Using Epsom Salts in your Garden

Using Epsom Salts in your Garden

Epsom salt – also known as magnesium sulfate – helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, and deters pests, such as slugs and voles. It also provides vital nutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer.

Plants will have visible signs that they are starved for a particular nutrient. If a plant’s leaves turn yellow all over the plant, it can be a sign they need more sulfate. If lower leaves turn yellow between the veins (and the veins stay green), they may need more magnesium.

Epsom Salt is recommended by Master Gardeners and used regularly by commercial growers around the world. Tests by the National Gardening Association confirm that roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow bushier and produce more flowers, and it also makes pepper plants grow larger than those treated only with commercial fertilizer.

Here are some other tips for using Epsom salt in the garden:

Houseplants: 

– 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.

– Frequent watering for indoor plants can cause a buildup of salts in their pot. A tablespoon of Epsom Salt sprinkled on top can aid in flushing the salt buildup out.

– Spray leaves of houseplants to increase their green color, just combine 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and a gallon of warm water in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the leaves of the plant.

Roses: 

– 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new canes. Soak unplanted rose bushes in 1 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time.

Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron): 

– 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.

Lawns: 

– Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.

Trees:

– Apply 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet. Apply over the root zone 3 times annually.

Garden Startup:

– Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting.

It’s Fall! Time to put out Pre-Emergent!

It’s Fall! Time to put out Pre-Emergent!

Is it too late to apply a pre-emergent to my lawn and flower beds since it’s Fall?

No, this is the perfect time to broadcast pre-emergent granules on your lawn and flower beds to help prevent cool season weeds from germinating and growing this winter. Your lawn will be so much healthier when it isn’t competing for nutrients and water with ugly weeds.

Neil Sperry suggests using a pre-emergent with Dimension as the active ingredient. There are several products that include Dimension and we’ve found one that works in both lawns and flower beds which has a higher concentration than many on the market – thus saving you money. Bring us your lawn and bed dimensions (pardon the pun) and we’ll calculate how much you need.

A Pre-Emergent lawn care product eliminates weeds at the earliest stage of growth — before you even see them. Several key factors are important to consider if you want to use this type of weed killer effectively.

Here in East Texas, because our weather is all over the place, it is recommended to put it down every 3 to 4 months.

Enjoy a Lush Summer Lawn!

Enjoy a Lush Summer Lawn!

Do you struggle each year trying to keep your lawn looking lush during the heat of the summer?  If so, follow these tips to help your grass look its best.

lushlawn1Mow it High:  By allowing your grass to grow longer by an inch or so more in the summer you cut down on water evaporation from the soil, grow deeper roots, and help shade the soil and cut down of water evaporation.  Only mow 1/3 of the length of your grass at each mowing.  Warm season grass should be mowed between 2” – 3” high.

Water Deeply but Infrequently: Lawns need at least 1 inch of water per week.  It is best to water early in the day to help reduce evaporation and fungal growth.  Frequent, shallow watering encourages grass to grow short roots, causing the grass to stress so be sure to water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep roots.   Tip:  place a small tuna can in your lawn to capture water while your sprinkler is on.  When it measures 1” of water then you have watered enough – watch the time and this is how long you need to water each time.

Feed Regularly:  There are conflicting points of view on whether to fertilize your lawn in hot weather.  Within 6-8 weeks of feeding, nutrients in the soil need to be replenished to maintain a thick lawn.  If you irrigate your grass then fertilization is most definitely helpful.  The opposing point of view is that the increased growth results in additional stress on the lawn. lushlawn2

Control Weeds:  Weeds compete with your grass for water – so start a weed management program to rid your yard of weeds.  Use a selective weed spray on actively growing weeds and apply pre-emergent granules twice a year (Spring & Fall) to prevent weed seeds from germinating.