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Can Sugar and Epsom Salts Help Your Garden Grow?

Let’s start with sugar. Sugar CAN help your seedlings grow when used moderately.

tablespoon of sugar

Most of the sites I looked at agreed that 1 tablespoon of sugar was about the right amount to put into each planting hole to benefit plants. They mostly all agreed that the sugar helped the microbes around the plants roots to grow and flourish. It’s these microbes that break down the soil and make the soil’s nutrients available for the roots of the plant to take up. So it isn’t the sugar directly that affects the plants but rather the microbes that get the benefit from the sugar and then the plants get the benefits from the strengthened microbes and their work in the soil.
Hey, what difference does it make whether it helps directly or indirectly. Just getting one more tip to help plants grow is the main thing. We don’t have a long growing season here in Connecticut and anything that helps will be wonderful. I’ve never done this before but I am so doing it this year. I usually use Miracle Gro to fertilize the plants and I make the Miracle Gro solution too strong because I want the plants to hurry up and grow -  and some of the plants kick the bucket. So to speak. The sugar is gentler AND ORGANIC!
Doug Hall of Organic Gardening has this also to say about sugar in the garden: “Sugar added to the planting holes of vegetable transplants is said to discourage root knot nematodes, a destructive soil-dwelling parasite that plagues many Southern gardens.”


Some people insisted that adding sugar to the soil of tomato plants increased the sweetness of the tomatoes. It’s worth a shot.

Epsom Salts is composed of magnesium sulfate, two elements crucial to plant growth.  The use of Epsom Salts has been passed down for generations and used mostly on tomatoes, peppers, and roses. Some people put a handful or spoonful of the epsom salts right into the planting hole. (That’s the way I like best – it’s easier than mixing the Epsom salts with water and then watering the plants.) You can also follow up with 1 TBSP. of Epsom Salts to 1 gallon of water a few times more in the season.

epsom salts

The only way I’ve used Epsom salts is in warm water to heal wounds on hands or feet. I usually only have to do one soaking but the recommendation is twice a day. Oh, and if you want to take the itch out of mosquito bites? Mix a solution of 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts in a cup of hot water. Soak a small piece of gauze or paper towel and put onto the bite. I like to put a band aid on at this point and let it sit overnight. The Epsom Salts draw out the itch.


The people that use Epsom Salts insist that their plants are lusher and greener, that they have more fruit and flowers also.  I don’t need to have something proven to me to try this.
I think it will be fun to see what difference these two things (sugar and Epsom Salts) will have on my vegetables and flowers this year.

A few other quirky things I ran across in my research:

Some people use nonfat dry milk in the planting hole of tomatoes and another person drops a whole raw egg into each tomato hole before planting.

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Best wishes, all,


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  1. I am going to try the sugar! It just might be warm enough to plant my annuals tomorrow. Thanks.♥♫

  2. I've never heard of adding sugar to the soil, but I'll definitely keep this advice in mind! We're just starting to pick the first tomatoes from our plants, but I can use this when we plant more. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday! :)

  3. Great tips! I had no idea about using sugar. I had heard of using epsom salt but forgot all about it. I haven't tried it yet but heard you can mix epsom salt in a bit of water to remove splinters. Thanks for sharing this with us!