Thursday, March 19, 2009

Seaweed Solutions

I was giving a garden talk this week and one of the regular topics popped up; Seaweed solutions. What are Seaweed solutions good for and when should I use them?
I often (but not always) find that there is a great deal of confusion about these products. Maxicrop and Seasol are Seaweed extractions. Neither of these products is actually a fertilizer; they don’t carry enough of the major plant nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) to actually feed your plants. They are whole organism products so they hold a fantastically broad range of nutrients and hormones.
I like to compare Seaweed solutions with multi vitamins. They won’t feed you but if your diet and lifestyle are out of whack they can help balance things up.

What about Fish emulsions? I love the name emulsion! Ground up scraps from the fishing industry. Charlie Carp or Seasol Powerfeed are both promoted as fertilizers because they have higher rates of the major (NPK) nutrients than seaweed solutions. Charlie Carp’s site emphasizes that their product is organic and therefore has a very low nutrient base. Seasol’s Powerfeed is “fortified with extra Nitrogen, Potassium and a smaller amount of Phosphorus”, so it is organic based, not organic but your plants will get a genuine feed out this stuff.
I’m not recommending one or another, just highlighting that there are differences. There is no doubt in my mind that there are real benefits beyond just feeding your plants to all of these natural products. Just keep in mind that they are more like Multi Vitamins than a good honest feed.
Actually my research for this topic has led to an enquiry about commercial use of Powerfeed, I’ll let you know what happens.
I’m tempted to start a little rant on Blood and Bone, but I think I had best save that one for another day.

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