Saturday, March 16, 2019

Seaweed fertilizer

Gardeners swear by this stuff. They rave. We gardener types do tend to get excited when things work out well, we're basically kids at heart.

The fertilizer numbers on all of these things are not good. The macro nutrients are not their selling point. So what's the deal with these things. Fish-based fertilizer, kelp based fertilizer, worm castings, compost all sound like things that hippies do.

The newer type of grow all your own food freaks are against animal waste and recycled sewage waste based products because they're aware of the chemicals and drugs, heavy metals and petroleum products that are poured into sewers. Same thing with animal waste products. They don't want any of that in their fertilizers. They amend their soils with all kinds of organic material.

We know from grade school the American native people dropped a fish in a hole for each seed of corn. The four sisters: maize, winter squash and beans that climb up the corn stalk, and a dead fish in the hole for fertilizer. Maybe it was three sisters discounting the fish. I get mixed up with native agriculture.

The thing is, they're not actual fertilizers. They're supplements. They put into the soil all the little things that regular fertilizers don't have because those macro nutrients that plants use the most do most of the work so they get most the attention while these types of soil amendments do other things that help the plants. So the result you can expect by adding them to the soil is faster better germination, stronger root growth, stronger stems that are free of the usual things that vex gardeners, better protection from insects, more buds, less buds dropping off, more blooms.

Conversely, some organic supplements attract garden pests. Animals are attracted to the temporary scent of decaying crabs so they come over and dig up your garden.

Look at Amazon reviews and see how people don't see any difference by using seaweed fertilizer. This is for Maxicrop that has presently 156 user reviews. It's a small amount of concentrate, 10.7 ounces mixes into something like 60 gallons of water. So, a little more than half a pound for $20.00.

Negative reviews:

* was using it for my tomato seedlings and they started off great, but then developed a strange leaf end yellowing drying - some research led me to believe it was a lack of trace elements like Magnesium, Iron, Maganese, etc. I switched over to Miracle Grow then and the plants did much better.

* I used some of this Maxicrop Seaweed stuff last year, and I can't say that I noticed any difference in the plants at all.

* noticed no difference and in some cases it burned the plants not recommended. I think a lot of these reviews are written by the seller. Don't waste your money

* I am giving a poor review because of the size of the product. There are much cheaper sources for a similar product. I am sure it is effective, but way too small for $21+ .

Positive review, (sounds like someone who sells this):

* Advantages of Using (Liquid) Seaweed Fertilizer

* MaxiCrop has saved me hundreds of dollars. Once I saw how well it worked, I started buying pitiful-looking plants from the TLC tables at the garden centers for 10 cents on the dollar. I bring them home, put them in my shaded "plant hospital" corner, and pour MaxiCrop on them. Almost overnight, the plants bounce back. I tend them for a week or two, then give them away as gifts or plant them in my garden. It's amazing!

I also propagate tomato plants from cuttings, feeding them with MaxiCrop. Again, this saves me a fortune and turns out healthy, strong plants.

I read about MaxiCrop Seaweed Fertilizer from an organic farmer. Someone asked him what his "magic juice" was, and he said MaxiCrop, hands down. I ordered it on Amazon that very day.

These folks who complain about the size of the pouch don't have a leg to stand on. It's a concentrate. The description tells you the ounces and how much it will make. There are no surprises, here. Folks, 10.7 ounces will make 65 gallons!

Advantages of Using ((Liquid) Seaweed Fertilizer:

1) It promotes additional buds when applied as the plants are beginning to bud.

2) It extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables if applied 10 days before harvesting

3) It lengthens the life of cut flowers if they are sprayed with Liquid Seaweed a day or two before cutting.

4) Treating seeds or seed pieces with Liquid Seaweed prior to planting
will improve seed germination, root growth, and early seedling vigor.

5) Liquid Seaweed also can be used as a rooting solution. Place cuttings in a solution of Liquid Seaweed and water until roots develop, then plant. When planting, water in with Liquid Seaweed solution.

6) Liquid Seaweed applied to pasture crops increases the nutrient uptake, the protein content, and overall quality of the crop.

