Po-Mag. Foliar applications of Epsom salts seem work better than adding it, dry or mixed with water, directly to the soil. Plants may not efficiently take up magnesium sulfate in granular form, especially in alkaline soils or soils that already test high in potassium, calcium, or magnesium. If you have tested your soil and know it has those qualities, a foliar application is a faster way to get the nutrients to the plant."


Epsom salts works best on soils that are...

  • Slightly deficient in magnesium
  • Alkaline (show high pH) as in western areas
  • Old, "weathered," and acidic (with low pH) soils of the Southeast and Pacific Northwest
  • High in calcium and potassium (western soils)

~ Charlie Nardozzi is a senior horticulturist at National Gardening.

Comment by Thomas Murray on July 22, 2017 at 2:54pm


What is the purpose of the Epson salt spray on plants?

Comment by Thomas Murray on July 22, 2017 at 2:50pm

... I think it was Daniel who mentioned to use human urine to water his plants. So I am wondering if the same method can be used for fruit trees? So...Daniel?... or everybody else?

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 2:44pm

Daniel, It is fun to work with nature instead of fight it. Yes, it is work, but it is worth it, at least it is when I am able to get out of this wheelchair and actually do something other than think and design, although, I like to do both. 

Larry and Laura bring me ripe tomatoes from the greenhouse and they are delicious. I learned a lot this year, and last, on what to do and not do in a greenhouse. I expect to be on my feet next week and I have a list of things to do. 

One thing, beginning July 16, Carl's (The Flying Atheist's) birthday, it is time to start to spray the vegetables with an Epsom salt drench: spray every 3weeks with:

One (1) gal water: one (1) T Epson salt

Drench plant and soil every 3 weeks. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 4:57am

Thanks for wanting to help me, I can't find my notes I made when we discussed this before, Sandbox doesn't have the ratios, and even Seri couldn't give me the answer. I knew I would want algebra some day. Well, that doesn't matter, I can't add, subtract, Multiply, or divide any more. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 4:11am

Part two:

They eat arborvitae so either fence them or allow the critters to eat as high as they can and the gardener manage the tops. There is a farm on Hiway #2 that has a hedge of arborvitae at last 75 feet long. They just let the animals limb the branches as much as they like and then the gardener keep the tops neatly pruned. It is kind of attractive to my eye. 

Since these plants need protection from critters and frost and they need more safekeeping, perhaps all bean plants, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. should be in a greenhouse of a more permanent protectionbn 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 4:10am

Daniel, it seems you have your design created for you. 

Because critters don't bother evergreens, maples, or ginkgos, they can be planted wherever you want them.  

Nor do they bother collard greens, turnips, radishes, pumpkin, or squash plants, and so you need no caging for them.  

If the plant is above a foot tall, critters don’t bother corn, onions, garlic,  or potato plants. These need early protection and perhaps a small covering would work. 

Since critters do limited tasting to mulberries, fig trees, and lindens, perhaps they could be grouped together with a light weight wire or a fence, or spread over the property and with individual fences.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 22, 2017 at 12:01am

Mycorrhizal Fungi: The World’s Biggest Drinking Straws And Largest ...

"the mass of mycorrhizal fungi on the planet is estimated to be somewhere between 1.4 and 4 tons per person. "

"Plants depend on mycorrhizal fungal filaments to supply them with a stunning proportion of their needed water and minerals. In some forests, these fungi provide the plants with up to 80% of their nitrogen and 90% of their phosphorus. The fungi, in turn, depend on plants to provide them with organic compounds needed for their own growth."


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