You may have read on a website that salt is very good as a pest control, and the truth is, I don’t doubt it. What worries me is that they recommend putting salt on the plants, like it’s, I don’t know, the best thing in the world, and they also do it without thinking – du less in appearance – to the consequences.
I will therefore take advantage of this space to explain to you Why should plants not be salted?whether fine salt or coarse salt.
What is salt?
Do we really know what salt is? Salt, or sodium chloride, is made up of chlorine and sodium ions that form a crystal structure that does not degrade over time.. Depending on their origin, there are three types of salts: sea and spring salts which are produced by evaporation; the vegetable, and the rock salt which is obtained after the extraction of a rock called halite.
Humans have used it for centuries. Indeed, when there were no refrigerators, foods such as meat were buried in salt to dehydrate them and thus make them last longer; In ancient Egypt -as well as in other cultures-, salt was used to dry the bodies of deceased people and animals; and today it is used as a condiment.
Is it useful for plants?
While it is true that there are plants that tolerate a certain salinity, as is the case with all those found on beaches (such as Pinus halepensis in the Mediterranean, or the tropical palm cocos nucifera), just quickly look at the images of these habitats and compare them with photos of a forest or a jungle, for example.
What is most striking is that in soils with a high concentration of salt, there is very little variety of plant species; Moreover, when said concentration is too high (as in the salt mines), one will not find a single vegetable. So, at this point, one can wonder if salt can be used to take care of plants.
AND my answer is a definite no, unless you want to dry them.
salt dehydrateswhich is why we should drink plenty of fresh water after eating a salty meal or after swallowing sea water. If we humans are ever thirsty after ingesting a small amount of salt, imagine what what can happen to plants if salt is poured on them: exactly, they “burn”. The cell walls of the leaves would suffer, the cells would die, and yes, the plant could die if no action is taken.
But it has a use in gardening, and it is precisely in the control of unwanted weeds, and also if we want to dry out a plant. Now, I insist, don’t add salt to the plants you want to preserve, not even a little. If a weed grows next to a plant you want to keep, it is better to remove it by the roots with a hoe than to remove it with salt.
Does salt serve as an antiparasitic?
Where there is a high concentration of salt there is virtually no life because, of course, salt dehydrates unless you are physically fit to be able to live in those conditions. This may be why some believe it can serve as a pest repellent or eliminator.
AND it can certainly be effective for this purposebut only if not applied to live plants that you want to keep healthy.
What happens if you put salt on the floor?
Another problem salt is that it does not degrade, but seeps until it reaches the water table or the water table. This has dire consequences for the environment, as it alters the properties of land and water, and it can be deadly to animals that live in these habitats.
That is why I do not recommend the use of salt in gardening, not even when it comes to removing weeds. There are much better options that do not harm the local flora and fauna, such as already hoeing the weeds, as already mentioned, or covering them with newspapers for a while.
I think we have to make good use of everything, but especially of what can have harmful effects on the planet, such as salt or fertilizers.