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Always happy to meet fellow gardeners, dog lovers, food growers and canners! Feel free to e-mail me with questions, comments or ideas, or just say hi!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Epsom Salt for Roses and Bloomers!

You may have heard that Epsom Salt is a great, safe, effective and economical garden amendment for use on your flowering plants. But what is Epsom Salt and why is it so popular among rose gardeners?

The main ingredient in Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate which is an important soil additive for healthy plant life. It allows plants to take in nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen and enhances the capability of the soil. It assists in the creation of chlorophyll which is used by the plant to convert sunlight into food.

Benefits of Using Epsom Salt on Roses

The benefits of Epsom Salt on plants are many including that it’s organic, it’s gentle on plants and it’s cheap! 

Here are some specific ways it helps with plants:

  • Improves flower blooming.
  • It enhances a plant’s green color.
  • It helps plants grow bushier.
  • Greatly improves a plant’s ability to produce fruit and flowers.
  • It’s safe, and there is little danger of problems from overuse.
  • It doesn’t build up in the soil and it won't have buildup that will clog the root cells of your plants. In fact, Epsom salt can be used for potted plants that have developed a salt accumulation.

The Versatility of Uses

Another big advantage of Epsom Salt is its versatility in the way it can be used. You can sprinkle Epsom Salt over a large garden area, you can use it to circle around plants or you can add a solution of Epsom Salt to a garden sprayer. 

Here are some specifics.

On a New Rose Garden

If you're creating a new rose garden bed, sprinkle up to one cup per 100 square feet and work it into the soil. This is especially helpful if your soil is coarse or sandy.

For new rose bush plants, soak the bare-root rose bush in a bucket of 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water overnight to revitalize the root system.

Then to plant a new rose bush, mix in one tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each rose plant and mix in with the soil.


Other Ways to Use Epsom Salt on Roses

Apply a foliar spray of one tablespoon per gallon for each foot of shrub height in the Spring when leaves appear and then again when flowering.

Above is the garden sprayer I use.  It's not too heavy and the pump sprayer works really well.  I also use it on my hosta leaves for a magnesium boost.

Another method is to apply Epsom Salt early in the morning to your existing roses at a rate of one tablespoon per foot of plant height. You can repeat this every two weeks. You can dissolve the Epsom Salt in water or mix it straight into the soil.

To Help with Transplant Shock

Sometimes it's necessary to move a rose bush, especially if it's not getting enough sunlight.  Did you know that using Epsom Salt can reduce transplant shock? 

Plants can become weak and wither right after transplanting, and Epsom Salt can help reduce that transplant shock to the plant roots. The solution to use for this is one cup of Epsom Salt per 100 square feet.


It's unusual to find an organic soil amendment that is so inexpensive yet works so well. Try Epsom Salt on your roses for fuller, bigger blooms!


This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you anything extra.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Best Gifts for Senior Dogs

Who doesn't love senior dogs?  They have wise eyes, those beautiful white faces and they are so thankful to just have a home where they can rest peacefully and safely.

Here at Sunset Hosta Farm, we have brought several senior dogs to our home to live out their lives in peace and comfort.

To read about our past and current furry children, click here.

You may notice your senior dogs slowing down as they age, taking stairs more carefully, and maybe gaining a little weight from inactivity.

For all of those years of loyal service, they deserve some comfort items!

Here are some ideas.  Click on pictures to find out more about them.

Water Proof Blankets

When you want both durability and comfort for your dog, a waterproof blanket is a must.  Easy clean up of spills, stains, and pet fur.   Very soft and machine washable.  This one is from PETMAKER.

This one is 100% Waterproof, A Fleece PET Throw Dog Blanket; Washable, Hypoallergenic: Guaranteed Protection for Furniture & Bedding Made in USA.

Comfortable Orthopedic Dog Bed

Senior dogs can develop arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, and many more ailments as they age. A comfortable dog bed will help to relieve the symptoms of those things. Look for Orthopedic dog beds with waterproofing, memory foam with a washable cover.

I like the fact that this one has a pillow around it that they can rest their head on.

Dog Chews and Treats

Chewing is a natural canine stress-reliever, so encouraging senior dogs to enjoy chomping down on a soft toy can be helpful. Chewing also helps keep teeth clean and jaws exercised.

For older dogs with fewer, or more brittle teeth and/or sensitive gums, soft toys are always a hit, and there are plenty of soft toys to choose from.

As the dog ages, you may want to switch to treats that are lower in fat, softer and easier to chew.

Tiki Pets Aloha Petites Grain Free Wet Dog Food, Pouches with Shredded Meat.  Superfoods for Small or Large Dog Treats.

Soft-baked naturals are grain-free and come in four flavors.  A good addition to your dog's dry food.  They have a good balance of flavor and nutrition.

Keeping an Older Dog Active

Senior dogs can benefit from interactive toys that challenge them and help keep their brains active.

And because many older dogs have reduced senses in terms of sight, hearing, and even smell, it’s a good idea to look for dog toys that are brightly colored, flavored, noisy, scented or all of the above.

Whistle Balls

Does your senior dog love to chase down a ball but has trouble seeing where it landed? This whistle ball glows in the dark, has a minty scent and makes a whirring/whistle when thrown.

A Swimming Pool

Lounging in a swimming pool is naturally relaxing and comforting to most dogs, but especially older dogs.  These pools are available in many sizes, are portable, have anti-slip bottoms and can fold to store away.

Not sure what kind of toy your senior dog will enjoy?  There is a set of interactive dog toys including dog balls, food treat dispensers, rope toys and more.

Need more ideas?

For the Well Dressed Dog

For Special Occasions

How about giving your dog his/her very own Christmas stocking?  This is one of our senior rescue dogs, Ollie.  His full name is Oliver Beauregard as he is definitely a southern gentleman.

Books for Senior Dog Owners

Want to learn more about how to keep your senior dog healthy and happy?  

I hope I've given you some good ideas on gifts for your senior dog.  Feel free to tell me your ideas of things you've used to make your senior dog more comfortable and happy.

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases without costing you anything extra.

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