Kelp is one of the best soil amendments that you can add to your soil. We do not understand the full intricacy of the interactions between the 70 some odd minerals that are necessary for proper soil and plant health. However, we do know that they all are necessary, though some need be in only minute amounts. But even without these- biological functions can be negatively impacted or halted entirely.
Kelp is a super amendment for our gardens because it supplies a tremendous number of the micro nutrients and trace minerals that can have a dramatic impact on plant growth. Whether added to the soil, used as a soil drench or foliar, kelp is a full spectrum nutrient source.
But the benefits of kelp are not only found in its rich mineral makeup- it is also a superb biostimulant because of the rich cytokinins, gibberellins and auxins that it contains. These improve everything from soil structure, plant growth at all stages of development, taste as well as shelf life in fruits and vegetables. Because cytokinins are vital to cell enlargement and division, these are thought to contribute to the incredible growth rates of kelp plants in the wild. The indoles found in kelp are naturally occurring plant growth promoters for root development and bud initiation. These hormones increase root growth when seaweed extract is used as a root dip, or when the meal is added to the soil.
Our kelp is a very fine grind, which adds to the cost, but helps with the speed at which the material is broken down into its valuable nutrients by the soil microbiology.
Kelp/alfalfa tea is a classic feed for your plants made of two special dynamic accumulators. Both kelp and alfalfa store nutrients that they pull out of their environment in their leaves and plant structure. The array of micro nutrients that kelp pulls out of the ocean is indeed substantial, and alfalfa is impressive in its own right. Alfalfa though also has the added benefit of a growth hormone called tricontanol, which is an auxin, or proven growth stimulant for plants. Combined into a tea and soaked or bubbled, these two create a powerhouse of plant nutrition.
Simply take 1/2 cup of alfalfa and a 1/4 cup of kelp, and soak this or bubble it in 5 gallons of water for 48 hours. If you soak, then make sure you stir the tea a few times a day. On established plants, you can apply this directly as a drench. On newly emerged plants, use at 1/2 the strength. The benefits to the plants are many, and your soil microbes will love you!
Typically for soil building or top dress – ½ cup per 28ltr of soil but you should consult a certified agronomist with regards to kelp and its application rates specific to your needs.