The benefits of Kelp

in Organics Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:27 pm
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.474 Posts | 11542 Points

The benefits of Kelp
ot my work but would make a great addition here if you like to read.

Kelp is any of a variety of large, brown seaweeds
that grow underwater and on rocky shores. Kelps are
found in cold waters throughout the world.

Kelps vary widely in size and form. One type of kelp,
called giant kelp, may have hundreds of branches, each
of which has hundreds of leaves. Giant kelp may reach
over 200 feet in length and will create entire forests
of kelp. Other kelp consists of only a single branch
and may be less than 3 feet long. But what they all
share is that it is hard to tell the stems from the leaves.

The role of kelp in agriculture dates back thousands of
years, and has been an integral part of coastal farming.
It can be said with honesty that kelp is the most effective
additive next to quality fertilizer.

The kelp that has the most importance for our needs is a
kelp that grows in the cold canadian waters of the Atlantic
Ocean, it is called Ascophyllum Nodosum. There are many kelps
that have great benefits for agriculture but this particular
kelp has the gold medal.

Ascophyllum is harvested by collecting from either the rocky
shores or using a type of dredge or seine to catch it. It is
then washed with fresh water to rid it of excess sea salt and
then it is dried and powdered. It is very important that they
harvest it at just the right time to ensure that the cytokinin
levels are at their peak (cytokinins are growth hormones
responsible for cell division in plants).

Kelp contains many wonderful things such as over 70 minerals
and trace elements, growth hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and proteins.

It has been proven that kelp or what is in kelp can accelerate growth,
increase fruiting and flowering, provide resistance to disease, insects
and frost. There are a couple of things that are important in regards
to the benefits of kelp and how they work. The first one is all of the
trace elements and minerals which are aided by a carbohydrate mannitol
that chelates or makes available certain minerals. One of the problems
of modern farming is enabling the plant to take up all of the nutrients
to complete a healthy life cycle. Chelates are very important in
allowing plants to take up certain essential elements. What researchers
have discovered is that with so many trace elements and minerals as
well as vitamins and enzymes not to mention growth hormones, kelp
aids in building and or supporting the plants natural immune system.
If you can keep a plants immune system high it will have the ability
to resist disease, insects, frost, and drought.

The second important and perhaps the most important aspect of kelp
is the growth hormones. Kelp contains ample quantities of auxins,
gibberellins, and cytokinins. All growth hormones play a part in
how a plant functions, and are more accurately called growth
regulators. Kelp has very high amounts of a particular hormone,
cytokinin. Cytokinins are responsible for cell division, cell
enlargement, differentiation of cells, development of chloroplasts
as well as a delay in aging.

When kelp is used regularly you will notice that the overall health
of the plant will increase and that when applied at certain times
major growth will occur.

There are many ways to use kelp with foliar spraying being the most
effective. You can improve specific growth stages by applying kelp
with a specific response in mind. For example, if your tomatoes or
peas are starting to bud, you can apply kelp to promote additional
buds. If you require more root growth then you would apply it to
the root zone after transplanting. Cytokinins respond within what
ever stage that the plant is in. Spray in vegetative then you will
experience more vegetative growth, spray in flower then you will
experience more flowering etc...

There are several forms that kelp comes in and some forms offer
more benefits than others. Granular kelp is often mixed in with
other fertilizers and doesn't contain as high concentrations of
ytokinins as liquid concentrate. If you are looking to supplement
your present fertilizer regime then you would probably add
powdered kelp. If however you are trying to promote more
flowering or budding sites then you would use a concentrated
liquid kelp product such as Growth Max or Growth Plus which
both have a cytokinin level of 400 ppm.

Foliar spraying is the most effective way of applying kelp,
since leaves are up to 8 times more effecient in taking in of
nutrients than through the root system. When foliar spraying
try to apply in the early morning when the plant is the most
active and the stomata are open to their fullest, avoid
praying before it rains, use high quality water with a ph
of 6.0, and any foliar spray benefits from a non ionic wetting
agent such as Mega Wet.

In conclusion, kelp can help germinate seeds quicker, improve
taking of cuttings, encourage rooting, build immunity, add more
colour and flavour, give a longer shelf life, produce more and
larger buds and flowers, counter any nutrient defiencies,
and fight off insects and disease. Kelp is truly mother natures
gift to the modern gardener.

Let's help each other, by spreading our knowledge of the plants we love
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