The next time you have a headache and reach for the bottle of aspirin, consider sharing some with your garden plants. Tests last year at the Organic Vegetable Garden at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston showed that spraying a water solution containing aspirin increased yields and the quality of tomatoes, eggplant , basil, and other vegetables.
The vegetables were grown in compost-amended soil with drip irrigation. Beds were sprayed every 3 weeks with aspirin water (1.5 aspirins per 2 gallons of water). It's thought that the salicylic acid in aspirin trigger the plants natural defenses and boosts the plant's growth rate. Not only were the aspirin treated plants healthier, than produced better than those plants treated with a commercial bio stimulant. The plants grew larger and produced more than in the control beds.
For more information about the demonstration vegetable garden, contact the University of Rhode Island Demonstration Vegetable Garden.
Article published on October 12, 2005.