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Epsom salt - soil microbes - sulphur, molasses ?'s

Discussion in 'Organics' started by ExtremeMetal43, Oct 5, 2011.


    ExtremeMetal43 Active Member

    The problem with the plants seems to be a magnesium deficiency.

    Will epsom salt harm soil microbes(bacteria, fungi, mycorhizi). Ive been reading alot about the soil foodweb and am concerned that because Epsom salt is a salt it has the potential to harm soil microbes.

    What about the sulphur in epsom salt? Why is not ok to use sulphured molasses but its ok to use epsom salt which contains sulpur for magnesium deficiencies?

    The concern for all this stems from reading that calmag plus contains iron edta which is apparently not organic and not good for soil life. Being im using RO water i had intended to use the calmag to remineralize the water for waterings but like usual the plan has changed mid grow. Im looking for a replacement for these minerals. I have well water that stinks and I will not use it on my plants its ppm is about 400. Even the tap in the area is hard as hell and its an inconvenience, We can get RO water a quarter a gallon put thru a 5 step RO filter so that is the cheapest most consistent source.

    What I started doing was using RO water to make casting tea with some ancient forest and the occasional molasses and testing the water and to balance out at .3 EC 200 ppm on my hanna meter for waterings. I figure this leaves me at the same spot EC wise for waterings as the calmag and the water is much more alive and with the castings should have a decent aray of nutrients for plant growth. But my magnesium levels and calcium levels are up in the air is it safe to use epsom salt and molasses to cover any deficiencys that do come about?

    cacamal Well-Known Member

    i would use horticulture epsom salt if you are very concerned about salt. it has less. use small amounts and your mycorr wont be harmed just watch your ph as they like sweeter soils i have found. sulphured molasses is not good because it is cheap molasses. during the making of process they introduce sulphur to speed up the process. this removes many minerals from the process and creates a cheaper product. unsulphured blackstrap molasses is the 3rd and final molasses product and is the richest and best for feeding your soil. sulphur is good for your plants but will alter the ph so as with anything less is better. good luck!

    Nullis Moderator

    Sulphured molasses is so-called because it contains sulfur dioxide. It's used when the sugar cane is harvested before fully mature, to lighten the color of the molasses and to prolong its shelf life. Sulfur dioxide is a preservative, it's also present in wines, and it has anti-microbial properties. This is why it shouldn't be used in true living organics. Epsom salt\magnesium sulfate I don't personally use, although I would apply it foliarly, if I had to. It is a pure salt which just means there is a cation (Mg) and an anion (SO4) component. In soil solution it will dissociate into Mg++ and SO4-, which are plant available forms of magnesium and sulfur. I'd recommend making sure you have dolomitic limestone in your soil mix. That will supply both calcium and magnesium over the long term.
    Tranceus and Rrog like this.

    ExtremeMetal43 Active Member

    Thanks for the explanations and the dolomite lime is already on the list for next grow but too late to add now...Im thinkin a foliar feed with epsom salt and a slight bit added to the next watering should compensate. I was under the impression that a small dose would not harm microbes to the point they would be harmed.

    kcheetah Member

    Hello,and Thankyou for all of the helpfull suggestions around this subject of using/not using Garden Variety Epsom salts w/Sulphur dioxide (12.9%).I've read 4-5
    great books by Ed R. & J.C. & 1 other author(?) & of course there are some minor variations,mostly? tread lightly when watering.Using 2 full tsp.per gal.-Aqua is then
    PH'd to 6.0-6.1.I'm fortunate to get some more solid info from a friend who has a PHD in Horticulture,who knows his way around from experience.Took 5 "in need" babes,
    each 5 gal.bucket got a Gallon of 6.0Ph'd,Garden Epson salt.Results are great,from Top leaves headed down,like it does...most of the time.Try a 6 gal.flush,w/same PH'd
    6.0-6.1 aqua with same formula,wait 7-8 days then feed lightly,w/epsom salts added,until the solution has proven itself to your specs.Works for me.Thankyou all !

    Da Almighty Jew

    Da Almighty Jew Well-Known Member

    epsom salts in theory will kill some microbes. but that is all, some. and you can just use a tea afterwards...

    SupraSPL Well-Known Member

    Epsom also ups your ppm instantly it is very soluble which will lock out all other nutes to whatever extent. If you really have a mag def use can foliar spray. Other sources of mag are spring water (sodium free) dolomite lime (needs to break down) and molasses.

