epsom salt

tropical_thought(San Francisco)April 1, 2012

I noticed this on pininterest, it said it removes salt from the soil. I figured we already decided it did nothing good for sand. So, I went to the link, found it and now I am to see if we can refute it. This site is making a ton of claims about epsom salt. They want one to buy their brand. I can get epsom salt cheap at Walgreens if I want it.

Here is a link that might be useful: epsom salt

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Please read the attached article. I've never heard the tale that MgSO4 eliminates salt from the soil.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good reading for balanced information

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:25PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

If you do a search on pininterest for epsom salt, this company has flooded the board with various claims about epsom salt and they all lead back to the same place.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:35PM
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It would do nothing for salt where that typically lies in soil used for growing, that is in solution in soil moisture or crystallized in very arid areas with bone dry soil prior to the next irrigation.

It would have an effect on sodium (and probably the chloride) sorbed onto exchange sites, such as on/in the more-complex clays. They are possibly using this factor inappropriately to suggest a wider, more general value.

The dissolved magnesium will compete with the sodium for the exchange sites and release some of the sodium into soil-moisture solution where it can be leached downward and away. That has some advantage.

An interesting twist to this exchange process (which can go [equilibrate] either way depending on relative concentrations) is that it probably explains the old enigmatic practice of fertilizing asparagus with common salt. The salt probably released some more valuable cation nutrient (or maybe even anion) into soil solution where it was more available to the plants? Calcium? Magnesium? Iron?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I agree with your assessment gonebananas. Not only that, but how would the average gardener know whether they have excessive salt? Most do not. It's a solution looking for a problem.

Anyone remember the old comedy "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"? She was kind of a ditz. There was one scene where her friend comes in to see her staring at the kitchen floor. "Do you think I have waxy yellow buildup?" Hilarious.

People will try to sell you all kinds of solutions to problems you may or may not have.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 1:26PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Well, it sounds like according to bananas it does help with the sodium maybe just a bit and only if you have a heavy rain.

I just don't think companies should flood the board. They make phony profiles of women pretending to be "average american housewives", then upload things to link back to what they are trying to sell. That bothers me the most. They are cheating the network of gardeners helping each other.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 3:10PM
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gonebananas, thanks!
I never saw it from that angle.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:40PM
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So the pitch is it removes salt, a general term, by replacing it with Magnesium salt. Salinity of soil is not just a sodium issue.

Now the selling point for Epsom salt is if your Calcium/Magnesium are out of whack something like 7:1 ratio is desired. Then adding it would help you if you have a deficiency. Without knowing a laboratory soil test result for your soil messing with the Ca/Mg balance seems iffy at worst and unnecessary at best.

The 2nd posters link pretty much sums up any and all arguments for using Epsom salt unless there is a need.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 1:23AM
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I've only known Epsom salt for greening up plants. I use a little before planting my plants. It's never hurt anything and of course I have no proof it's helping either.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 1:08PM
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