Seaweed has been utilized to aid plant development for a long time, particularly prior to the invention of industrial fertilizer manufacturing. It gives several advantages to plants that go above and beyond those provided by traditional fertilizers, resulting in stronger, healthier plants.
Having stronger and more healthy plants means they will be more equipped to handle environmental pressures such as drought, saltwater, insect pests, and illnesses. It is, without a question, a product that all gardeners should consider including in their arsenal.
Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer Has Several Advantages
The use of seaweed products differs from the use of conventional fertilizers in several important ways.
- Firstly, their manufacturing methods are more environmentally friendly than those used in conventional fertilizer production.
- Second, although they do contain nutrients, albeit, at smaller levels than traditional fertilizers, they also provide a variety of advantages that are not apparent when conventional fertilizers are used.
Their advantages may be shown in the following areas, to be more specific:
Seaweed is a renewable resource that may be gathered in a very simple manner. This signifies that there are no connected harvest practices that are harmful to the environment. Seaweed may be gathered in a sustainable manner from a variety of maritime regions.
The creation of liquid seaweed fertilizer comprises fermentation, without the need for extra chemicals or other procedures. This eliminates the need to dispose of hazardous chemicals and the emission of greenhouse gases throughout the production process.
Seaweed fertilizers are certified as organic fertilizers since they are a wholly natural product that has no additional, synthetically manufactured components.
This certification, as well as the qualification to be included on the OMRI list, requires that goods adhere to rigorous organic product and processing criteria.
Leaching Has Been Reduced
When nutrients are forced down through the soil and out of the root zone where plants may access them, this is referred to as leaching. It can occur because of irrigation or rainfall and is a significant concern when growing plants.
Beneficial bacteria found in seaweed fertilizers produce “sticky” compounds that adhere to soil particles in the root zone, allowing nutrients to be more readily absorbed.
This prevents nutrients from draining into the deeper soil layers, where they are unavailable for plant absorption, and instead retains them connected to the soil particles.
Increased Efficiency in Nutrient Uptake
Since the seaweed or kelp products are manufactured, all the nutrients included in them have been converted into forms that can be readily absorbed by plants.
Other fertilizers, on the other hand, do not have this effect. Some fertilizers can only be applied to the soil in certain circumstances.
Through the foliar application, liquid seaweed fertilizers may be sprayed to plants, enhancing the efficiency with which nutrients are absorbed by the plants.
Plant Defenses Have Been Strengthened
A plant’s general health is compromised if it is subjected to something that stresses it, whether it be a lack of water, extreme temperature fluctuations, or issues with insects or illnesses.
As a result, the plant becomes more vulnerable to additional issues, just like when your body becomes overtired, leaving you more vulnerable to injury or illness.
Seaweed fertilizers assist plants in a variety of ways, including strengthening their defenses and making them healthier and more robust. It’s similar to giving them a shot in the arm to enhance their immune system.
Soil Conditions Are Being Improved
Seaweed includes alginate, which is a structural component of cell walls that allows the seaweed to be flexible, allowing it to endure tidal waves and other environmental stresses.
In soils, alginic acid functions as a soil conditioner, aiding in the improvement of the soil’s structure and structure.
Larger, heavier molecules are formed when the alginic acid salts mix with metal atoms in the soil to generate bigger, heavier molecules.
As a result, these molecules bond to soil particles, tying them together and improving the overall soil structure. Thus, water and air are more effectively transported through the soil.
Overall, liquid seaweed fertilizers improve the health of both the plant and the soil, resulting in a more beneficial environment for plant growth.
Not only does the plant obtain the nutrients it requires because of these additional advantages, but plant defenses against pests and diseases are also naturally boosted, and the soil is improved as a result of these additional benefits.
The Different Components of Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer
The additional benefits noticed while utilizing a liquid kelp fertilizer are a result of the product’s chemical composition.
Many natural components are produced during the breakdown or fermentation of the seaweed, which is not present in conventional fertilizers. These substances are referred to as plant growth regulators in the industry.
It Provides a Variety of Nutrients
As a marine-based product, kelp includes nearly all the elements listed on the periodic table, allowing plants to get a complete range of nutrients that they require to thrive.
Macronutrients, micronutrients, and a variety of trace elements are all provided to plants to ensure that they receive what they require in terms of nutrition.
The N-P-K value of seaweed products is lower than the value of typical plant food, although this is not an issue in most cases.
Because of the microorganisms present in seaweed fertilizers, the nutrients included in these products are easily available for absorption and are less prone to leaching than those found in other fertilizers.
It is believed that the potassium included in organic goods contributes to a plant’s general hardiness, which allows it to survive drought, freezing temperatures, and salt while also protecting it from illnesses and infections.
Potassium aids in the regulation of the stomatal opening and shutting during drought stress, allowing for more precise control of respiration and transpiration rates and the reduction of water loss from the leaves.
Potassium stimulates the plant’s antioxidant system when the plant is exposed to cold stress, preventing cell damage or rupture from occurring. Aside from that, potassium helps to strengthen cell walls, making them more resistant to pathogen and disease infection.
