Using Seaweed In The Yard

Foliar Application On The Leaves
Plants will absorb nutrients in liquid form 20 to 30 times faster than in powdered form. Consequently, foliar feeding--that is, spraying a plant with a fine mist of a diluted liquid fertilizer and/or seaweed solution--is becoming more and more popular. Foliar feeding takes very little time and there is virtually no waste of fertilizer using that technique.

Plant metabolic rate is highest in the early morning and early evening, so that is the best time to spray. That is when the nutrients will be most quickly absorbed. It is best to spray on a day when no rain is expected, and the temperatures are not extreme. Set the sprayer for a fairly fine mist and dampen the entire leaf surface on both sides if possible. Add a wetting agent, or surfactant, to help the spray stick to the leaf surface and not run off. These surfactants improve the absorbtion rate of the foliar spray. They are not essential, but they do improve the effectiveness of the spray.

Research indicates that just two or three applications of very dilute liquid seaweed emulsion, applied as a foliar spray about a month apart, will give all the wonderful benefits outlined above. Plants will have more and brighter blooms or firmer fruits, grass will be greener and more drought resistant, and trees and shrubs will be more vigorous.

Liquid Drench Poured Directly Into Soil
Diluted seaweed or kelp extracts poured directly on lawn or garden soil gradually improve the soil texture, biotic life and fertility. Trees, shrubs, houseplants, and even the compost pile all benefit from this ocean mineral.

Used As a Powder Soil Amendment
If powdered kelp or seaweed is sprinkled on the soil as a direct amendment, rather than onto the plants, it stimulates soil bacteria. This in turn increases fertility through humus formation, aeration, and moisture retention. A good general recipe for the powdered form, sold as kelp meal, is 1 pound of kelp meal per hundred square feet of lawn surface or garden, applied each spring.

Used Fresh As A Mulch
Available fresh seaweed makes a good garden mulch or ingredient in compost. Seaweed decays readily because it contains little cellulose. Furthermore, there's no need to worry about introducing weed seeds with seaweed mulch. A mulch of seaweed 4 to 6 inches deep around shrubs and plants will control weeds, reduce moisture loss, and slowly break down to add the valuable micro-nutrients to the soil.

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