- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)45
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)37
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Man accused of pointing BB gun at Chaffee resident (04/26/16)2
Adding nutrients to soil gives big boost to garden
Have you dosed your roses with Epsom salts yet? It's rumored to be very good for the plants. Matter of fact, a few years ago an elderly lady in Iowa spoke highly of using Epsom salts on her tomatoes, also.
Hogwash! Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate, a source of both magnesium and sulfur, both essential nutrients for plants. But your plants would benefit from a dose of Epsom salts only if your soil is deficient in either magnesium or sulfur.
Even though sulfur is not naturally abundant in soils, forget about needing to feed it to your plants. Plants get it incidentally with other fertilizers, from composts and manures, and from acid rain.
Magnesium occurs naturally in soil minerals, often in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of plants. Admittedly, some soils start out with insufficient magnesium, or have had their magnesium washed out by rain. Plants are most likely to be hungry for magnesium in acidic, sandy soils where rainfall is abundant. Sometimes alkaline soils or soils developed from peat bogs also can be magnesium-hungry.
Plants growing in a soil poor in magnesium cry out their need for this nutrient with yellowing leaves, the oldest leaves and the portions between the veins yellowing first. Of course, plants respond in a more subdued manner when a soil is just a little wanting in magnesium -- they simply don't grow as well as they otherwise might. A soil test might be necessary.