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Grow with KARE: Fact or Fiction, week 2

We’re in week two of our Grow with KARE – Fact or Fiction series, looking into common gardening advice and letting you know if it’s good advice or a waste of time.

We’re in week two of our Grow with KARE – Fact or Fiction series. We’re looking into common gardening advice and letting you know if it’s good advice or just a waste of time.

First up today, should you use an Epsom salt spray for healthy and productive tomato and pepper plants? The answer is no. This advice is fiction for most of us. There is no scientific evidence that a spray made with Epsom salts will encourage more tomatoes and peppers. In fact, too much magnesium from Epsom salts can actually cause problems like blossom end rot and leaf scorch. Epsom salt in the garden is only useful if a soil test in your garden reveals low magnesium levels in your soil. 

Next let’s talk about the super-popular vinegar spray for killing weeds. This one is part fact and part fiction. A vinegar spray, that also commonly includes salt and dish soap, is not always an effective weed killer. Nor is it as eco-friendly as you may think. While small and annual weeds like sorrel, lambs quarter and mustard will likely be killed, perennial weeds like crabgrass, dandelions and thistle will regrow even if their leaves appear to die away. Also, the spray adds acid, salt and soap to your soil, which can lead to unhealthy growing conditions. Vinegar is also highly toxic to animals and insects. 

Next week we’re talking beer and hair and their ability to keep pests away.