    If you have pulverized dolomite you can dissolve it with your own breath. Add R/O water and dolomite to a jug, hold your breath as long as you can then exhale into the jug. Shake vigorously and repeat. The ph will drop as carbonic acids forms which dissolves the calmag. Water it in to address calmag issues.
    kona gold

    kona gold Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine says he found drywall soaked in water does great!
    I have never tried this presonally, as i add plenty different forms of lime to my mix.
    It would seem to make sense, i believe drywall contains lime and gypsum:
    It might give you the quick safe fix you need, unless there is harmful stuff in drywall i dont have knowledge of.
    Good luck!

    SupraSPL Well-Known Member

    gypsum is calcium and sulphur but not mag. you can get pulverized dolomite lime at Lowes but usually in 40 lb bags
    Rising Moon

    Rising Moon Well-Known Member

    Excuse me, ahem. Did you just say "drywall tea" is quick and safe?


    This is probably the stupidest thing I have ever read on this site.

    Have you never read anything about what else is in drywall?

    Did you not see the news about Chinese drywall eating through electric wires in peoples houses...?

    Your friend is an idiot.
    jane's phasm

    jane's phasm Well-Known Member

    hahaha, haha.. fucking drywall? good luck..:wall:
    kona gold

    kona gold Well-Known Member

    No one is talking about Chinese drywall genius!!!! Why don't you re-read my post??!!?? I said it might be a safe quick fix, if nothing toxic
    in drywall i am not aware of!! What's your problem? So tell me Einstein....what is the toxic component(s) in drywall, remembering it's not Chinese drywall?
    ....and were not talking about using the paper, just the guts!
    I wonder what your knowledge and experience is that you feel you can bash people just trying to add a different perspective.
    How many grows have you done???
    It is made of lime and gypsum, which are in fast acting form.
    Rising Moon

    Rising Moon Well-Known Member

    Haha. Wow.

    Do you work for a drywall company or something? Give it up. Stupid idea.

    How many grows I have done has nothing to do with my objection to using building supplies to grow medicine.

    I grow plants for a living, as in, I am a organic farmer who grows food for the surrounding community to pay the bills, and has been doing so for many years.

    Wanna talk about experience?

    Chinese drywall or not, pure lime and gypsum are not expensive or difficult to find, and there is absolutely no reason to recommend using potentially dangerous/toxic substances for use in growing medicine.

    An annual report by GEO Specialty Chemicals states, “GEO’s naphthalene sulfonate condensates… are used to shorten the drying time and expedite the manufacture of plaster board…. Major customers include the four leading plaster board producers: United States Gypsum Company, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, National Gypsum and James Hardie.” [1]

    Happy now?

    blueJ Active Member

    anyone can pull up MSDS and put it here, i'm sure there is more put into commercial drywall than 100% lime/gypsum....
    Rising Moon likes this.

    doublejj Well-Known Member

    I get 'certified organic' compost from our local recycle facility & they have a "medical mix" with added gypsum (ground sheetrock).
    Best stuff I've ever used. I'll be getting some more in a week or two.
    Works good for me.

    P.S. I also water regularly with Epsom salts

    Attached Files:

    Rising Moon

    Rising Moon Well-Known Member


    doublejj Well-Known Member

    Certified organic. Their biggest customers are the vinyards, they sell 100's of tons for fine wine!


    FR33MASON Active Member

    jane's phasm

    jane's phasm Well-Known Member

    Is drywall safe for consumption? :confused: Classic stoner question.
    kona gold

    kona gold Well-Known Member

    Great. Thanks for doing the research. Now tell me why napthlalane sulfonate is tovic?
    Seems to be some form of sulfer? Why dont you be a good student and give all information? Listing a chemical compound doesnt necessarily make it toxic. I dont know if it is or not, but you better back up some random statement better than that.

    I never said anything about price, i was saying looking for a quick potential fix,some people have old drywall laying around....im not saying go buy drywall to use as a source of lime or gypsum. Why would you even think that???
    Yes i represent the drywall industry!!!?????!!!

    Seems like you just lookin for somethin to disagree with, cause if you were really an organic farmer that grows "medicine", you attitude does not reflect such values..i would have a hard time believing anyrhing you grow would be that good, no offense,just need good energy to grow things well, not negative.

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