--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With spring officially underway, the Epsom Salt Council has a challenge for gardeners: try Epsom salt on some of your plants to see the difference. Submit photos of your results, and you could win a year’s supply of Epsom salt and other prizes, including a $500 gift card from Gardener’s Supply. See the Official Rules at www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/news_gardeningchallengerules.cfm for full details.
“Seeing is believing, and we’ve seen tests and heard from experts about how Epsom salt is an inexpensive way to help start or improve your garden,” said Jim Hill, the Epsom Salt Council’s President. “We can’t wait to see the results from gardeners throughout the country.”
Here’s how the Epsom Salt Gardening Challenge works: Gardeners should put Epsom salt on just some of their plants – peppers, tomatoes, houseplants and roses – and grow others without Epsom salt. As the summer unfolds, email photos of both to firstname.lastname@example.org, one of a plant grown with Epsom salt and one photo of the same type of plant grown without Epsom salt. On the email subject line, state the plant category (peppers, tomatoes, roses or houseplants). Deadline is Aug. 1. The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C. who are 18 years of age or older, except residents of New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee, Maryland and Vermont.
The Epsom Salt Council will post the photos to its website, www.epsomsaltcouncil.org and its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/epsomsalt, before selecting a winner. The entries will be judged based on the healthy appearance of the plant, whether the plants’ appearances support Epsom salt as a source of nutrition, and the overall beauty of the composition. The grand-prize winner will get a year’s supply of Epsom salt – 52 one-pound cartons – an Epsom Salt Council gardening hat and a $500 gift card to Gardener’s Supply. (http://www.gardeners.com/). Second prize will receive 24 one-pound cartons of Epsom salt, the gardening hat and a $100 gift card to Gardener’s Supply. Third prize will receive 12 one-pound cartons of Epsom salt, the gardening hat and a $50 gift card to Gardener’s Supply.
Nine other winners will receive a case of 12 one-pound cartons of Epsom salt and the gardening hat.
Epsom salt – actually magnesium sulfate – has key nutrients for plants and vegetables. It helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, increases chlorophyll production and deters pests, such as slugs and voles. While it is not intended to replace your regular fertilizer, it will provide vital nutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer.
Here are some tips for using Epson salt to grow the plants:
- Garden Startup: Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting.
- Peppers: Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt with a gallon of water and apply as a foliar spray at bloom time, then again 10 days later.
- Tomatoes: Add 1 tablespoon diluted in water per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks.
- Houseplants: 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.
- Roses: Add 1 tablespoon diluted in a gallon of water per foot of plant height every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth. Before planting, soak bushes in 1/2 cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to each hole at planting time. Spray with Epsom salt solution weekly (1 Tbsp per gallon of water) to help discourage pests.
- Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron): Add 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet by diluting in water. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.
- Lawns: Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.
- Trees: Apply 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet by diluting in water. Apply over the root zone three times annually.
- Sage: Do not apply! This herb is one of the few plants that doesn't like Epsom salt.
Although magnesium and sulfur occur naturally in soil, they can be depleted by various conditions, including heavy agricultural use. Unlike most commercial fertilizers, which build up in the soil over time, Epsom salt is not persistent so you can't overuse it.
“Magnesium and sulfur are building blocks for plants,” said Hill, the Epsom Salt Council’s president. “We think you’ll see a real difference.”
About Gardener’s Supply
Gardener's Supply was founded in 1983 by a handful of enthusiastic Vermont gardeners. Today, it serves millions of gardeners nationwide, offering everything from seedstarting supplies and garden furniture to flower supports and garden carts. Though the company has grown, it remains passionately committed to providing garden-tested, earth-friendly products that will help customers have more fun and success in their gardens. To learn more, please visit www.gardeners.com.
About Epsom salt
Epsom salt – actually magnesium sulfate – is one of the most versatile household products, with uses ranging from creating at-home spa treatments to soothing achy muscles to helping start or improve gardens. It’s been used therapeutically for hundreds of years, and it’s gaining a new generation of fans looking for a safe, economical alternative in a sea of expensive, over-the-counter remedies. Epsom salt is easy to use, easy to find in your local pharmacy or grocery store and it costs about the same per use as a cup of coffee.
Must be a legal resident of the 50 U.S./D.C. (except NJ, ND, TN, MD and VT), 18 years of age or older. Void in NJ, ND, TN, MD, VT and where prohibited. Ends 8/1/11. To enter, submit your photos along with your name, address, phone number and age by email to: email@example.com by 8/1/11 or can be mailed to Epsom Salt Gardening Challenge Entry, P.O. Box 7449, Prospect Heights, IL 60070. Mail in entries must be postmarked by 8/1/11. Limit one entry in each plant category (peppers, tomatoes, houseplants and roses) per person/email address regardless of entry method. One (1) First Prize: $500 gift card for Gardener’s Supply, a year’s supply of Epsom salt (awarded as 52 one-pound cartons), and an Epsom Salt Council gardening hat, ARV $588. One (1) Second Prize: $100 gift card for Gardener’s Supply, 24 one-pound cartons of Epsom salt, and a gardening hat, ARV $146. One (1) Third Prize: $50 gift card for Gardener’s Supply, 12 one-pound cartons of Epsom salt, and a gardening hat, ARV $98. Nine (9) honorable mentions will each receive: 12 one-pound cartons of Epsom salt and an Epsom Salt Council gardening hat, ARV $28. Entries and photos must comply with the submission requirements. For full details and Official Rules go to www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/news_gardeningchallengerules.cfm.