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Posted by augiedog55 none (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 22, 11 at 12:19

How often do you guys add magnesium to your soil? The reason I asked is i was looking at my plants and it looks like they need magnesium. The leafs are yellowing from top to bottom. I keep the dead leaves pruned away from the bottom.. I put some ebsom salt i the hole at planting and 6 wks late i put some in the water with some miracle grow... So today I put some or on the soil around the plants and watered it in

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RE: magnesium.

  • Posted by bets z5A ID (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 22, 11 at 15:13

Hi Bruce,

I don't add epsom salts (magnesium) to my soil, I've never had a magnesium deficiency. There was a time when I added epsom salts to the planting hole because that was what several people (including my mother) had said to do. But I stopped doing that when I read the article referenced below. I will admit I have not done a side by side comparison. Maybe I will next year, or I could give a couple of plants an epsom salt drench and see if it makes a difference. I tend to think it will not.

A Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center document about Epsom salt myths that in part states There are two reports from over 60 years ago on tomato production. When tomatoes are grown on magnesium deficient soil, a foliar application of Epsom salts can relieve magnesium deficiency in tomato plants; no effect on yield was reported. An automatic application of Epsom salts to plants or soils that are not magnesium deficient is a poor management strategy that can injure the plants and contaminate the soil.

I am not saying you don't have a magnesium deficiency, but it is kind of unusual outside of Greenhouse situations.

You don't have your zone and location included in your user name or anywhere in your post, knowing that information could help respondents give you more accurate answers to your questions. You can edit your user name to include that information.

Have you had a soil test? A soil test would give you a definitive answer and is always a good idea before one starts to make amendments to the soil.

Can you post pictures?

If it isn't a magnesium deficiency, to be able to suggest what might be wrong with your plant, it would be helpful to know more about the environment it is in. So, here are the "usual" questions:

Is the plant in the ground or in a container?

If in a container, what growing medium are you using? How large is the container? Is it self-watering or do you manually water it? Is the container in full sun, part sun or shade?

For both container plants and inground plants, it would be helpful to know these things as well: How often do you water? Have you checked the moisture of the growing medium or soil 3-5" below the surface? Is it dry, just right, or soggy? Are you feeding the plant? How often? What are the NPK values of any fertilizers you are using to feed it? What has the weather been like in your area?

If the plant is in the ground: Have you used any amendments? Do you mulch? If so, with what and how much (how deep)? Are there any other plants near the problem plant that are showing similar issues?

The more information you can give us, the better the chances that someone can give you an accurate diagnosis.


RE: magnesium.

this is lack of mag. and i think there is something else going on to make them yellow.

RE: magnesium.

thats what they are starting to do.. Great picture.. The green leafs also toward the top are getting yellow specks in them.
I'm sorry I didn't say where I live or zone. I'm in Mo. and these plants are in the ground not in cantainers

RE: magnesium.

Never have done. I just ensure they are planted in a calcium-rich compost and it usually works out pretty well.

Mg deficiency and calcium deficiency are two totally unrelated problems so I don't see how this comment added anything to the discussion.

Bruce - Mg deficiency is a chronic problem for me in my soil and the deficiency is supported by repeated professional soil tests as well as symptoms. So Mg supplements in the form of Epsom salts are required by my plants every 4 weeks. In the planting hole and as a root drench or foliar feeding each month throughout the season.

I've never had much luck with scratching it into the soil around the plants - plus it can do root damage. In a liquid form works much better IMO.

This is assuming that Mg deficiency is what you have going. If you are in the Ozarks region of southern MO then it is a real possibility because of all our glacier scrub soil but have a soil test done when you get a chance for future reference.

Hope this helps.


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