7) Seaweed organic fertilizers can be used as a soil treatment to grow healthier, stronger, and more disease-resistant plants.

8) A wide range of beneficial effects have been reported from the use of liquid seaweed extracts including increased crop yields, resistance of plants to frost, increased uptake of inorganic constituents from the soil, more resistance to stress conditions and reductions in storage losses of fruit.

9) Promotes vigorous growth and helps deter pests and diseases on fruit, flowers, vegetables, lawns etc.

10) Seaweed has more than 70 minerals, vitamins, and enzymes.

11) Seaweed fertilizers are especially useful in organic gardening. They contain almost every micro-nutrient in a fully chelated (immediately available) form. They deliver a healthy dose of natural plant hormones. Seaweed is full of carbohydrates, which the plants use as a building block and which large populations of beneficial micro-organisms use as a food source.

12) Alginates, (sponge-like starches found in seaweed), hold water droplets near the plant roots, making moisture available to them without drowning them; they also help enrich the soil by feeding myriad beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and tiny fungi necessary to composting.
13) Research at major universities has shown that seeds soaked in seaweed extract germinate more rapidly, have larger root mass, stronger plant growth and higher survival rate. Soaking plant roots in seaweed extract reduces transplant shock and speeds root growth.

14) Several university studies have shown that seaweed can produce dramatic results in plants: geraniums produced more flowers per plant; grapes were sweeter; gladiolus corms grew larger; and cucumber yields increased 40 percent and the fruits suffered less often from softening and rotting. Improved yields after seaweed treatments were measured in potatoes, sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, apples, strawberries, okra, and oranges. Better frost tolerance, increased seed germination, and greater capacity to absorb trace elements were other documented benefits for plants.

15) Seaweed fertilizers have many benefits. They provide natural hormones and many nutrients not found in other forms of fertilizer. Since most plants absorb their nutrients through the leaves, applying this with a foliar method will benefit the plant even more. Foliar simply means placing the fertilizer on the leaf itself. As the plant absorbs the sunlight it needs, it will also be absorbing the nutrients found in the fertilizer.

16) Another major component in liquid seaweed fertilizers are the hormones. The main hormones in seaweed are auxins, gibbelerins, cytokinins and betaines. The roles of these hormones are essential to plant health. Most of these are only required in very small proportions. There are many different auxins and they all have their specific roles. Their main functions are the balanced control of speed of growth. They have both growth stimulating as well as delaying functions. They stimulate root-growth, prevent bud-forming or opening at the wrong times.

17) Seaweed can play an important role in the production of the plant's own auxins, because the enzymes formed with the help of trace elements from the liquid seaweed fertilizer play an important role in the formation of these auxins.

18) Cytokinins are another group of important plant hormones. They initiate and activate basic growth processes. The cytokinins available in liquid seaweed extract stimulate growth with greater vigour, because they mobilise nutrients in the leaves. They also provide protection from marginal frost (to -3 C). Cytokinins also retard the senescence (aging processes) in the plant.

19) Betaines play an essential role in the osmotic processes in plants. They help to increase the water uptake in plants and are extremely helpful in dry conditions. Betaines are particularly helpful to plants under stress.

20) Liquid seaweed fertilizers, (especially the alginates in the seaweed) act as soil conditioners. The alginates react with metals in the soil and form long and cross-linked polymers in the soil. These polymers improve the crumbing in the soil, and swell up when they get wet, and retain moisture for a long period.


AllenS said...

29º with bright sunshine, and the snow/ice is melting, slowly, but melting, then, I just saw the first two robins of the season. Friday temps and beyond, 50º and holding for days. WOOT WOOT, I'm declaring brutal winter temps to be over. However, we are still at risk of major snowfalls, but it won't last. Major flooding along the upper Mississippi and below coming up. Not as bad as the worst recorded, but flooding non the less.

AllenS said...

Make that a flock of robins, 30 to maybe 40. Just spread some cracked corn and black sunflower seeds. Good luck little robins.

Chip Ahoy said...

Aw, bless.