Sea Kelp Gardens[edit | edit source]
A sea kelp garden is a garden that is fertilized by sea kelp, or seaweed, rather than chemical fertilizers. Using sea kelp is completely organic and an environmentally sound option for enriching the soil of your garden. Sea kelp naturally provides necessary nutrients for plants to grow and continually conditions the soil even after the plants have absorbed enough nutrients.
How it Works[edit | edit source]
Seaweed is riddled with essential minerals for plant growth, making it the perfect candidate for a home garden supplement. Conveniently, the ocean contains most of earths natural minerals which are spread out by strong currents. These currents allow seaweed access to these minerals which are collected through a filter that separates the nutrients from the water. This is what allows seaweed to grow up to 3 ft a day in some cases. The same hormones and vitamins that make seaweed so competent as a plant can also be absorbed into the plants in a home garden, which utilize the nutrients just as efficiently. One hormone that is very prominent in kelp is cytokinin which allows for faster cell division, differentiation between cells, development of chloroplasts, and delays aging. This leaves your fruit and vegetables looking larger and more colorful. 
Seaweed works in other special ways to help grow a healthy garden. For instance the bacteria, fungi and virus' found in the ocean help to break down soil for the plant. The broken down soil then releases more nitrogen and phosphorus which is extremely beneficial to the garden. Some of the most beneficial minerals include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, barium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, sulfur, and zinc. Nitrogen plays a huge role in plant growth because it is the main ingredient in chlorophyll which allows the plant to convert sunlight energy to sugar. Phosphorus is important for energy transfer and helps plants grow and mature. Seaweed contains tons of extra potassium which is one of the more important ingredients for a garden. Extra potassium is used in plants for strong plant structure as well as fight off disease and mildew and allows the plant a longer shelf life. Barium, calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium are all necessary to plant's energy production. However, aside from potassium and nitrogen, the rest of the ingredients come in relatively small amounts. 
Benefits[edit | edit source]
For the environment[edit | edit source]
Seaweed is a natural supplement that could tremendously aid your home garden. Seaweed leaves no trace of harmful chemicals in the soil but it does leave behind unused nutrients after a harvest. This keeps your soil healthy by creating a good soil structure which means more moisture, aeration and keeps the soil from clumping together. Each time seaweed is applied to the garden the soil will only become more nutritious and healthy. 
For the plants[edit | edit source]
Seaweed has been known to extremely benefit terrestrial plants. It does this by creating higher yields of fruit and vegetables by utilizing the growth hormones already present in the plant. Seed treated with seaweed extract have been found to produce higher fruit and vegetable yields as well as have a faster germination rate also due to the growth hormones. These seeds might also be resilient to bugs and pests. Insects like slugs and snails are repelled by the salt while other animals are repelled by natural elements. Seaweed can also be sprayed on the foliage of the plant. Nutrients is absorbed 8 times more efficiently through the leaves and gives the plant a stronger structure. Plants treated with seaweed supplement have been known to have a longer shelf life, stronger roots and are more resilience to harsh weather. 
For the people[edit | edit source]
Everyone benefits from a kelp garden, including you. Fruits and vegetables are known to contain more sugar when treated with seaweed, making them tastier and better looking than ever. More sugar also means more frost protection so plants like strawberries don't freeze and die. Since seaweed also helps delay degradation, fruits and vegetables can stay on the shelf longer without growing mildew or rotting. This is great for farmers who want to keep selling their product long after harvest.
Make Your Own[edit | edit source]
If you are interested in making your own sea kelp garden, the steps are very easy. If you live near the ocean you can easily collect your own kelp and then directly apply it to the soil. Because fresh kelp contains little cellulose, it quickly decays and combines with the soil without introducing any weed seeds. Sea kelp can also be purchased in either a mulched and dried form known as kelp meal, or liquid form. Kelp Meal should be spread around the base of plants either as a soil mix or as a medium for potted plants. Liquid sea kelp is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Only 1 to 2 capfuls should be added to a gallon of water and then applied to the base of the plant 3 times a week. 
References[edit | edit source]
- Owen, Marion. "Seaweed and Kelp: How Ocean Plants Help Our Garden Plants." Organic Fertilizer. Plantea, Inc., 1996. Web. 10 Apr. 2012.
- Reinhart, Kevin Ann. "Sea Kelp for Plants." EHow. Demand Media, 02 Nov. 2010.