Monday, September 7, 2009


So, we hit Santa Cruz yesterday and surfed what's called "The Hook"... If you google 41st Avenue in Capitola, CA and work your way down to the coast, there is a parking lot and a nice little point break there. There was just enough surf to have some fun. It was in the low 70's, sun was shining and I got to surf with my daughter!!! How cool is that? My neice, nephew and brother-in-law where out there as well. Nothing like exhausting yourself for some greasy pizza afterwards!!!

Anyway, this surf spot was unusual because the kelp was everywhere...literally so much so kelp that when you went to paddle for a wave, your leash or foot would be tied up in the kelp. Which got me thinking about kelp as a fertilizer. I have heard over and over about the benefits of kelp so here it is...

The immediate benefit obtained from kelp can be attributed to the release of auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins. These plant growth hormones, required in small quantities, are essential for cell division and cell elongation, basic functions of plant growth. Increased levels of plant hormones can result in enhanced seed germination, early emergence, stimulated root and shoot growth, increased fruit set and decreased fruit drop.

When used as a fertilizer supplement, kelp is an excellent source of chelated minerals necessary for proper plant growth. Kelp meal acts as a slow release fertilizer, slowly breaking down and releasing its nutrients. The potential benefit of a kelp fertilizer supplement increases each year as it contributes to the soil organic matter.

The following application rates are approximate and may vary depending on the climactic region, soil type and soil fertility:

  • Garden - 3lbs per 100 sq ft
  • Field – 200 to 400 lbs. per acre
  • Row – 20 lbs. per 100 feet
  • Orchards – 1 lb. per inch of tree diameter
  • Compost – 6 oz. per cubit foot
  • Turf – 10 lbs. per 1,000 square feet
  • Seedbed - ½ to 1 lb. per 100 square feet
  • Potting Mixes – 2 to 3 % of total volume
  • Bedding Plants – 1 oz. per tray
  • Fertilizer Mixes – 5 to 10% of total volume
This information is by Canton Mills... .

I am grabbing a handful next time, or simply take it off my leg and bring it home... dump it into my compost pile and allow the attributes to add to my garden.

1 comment:

  1. So as my blog dashboard pops up on the computer all I see is a surfing chicken, and with further inspection she is surfing with the kids. Love the picture, laughing out loud here! Cool info on kelp!