While using kelp and kelp products to enhance growing environments is not new, it has been a well kept secret until fairly recently.
Kelp is not a primary source of macro nutrients nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK). However, as any organic gardener knows, developing and maintaining a healthy plant and soil environment requires much, much more. Kelp contains over 60 trace minerals along with amino acids, enzymes and alginates.
What does kelp do
- improves stress resistence from disease, pests, drought and frost
- enhances root growth and development
- contains natural chelators improving plant uptake
- promotes natural growth hormone development (cytokinin and auxin production)
- stimulates microbial activity
While kelp is not a ‘miracle’ plant product, it can be a very important addition to your growing process. There are many factors that impact and influence your gardening success but, all things being equal, by adding kelp to your repertoire, you will see improvements in soil health, seed germination, plant vigor, plant sugar content, bloom set and size and the storage life of fruits/vegetables.
How to Apply
Kelp can be found in meal and liquid form. Kelp meal is kelp that has been harvested, dried and ground. It should be applied twice a season (spring and fall) at the rate of 1 lb per 100 sq ft and mixed into the soil as most organic soil products should be – microbial activity breaks down kelp meal so, the more soil contact the better.
Liquid kelp is an extract of harvested kelp and can be found in concentrated form (Organic Kelp). Liquid kelp may be used as either a soil drench or a foliar feed but studies show that foliar feeding is the most effective method. As with most foliar feeds, wet both sides of the plant leaves, applying in early morning or late afternoon. Foliar feed every 2-4 weeks.