Epsom salt (AKA Magnesium sulfate) has been used as a fertilizer by gardeners for many decades. It plays an important role in the healthy growth of plants. And many gardeners recommend using Epsom salt as a useful agent for killing weeds. You might wonder how to use Epsom salt to kill weeds.
Here’s how to use Epsom salt as a weed killer effectively:
- Mix Epsom salt, vinegar, and dish soap into a container, preferably a spray bottle.
- Shake it up until properly blended.
- Let settle for about 2 minutes, then spray the weeds.
- Ensure you soak the entire weed with the mixture
- Wait for a day to inspect and repeat until all the weeds are eliminated.
Epsom salt can knock out waves of undesired weeds with the smallest amount of effort. However, there are a few things to know to ensure the weeds die off and don’t come back.
In addition, there are many various ways to make an Epsom salt-based weed killer and apply it efficiently and successfully. Read on to find out how to use Epsom salt to kill weeds properly and the disadvantages of using Epsom salt as a fertilizer.
What is Epsom Salt?
Named after the England town of Epsom, known for its rocks containing the salts, Epsom salt has a granular appearance similar to common table salt. However, Epsom salts are for external and gardening use only, and you should not consume them as food.
Epsom salt is a versatile product for winning the war against weeds. Generally, Epsom salt is considered safe, but it is essential to factor in local soil conditions, plant needs, and environmental health before you sprinkle or spray.
Chemically, Epsom salt is around 10 percent Magnesium and 13 percent sulfur). Magnesium is crucial for seed germination and the production of fruit, chlorophyll, and nuts.
Most importantly, deficiency in Magnesium leads to poor and stunted plant growth. Magnesium is the central element of the chlorophyll molecule in plant tissue, and it helps activate specific enzyme systems.
Another key element in plant growth, sulfur is also critical to producing vitamins, amino acids (therefore protein), and enzymes.
You might ask: Can I Kill Weeds With Epsom Salt?
Generally, Epsom salt kills weeds because it gets absorbed by the weeds, and thus, the growth cycle is disrupted. Even though Epsom salt can kill weedy plants, it is not recommended for long-term use as it can negatively affect plant soil. It is useful if you moderately use it as a pesticide in order to eliminate the bugs and pests on plants.
Moreover, it can also act as a fertilizer for your plant as it contains Magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium and sulfur are two essential nutrients for the growth of specific plants, and thus, they can spur the plant’s growth along with killing the weeds.
How Long Does It Really Take For Epsom Salt To Kill Weeds?
As a general rule, it can take up to ten days to kill the weeds once you apply Epsom salt solution and water to weeds.
However, the weather conditions in your location and the size of the undesired plant will affect how effective the Epsom salt will be in killing weeds.
Does Epsom Salt Kill Moss?
Moss tends to grow and climb over anything on your property, including your garden and patio. And you might even ask whether Epsom salt can kill moss or not. The answer is no, it can’t. Because there is no scientific evidence for it. Some people use salt to kill moss, but only specific salt types will effectively kill weeds.
What Do You Mix With Epsom Salt To Kill Weeds?
There are various ingredients you can combine Epsom salt with to kill weeds. A few examples are listed below:
1- Epsom Salt, Horticulture Vinegar, And Dishwashing Soap
It’s one of the most recommended and reliable recipes for killing weeds. The ingredients that you need for this recipe are mentioned below:
- Dishwashing soap: one cup
- Epsom salt: two cups
- White vinegar: one gallon
- Take a bucket and mix the above three ingredients in it.
- Stir them to combine them well.
- Take a spray bottle and pour small quantities into it.
- Now leave the solution for two minutes so that it can get settled.
- When it is ready, spray it on the weeds.
2- Epsom Salt and Warm Water
If you want a substitute for dish detergent and vinegar Epsom salts in weed-killing, boiling water is an excellent substitute for it.
The ingredients you will need for this mixture are:
- Epsom salt: two cups
- Boiling water: two liters
- Take a large spray bottle and mix the boiling water and Epsom salt in it.
- You need to make sure that you have mixed them well so that they form a good solution.
- The solution is ready to spray on the weeds.
- Spray it from top to bottom using a spray bottle to carefully spray the weeds without harming nearby plants, trees, or flowers.
For getting better results, ensure that each plant is well soaked in lots of the solution from the leaves into the roots.
3- Epsom salt, essential oils, and horticultural vinegar
The essential oils coat the plants and inhibit respiration. Here’s what you’ll need for it:
- Epsom salt: one cup
- Horticultural vinegar: three cups
- Citrus or peppermint oil: 20 drops
- Take a sprayer and mix all the ingredients in it.
- It’s ready to spray; spray it on the weeds.
NOTE: Whenever you prepare any of the above recipes by mixing ingredients in Epsom salt to kill weeds, spray the solution in the afternoon. Because in the afternoon, weeds are not from dew.
Which is Better to Kill Weeds: Salt or Epsom Salt?
Some recipes for killing weeds ask for regular table salt, while on the other hand, some demand Epsom salt. So, you need to know what difference lies between the usage of these two. You already know that Epsom salt contains Magnesium sulfate; that is, it contains Magnesium and sulfur.
These two elements are essential nutrients for the healthy growth of a plant. Thus, Epsom salt act as a fertilizer, too, along with a weed killer. When it is dissolved in water, it spreads as a fertilizer and helps in vegetation.
Contrarily, regular table salt is sodium chloride; it contains sodium and chlorine. It only acts as a weed killer as compared to Epsom salt.
So, both of them can kill the weeds. But Epsom salt is widely recommended for killing weeds as it’s beneficial for being a fertilizer as well.
Drawbacks of Using Epsom Salt as a Weed Killer
Too much salt can lead to wilting and dead plants. While applying Epsom salts helps prevent table salt’s potential for sodium toxicity, excess Magnesium from Epsom salts can interfere with your plants’ phosphorus absorption.
Here are some disadvantages to using salt, mainly Epsom salt, to eliminate weeds in your property.
- Salt mainly kills the top layer of weeds and generally doesn’t reach the root of the weeds.
- You will need to use a lot of salt to kill large spots of weeds effectively.
- Salt, including Epson salt, is nonselective and can harm beneficial plants.
- You can damage your growing site by using excessive salt, and it becomes inhospitable for future growth in that area.
- Keep in mind that deep-rooted perennials may die off but return once the growing season starts.
Why Do Vinegar And Epsom Salt Kill Weeds?
You might also want to know how vinegar kills weeds when combined with Epsom salt. The weed killers that contain vinegar in them kill the weeds by drying out the leaves of weeds in hot and sunny weather. So, vinegar-based weed killers are best to use in the summer.
If you apply a vinegar weed killer in the morning or evening, it won’t prove effective as you’ll make it dilute due to the morning and evening dew. Vinegar is most effective at killing weeds when it’s in its most concentrated form. So, apply it midday as the sun is at its strongest during midday, and it will prove effective.
The Bottom Line
The use of Epsom salt to kill weeds is widely recommended. It’s not only effective in killing weeds when combined with various ingredients but also encourages a plant’s growth as it contains Magnesium and sulfur.