Epsom salt is an amazing soil additive for magnesium-deficient potatoes. Using epsom salt can increase the size of the potatoes you grow and lead to healthier plants. If your potato plants have yellow spots on their leaves or a soil test indicates that magnesium levels are low, it’s time to use epsom salt. You can dissolve the epsom salt in water and spray it on the leaves of the plants, or sprinkle a small amount of epsom salt onto the soil surface as a top dressing.
What are the Benefits of Epsom Salt for Potatoes?
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which is an essential nutrient that allows potatoes to form cell walls. This means using epsom salt can lead to a much bigger potato harvest. Additionally, adequate levels of magnesium in the soil allow potato plants to pull more nitrogen from the soil. This leads to healthier plants and a much lower risk of plant diseases.
- Larger potato harvests with bigger tubers.
- Increased leaf and stem growth.
- Reduced risk of plant diseases.
- Boosts essential magnesium levels in the soil.
- Can be used for all potato varieties.
You can use epsom salt to increase the performance of many different types of potatoes. Sweet potatoes and savory potatoes both benefit from the additional magnesium provided by epsom salt. No matter what type of potato you’re growing, magnesium is one of the most vital nutrients to provide. Since the magnesium sulfate in epsom salt is easily absorbed by potatoes, it is a great choice for your plants.
How Do You Know if Your Potatoes Need Epsom Salt?
If your potato plants have yellow spots appearing on the leaves, between the leaf veins, then they will almost certainly benefit from epsom salt treatment. That’s because these yellow spots form when potatoes are suffering from magnesium deficiency. By using epsom salts, you’ll provide magnesium to your potato plants and return them to full health. Inspect the upper leaves of your potato plants regularly. Lower leaves may yellow naturally as the plant matures, but yellow splotches on large leaves typically indicate a lack of magnesium.
- Epsom salt is necessary to save magnesium-deficient potatoes.
- Yellow spots on mature potato leaves indicate magnesium deficiency that can be treated with epsom salt.
- To check if your potatoes need epsom salt, use this garden soil testing kit.
- Soil test results with magnesium levels below 100 ppm means your potatoes need epsom salt.
To be absolutely certain your potatoes need the magnesium found in epsom salt, perform a soil test. Home soil testing kits can give you a complete reading. Pay close attention to soil pH and magnesium levels. Potatoes need a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 to pull in the most nutrients. For potatoes to thrive, your soil magnesium levels should be no lower than 100 ppm (parts per million). If the soil test results show magnesium levels are below this number, use epsom salt to improve the health of your potato plants.
How Do You Use Epsom Salt for Potatoes?
The simplest way to use epsom salt to boost potato growth is to top-dress the soil. To do this, simply sprinkle 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of epsom salt on the soil around the base of the potato plant. You do not have to spread the salt over a wide area. Evenly sprinkle it on all sides, within 3 inches (7.5 cm) of the plant’s base. Then, immediately water your potatoes to pull the epsom salt down into the soil. Repeat this top dressing once per month to encourage healthy potatoes.
- Top dress the soil around the base of each plant with 2 tablespoons of epsom salt, then water it into the soil.
- Instead of top dressing, you can dissolve 1 cup of epsom salt in 5 gallons of water. Then, spray the plant and soil with this mixture.
- Whether you choose to top-dress or spray your potato plants, repeat this application once per month until harvest.
Instead of top dressing, you can create a foliar spray for your potatoes by using epsom salt and water. For this process, mix 1 cup (85 grams) of epsom salt into 5 gallons of water (19 liters). Then, spray this mixture onto the leaves, stems, and soil surrounding your potato plants. 5 gallons of water is enough to treat 2 to 3 potato plants. Repeat this application once per month. This treatment can take the place of one of your regular waterings.
What Happens if You Add Too Much Epsom Salt to Potato Plants?
Using too much epsom salt can prevent your potatoes from pulling in calcium and other essential nutrients from the soil. Additionally, too much salt in the soil can dry out the plants, leading to “burnt” foliage. These issues can occur whether you’re using epsom salt as a top dressing or a foliar spray.
- Overusing epsom salt creates a nutrient imbalance in the soil that harms your potato plants.
- Overexposure to epsom salt results in dark foliage, dry leaf edges, and can stunt potato plant growth.
- If your potatoes show these symptoms, stop using epsom salts immediately.
- Over time, potato plants usually bounce back from slight overexposure to epsom salt.
To judge whether or not you are using too much epsom salt, look closely at your plants. Abnormally dark foliage, dry leaves, and slowed growth indicate you’ve used too much epsom salt. If this occurs, don’t panic. Stop using epsom salt immediately. Continue to water and care for your plants. As the water washes some of the epsom salt from the soil, the plants should rebound.
Can You Fertilize Potatoes With Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is an excellent soil amendment if your potato plants lack essential nutrients. Here are the essentials to keep in mind:
- Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which potatoes need to form cell walls and fuel growth.
- Using epsom salt can increase the yield of your potato harvest.
- Potato plants are healthier and more disease-resistant if you use epsom salt to boost low soil magnesium.
- Yellow spots on potato leaves indicate the soil is low in magnesium—epsom salt can correct this.
- Perform a soil test if you want more information on your soil magnesium levels.
- Top dress the soil around potato plants with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of epsom salt, then water it in.
- You can make a foliar spray for potatoes by dissolving epsom salt in water.
- Apply epsom salt to potatoes once monthly until harvest.
- If your potato leaves are dark or dry, this may be a sign of too much epsom salt.
By using epsom salt sparingly, once each month, you will increase your soil quality for potatoes without harming plants. Follow these tips to grow bigger, healthier potatoes in your garden.