Quirky Tip of the Day {Gardening}

I am so not a gardener.  I want to be.  But it definitely doesn’t come naturally.  You would think so considering my Gramma and mom are great at it.  But no.  So I am determined when we finally get settled into our new house we will have a great garden.  {Probably next season}.   I am soaking up the gardening advice and tips now so hopefully I will be better prepared.  Here are two great tips:

epsom salts  imagesCALL0NT7

This tip is from my Mom.  Put Epsom salts and sugar into each hole with your plant.  It makes them grow larger, leafier and greener.  It worked for me on my peas last year.  So give it a try

I use about 1 Table spoon in a 1 to 1 ratio.  But I don’t really measure it.  You can also dissolve 1 Tablespoon into a gallon of water and use it to water your plants.

This next tip is for your gardening tools.  Do you ever leave your tools out and then get yucky and rusty.


Put them in a container of sand.  The sand helps keep them clean, dry, and free of rust or corrosion.  It also gives you a place to put your tools when you are done.

Hope these tips help a little bit.  And we will see how my gardening attempts come out next season. Wish me luck!!



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  2. Alicia @ littlesprinklesoffun says:

    Do you think this would work for houseplants?

    • I learned this trick from gardening lady at lowes last year. Put in all my hanging plants and the flowers are so much more colorful. Has to be Epsom salts! NOT table salt. It perks the plants right up.

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  4. I was a little skeptical of the epsom salt tip because I remember learning in history class how conquering armies would salt the soil of their enemies in order to ensure that nothing grew. But, a quick google search shows that your mom is onto something. The Epsom Salt Council says that the magnesium and sulfer in epsom salts make plants germinate faster and grow thicker and leafier. Thank you (and your mom) for the great tip! Here’s the URL for the epsom salt council: http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/garden/

  5. Do you know the optimal ratio of salt-to-sugar?

  6. What is the ratio of salt to sugar?

    • it’s a 1 to 1 ratio. According to my mother :)

      • One to one..but one what? 1 tsp, 1 tbs., 1 cup..??? Or does that change based on the size of your plant?

        • It doesn’t matter what size, as long as the sizes are equal to each other, that’s what 1 to 1 means. So 1 Tbs to 1 Tbs, 1 tsp to 1 tsp, 1 cup to 1 cup, etc. :)

          • But if I have a tiny plant and do 1 cup to 1 cup..wouldn’t that be too much? Or if I do 1 tsp. to 1 tsp for a large plant..that might not be enough. So how do you know which to use?

        • Oh, it says in the article: “I use about 1 Table spoon in a 1 to 1 ratio. But I don’t really measure it. You can also dissolve 1 Tablespoon into a gallon of water and use it to water your plants.”

          So what I’d do is maybe do a cup of one and a cup of the other, mix them in a container with a lid, and then use a tablespoon scoop for whenever I needed to use it :)

  7. Thanks for the tips — can’t wait to try these out! Following you now via Linky. :)

  8. So like 2 tbs of salt and 2 tbs of sugar per hole in ground? for s quart size container?

  9. Helen Wilsher says:

    Thanks for the tips. I always heard that if you mixed some oil with your sand it would help keep your tools from rusting also.
    I guess just any oil that is not harmful will work. Have a Great day1

    • Allie M says:

      I’ve heard the same– a quart of mechanical oil per 5 lbs of sand. The oil helps to prevent corrosion, while the sand cleans the tools.

  10. Newest Linky follower here. Love your blog! So glad I found it! Come by and visit me at http://www.hopesanddreamsstudio.blogspot.com/

    I have a page for Blog Buttons in the top tabs. Leave a button if you like so others can find you. If you have a place for mine, I’d appreciate that too.

    Thanks for the tipabout the salt and sugar. I’m actually starting my planting tomorrow. I will definitely try this. Thanks.
    Nice to meet you.
    Jacque recently posted..Is It Spring Yet?My Profile

  11. Diane Keys says:

    Add a little oil to that sand and it helps keep the rust away. My hand tools are in an old window box full of sand and my bigger tools are kept in an old garage can about half-full of sand. Everything is clean, sharp and rust free!!

  12. Samantha Chambers says:

    i was wondering about the sugar causing an ant problem or does the epson salt prevent that?

    • I wondered about the sugar drawing ants also….didn’t see (or missed) a response to that question.

  13. Lisa Yowell says:

    If you put oil in the sand, it keeps them looking great.

  14. I love these tips. Can I pin them to pinterest?

  15. Linda Clark says:

    Just wondering about AMOUNT on sugar & epsom salt????

  16. Katherine says:

    The ratio is 1 to 1 for the salt/sugar. How much do you put in each hole when planting and, can do also just put some around exsisting plants?

    • Quoting the post- “I use about 1 Table spoon in a 1 to 1 ratio. But I don’t really measure it. You can also dissolve 1 Tablespoon into a gallon of water and use it to water your plants.”

  17. We have been putting epson salts in the hole when we plant tomatoes. It makes the tomatoes sweeter and much less
    acid. I have also heard that making a solution of epson salts and water and spraying your green bell pepper plants
    makes them produce all summer long. This we are trying this year. But the tomatoes we have used that for many years.

  18. Ok, this has been asked several times with NO answer. HOW MUCH, ie: WHAT IS THE QUANTITY OF EPSOM SALTS & SUGAR??? There is a big difference between a tsp, a cup, a whole bag…what is the amount used?

