What Is Kelp Meal: Tips For Using Kelp Seaweed Fertilizer On Plants

Pile Of Kelp Meal
kelp meal pile
(Image credit: deepspacedave)

When you're looking for an organic fertilizer for the garden, consider taking advantage of the beneficial nutrients found in kelp seaweed. Kelp meal fertilizer is becoming a very popular food source for organically grown plants. Let's learn more about using kelp in the garden.

What is Kelp Meal?

Kelp seaweed is a type of marine algae, brown in color, and has a huge growth size. A product of our nutrient-rich oceans, kelp is often mixed with fish products and used as a fertilizer to encourage healthier plant growth, promote greater fruit and vegetable yields, and to overall enhance the general appearance of a garden or plant specimen. Organic kelp fertilizer is valued for its micro-nutrients as well as its macro-nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Kelp fertilizer is available in three forms. These include extracts, such as kelp meal or powder, cold processed (usually a liquid), and enzymatically digested liquid forms, which are used to super power nutrient deficient soils.

Benefits of Kelp

Organic kelp fertilizer is dried seaweed. Kelp seaweed has a cell structure that filters sea water looking for the oceans rich nutrients. Due to this constant filtration, the kelp plant grows at exorbitant rates, sometimes as much as up to 3 feet (91 cm.) a day. This rapid growth rate makes kelp a renewable and ample resource for not only many sea creatures but also as an organic fertilizer for the home gardener. The benefits of kelp are that it is a completely natural, organic product and a source of over 70 vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it is an important dietary supplement for many people as well as being a terrific organic fertilizer. Organic kelp fertilizer can be applied to any type of soil or plant without concern for waste by-products or harmful chemicals, leading to healthier crop yields and general plant well being.

Kelp Meal Nutrients

The nitrate-phosphate-potassium ratio, or NPK, is negligible in readings of kelp meal nutrients; and for this reason, it is used primarily as a trace mineral source. Combining with fish meal increases the NPK ratio in kelp meal nutrients, releasing in about 4 months time. Kelp powder is simply kelp meal ground finely enough to put into a solution and sprayed onto or injected into irrigation systems. Its NPK ratio is 1-0-4 and is more immediately released. Kelp meal nutrients can also be found in liquid kelp, which a cold processed liquid with higher levels of growth hormones, but again its NPK is negligible. Liquid kelp is useful for combating plant stress.

How to Use Kelp Meal Fertilizer

Kelp meal fertilizer can be purchased at your local garden center or online. To use kelp meal fertilizer, spread the kelp meal around the base of plants, shrubs and flowers that you wish to fertilize. This fertilizer can be utilized as a potting plant medium or mixed directly into the soil.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.