Over the next few weeks we are going to dive a bit deeper into the products I always recommend and why. For all of you that have emailed me on this subject, here are the answers you need.
Seaweed or Kelp can provide your plants with over 70 mineral, enzymes and vitamins, thus creating one of the most valuable soil conditioners there is. Healthy soil is the key to bountiful harvests, healthy production and strong cell structures in plants. What goes on below the soil is essential for plant growth.
I like to think of the sea as the liquid garden of the world, which in turn can provide so many goodies for our soils and plants. Kelp helps stimulate the soil’s bacteria which increases the fertility of the soil by creating humus and moisture retention.
How can kelp support my seed growth?
Soaking your seeds in EM (effective microbes) and kelp increases seed germination and gives your plants the best start possible, for maximum results. A soak in these rich and nourishing liquids will give your plants, fruits and vegetables a higher nutritional value and will help the root systems of your plants develop well. It also increases the plant’s resistance to pest and disease and can help increase resistance to nematodes.
How do I use kelp in the garden?
The application of kelp can be done in many ways. You can collect the kelp fresh from the beach and put it straight in the garden and cover with mulch, or you can add this to the compost pile which also needs to be covered with a layer of mulch. This is really important to get the most value from your kelp – it prevents it from drying out and aids the quick breakdown, as seaweed does so very quickly.
Top tip: I get a lot of questions about rinsing the salt and sand off of seaweed, and whether this is important. I find this unnecessary and have never done so over the past 30 years. A liquid tea can also be made from fresh kelp, and a recipe for which I have shared in this week’s newsletter. If you’d like to receive the recipe too, sign up to my newsletter and then send me an email and I’ll make sure it reaches you.
What if I don’t have access to a beach?
If you don’t have access to fresh kelp, you can purchase liquid kelp. It’s an elixir of life and can be added to the base of your plants around the drip line; you can put it through your irrigation system; or use it as a foliar spray. By using kelp on your plants, you will significantly increase their root growth.
When should I apply kelp in my garden?
The best time to spray your plants or water your soil is early in the morning or evening, when the sun is not so fierce, as the liquid will be absorbed quicker at these times. When spraying, apply to the top and bottoms of the leaves until the liquid drips off and also spray the stem.
If you are using liquid kelp on big fruit trees, I find the best way is to water the drip line of the tree and spray the trunk if the branches are too high to reach. The kelp will get absorbed through the trunk.
I find that by spraying your plants through the whole cycle of their growth, from seed to full production and beyond, that pests and disease are less likely to attack, as your plant and root system are healthy.
When buying plants from an outside source, I would recommend soaking the seedling in a bucket with kelp and spraying the plant all over as more and more pests and disease are being spread by plants bought from nurseries or garden centres, due to the stress they suffer during this initial growth from seed.
I recommend using kelp once a fortnight and maybe weekly in times of stress.
Remember that kelp can be added to all the fertilisers available on my website.