    • She stated that information in the post. Quoting the post: “I use about 1 Table spoon in a 1 to 1 ratio. But I don’t really measure it. You can also dissolve 1 Tablespoon into a gallon of water and use it to water your plants.”
      For those of you who don’t seem to understand what this means-you use 1 approximately TBLS of the mixture per hole. So for one hole you’d need about 1/2 Tbls sugar and 1/2 Tbls salt. To make it easier I’d premix however much salt and sugar you think you’ll need (in a 1:1 ratio…ie 1 cup sugar and 1 cup salt) and then just use a tablespoon to scoop some into each hole.

      • Tari Martin says:

        thank you for this info…I wasn’t sure if we used the water version when we planted our newly planted greens. But now I see we use the salt/sugar dry but can re-water during the summer with water and Epsom salt mixture. Can’t wait to try!

  19. I had a gardener tell me that adding a tsp of epsom salt with some Asmacote (fertilizer)in the hole before you plant or sprinkle around the planted plant works great also.

  20. I use epsom salt,powered milk ,1010 & sodo.Plus compost.

  21. You mentioned in the original post that you purposely left a few tomatoes without the combination. Did you notice a difference worth speaking of?

  22. you know that old saying; “a day late, a dollar short”? I just found your blog today and yesterday I planted a flat of periwinkles and other plants. So I read in your post that you can water with the solution too. That might be easier that digging them up and tossing the s&s in the hole :) ya think?
    I love the idea of the sand box for gardening tools, I’ll be using that tip for sure.

    Cute blog!

    My granny had two green thumbs and 8 green fingers to go along, her backyard was amazing and her house plants looked like they came for the land of the giants. Of course I was small back then and you know how everything is bigger when your little, but there is no mistaking that she was gifted in the gardening dept.
    Seriously, if I could pick my gifts/talents, that would be it. I’m working on it and helpful hints like yours help me get to my goal that much quicker!

    Cindi @ Rustique Art recently posted..kitchen cabs going darkMy Profile

  23. If you pour 1/2 can of lightweight oil over the sand then as you insert the implements they are both scrubbed clean and rustproofed.

  24. Betty Cirillo says:

    I think I’ll try it . Iread that it also is a good bug repellant .have you seen it to be true?

    • I’ve heard this too. I always guessed that it would be because if you’re plants are healthy you won’t have pests, or so they say. I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on this

  25. This is great information. I have a website for planting, harvesting and preserving. It’s is new, but I am not new to gardening. We just moved in and next year will be our big year for raised beds. Can’t wait.

  26. Dea Krapohl says:

    Those tips are fantastic, please thank you your mother for me. Tomorrow I will try to water my plantes with the sugar ant salt.

  27. I’ve heard of sugar for grass, I may try this mixture instead :)

  28. Love this idea and can’t wait to share with my husband who LOVES gardening! Have a couple questions though? Is this safe for house plants and do you find that the sugar attracts ants?

  29. Does using the salt and sugar on houseplants attract ants?

  30. I wanted to be a gardener for so long. Got married at 30, three years later, in 1985 our son was born. It was 23 years later before we bought the home we have now and started our first vegetable garden. Now I’m addicted to home gardening.

    I am going to have to give epsom salts a try this year and see how well it works for me.
    James Mann recently posted..Setting Up My Vegetable Garden Seed Planting StationMy Profile

  31. Great tips and a loud “good luck” to you. I hope your day is off to a great start. Blessings…Mary
    Mary@One Perfect Bite recently posted..Sausage and White Bean StewMy Profile

  32. pesky birds, squirls eating from fruit trees an berriesor the garden ? hang a blank or old shinny cd. It spins an deflects the sun. Works great. I use fishing line which is light weight an dosent weigh down plant.

  33. Midge Dosher says:

    I get the Epson Salt but I dont get the sugar. Why the sugar what dose it do?

  34. mix 1 tablespoon amonia + 1 gallon water mix water african violets , you get double the size !

  35. Diana Flores says:

    Was also wondering about the sugqr added to the epsom salt…..why sugar???? and will it attract any type of bugs??? Love the info….Thanks

  36. This is a cool website; thanks!

  37. I have worked in horticulture for years and garden longer and want to let you know that this is half true. The sugar is actually of no benefit to the plants, its the Epsom salt that is adding magnesium to the soil which is making this work. And ants will be attracted to the sugar so I’d save your sugar for baking.
    Patty Hicks recently posted..Lemon Swiss Chard With Elephant GarlicMy Profile

  38. betty819 says:

    Do you use this Epson Salt/Sugar mixture on your flower or vegetable garden or both? The solution with 1 gallon of water mixture…is that the Epson Salts only?

  39. One of the most clever ideas I’ve seen. You did a FABULOUS job. Creative and practical. I love it. Might just do one for myself! Thanks …
    Interior designs recently posted..Easy steps to make Lace Lamp with your own handsMy Profile

  40. ejpoeta says:

    I got this from a pin last year and gave it a try. WOW! we moved a couple trees and put a whole bunch of this mixture in the hole before putting the trees in and it worked wonders helping them survive the shock. they have been doing wonderfully. Husband sprinkled the mixture on the starters and soaked them with water before putting in the seeds and we will see how they do. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for the tip

  41. Don’t the tools rust if it rains? Sand can hold a lot of water. Do you put holes in the bottom of the container for drainage? Or is this just a temporary solution?

  42. KEN JOUBERT says:

    Wont the sugar attract unwanted ants?

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