|Tuesday Tools & Products: Seaweed Extract|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 05 February 2013|
Seaweed extract is not a fertilizer but a soil additive used by many organic gardeners. The original seaweed extract, Maxicrop Liquid Seaweed Extract, is made from Norwegian kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum), is a commercially important seaweed (common name rockweed) native to the North Atlantic Ocean. Seaweed extract helps plants grow, resist pests, establish stronger root systems, and aid in seedling emergence. There is also a non-liquid form, Maxicrop Seaweed Dry Powder.
The advantage of seaweed extract is that it is a liquid and is available to plants immediately. There is no need for decomposition to take place in order to provide nutrients for the plants. Seaweed extracts are both a soil conditioner and plant conditioner contain micronutrients, trace elements, and growth stimulates. They also contain alginic acid, which is the soil conditioner part of the equation. Soil conditioners help the soil form better “crumb” structure and retain water better. Plant conditioners improve plant growth, either foliar or root.
According to the Maxicrop website, studies have shown Maxicrop liquid seaweed extract to improve root growth by 60%. Seaweed extracts are particularly useful when growing conditions fluctuate and plants experience a “growth spurt” that results in weak stems for example during better growing conditions. Seaweed extracts are also used in hydroponic gardening. Seaweed extracts are available at many garden centers and online.
Photo source: www.bghydro.com