Hormones of Growth
In plants, hormones are responsible for virtually every action associated with growth and development. Hormones are specialized chemical substances that operate as growth regulators.
These hormones are present in extremely tiny concentrations and are required in far smaller amounts than the hormones found in humans. They are referred to as phytohormones to distinguish between the two.
in the liquid seaweed fertilizer. When a plant is fertilized and given additional hormones, it eliminates the need for the plant to use energy on the production of these hormones, allowing the plant to devote that energy to other growth processes.
Important Hormones That Are Found in Seaweed
Among the hormones present in seaweeds are auxins, Cytokinins, betaines, abscisic acid, and bioactive polysaccharides, all of which can be found in large quantities. They can impact plant development either collaboratively or independently of one another.
There are numerous distinct auxins, and each of them serves a specific function in the body. One of their primary responsibilities is to maintain a healthy balance in the rate of growth.
Their growth-stimulating and growth-delaying properties are complementary to one another. They also have the additional benefit of stimulating root development and preventing bud formation or bud opening at inopportune periods.
As a result of the enzymes made with the aid of trace elements from the liquid seaweed fertilizer, seaweed can play a vital role in the synthesis of the plant’s own auxins. These auxins are necessary for the growth of the plant and are produced in large quantities.
Cytokinins are another class of plant hormones that are crucial. They are responsible for the initiation and activation of fundamental growth processes.
Because they mobilize nutrients in the leaves, the Cytokinins found in liquid seaweed extract drive development with greater vigor than in other forms of seaweed extract.
They also act as a barrier against minimal frost damage (up to -3 Celsius). Cytokinins also have the additional effect of slowing down the senescence (aging) process in plants.
Bioactive compounds known as betaines are critical in the osmotic processes of plants. When plants are exposed to drought, they can enhance their water intake, which is incredibly beneficial.
Additionally, betaines are particularly beneficial to plants that are under stress.
Amino acids are essential for plant growth and development, as well as for soil health. They are employed as building blocks for proteins in plants, and they also play a role in the basic and secondary metabolic processes.
In other words, they oversee a variety of components of plant development and growth.
As a source of nitrogen and proteins in the soil, they are used by microbes for the purpose of increasing microbial colonies. Microbes that are robust in their ability to absorb nutrients into the roots are beneficial.
Seaweed contains polysaccharides that are more complex than those found in terrestrial plants. Upon reacting with metal ions in the soil, alginic acid forms big molecules that absorb water, increase in size, and help to strengthen the structure of the soil.
Other carbohydrates, such as laminarin, cause the plant to activate its inherent defensive systems to defend itself against infections.
How to Make Seaweed Fertilizer?
There is a dispute among gardeners regarding whether new seaweed should be soaked or rinsed to eliminate sea salt. A few experts recommend soaking the seaweed for approximately an hour and/or washing it well before using it.
Other scientists claim that the amount of salt is insignificant and that washing destroys important nutrients.
Fresh seaweed is often dried before it is tilled into a garden, mixed into compost bins, spread as mulch, or converted into a DIY seaweed fertilizer tea or powder, among other uses.
Once dried, seaweed can be utilized in the garden right once, or it can be cut up, mulched, or pulverized to make a compost pile.
The simplest way to make DIY seaweed fertilizers is to simply crush or pulverize dried seaweed and sprinkle the resulting powder over plants.
Making DIY seaweed fertilizer tea is as simple as soaking dried seaweed in a bucket or barrel of water with a partially covered lid for a few hours or overnight. After infusing the seaweed for many weeks, drain the mixture.
Seaweed fertilizer tea can be watered into the soil at the root zone or applied topically as a foliar spray to plants. The strained remnants of the seaweed can be added to compost bins or gardens for use as fertilizer.
How to Apply It on Plants?
Now that we’ve discussed why liquid seaweed fertilizers are so beneficial to your plants, let’s get into the mechanics of how to utilize them effectively.
Methods of Implementation
Since it is a liquid solution, you have the option of applying it as a foliar spray to your plants in a variety of ways.
All the time, you want to apply the liquid to the leaves until the liquid begins to trickle.
- For tiny houseplants or herbs, combine the ingredients in a hand-held spray bottle and spritz the plants.
- Alternately, you may combine the ingredients in a watering can and then mist the diluted solution over your plants.
- The solution can be mixed in bigger quantities and then transferred to a sprayer for application if you have a large planting area to cover.
Spray Fertilizer Directly on the Leaves
There is no question that applying liquid seaweed to your plants through their leaves is the most efficient and effective technique for doing so.
Applying kelp extracts to the leaves rather than broadcasting them on the soil results in an 8–20-fold increase in ineffectiveness. Spray the fertilizer on the plants in a fine mist until the fertilizer drips off its surfaces.
The fertilizer will be absorbed by the plants instantly and they will begin to profit from it by the second day.
Final Thoughts on Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer
Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer may seem out of this world, but it is very much here and now and good for your garden. Treat your plants to a health boost and see what an excellent job it does.