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Thread: Can you use Kelp?

  1. #1
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    Default Can you use Kelp?

    I've heard great things about using kelp and seaweed as fertilizer for your garden. Is this a good idea? Is it even legal to harvest kelp and seaweed?

  2. #2

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    I don't know about legality, but I do know that my mother in law has had great success with bringing in kelp off of the beach and tilling it into her garden. She has some spectacular delphiniums that bloom year after year when mine reliably die. I live at a higher elevation so I can't say for sure that it is the kelp. I have been told by several locals that they harvest the kelp in small quanties for subsistence. I do worry about the salt content. I think I would rinse it before applying it to my soil BUT my mother in law with the superior delphiniums says NO, do not rinse the kelp because it washes away the nutrients that makes it beneficial....either way she really does have a beautiful garden.

  3. #3
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    I don't know why, but PWS has a regulation prohibiting it.
    I have heard good things about gardening with kelp also, no experience though.
    BK

  4. #4
    Member BakInAlaska's Avatar
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    I just saw a video from the Cooperative Extension Service via Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/uafextension/alaska-gardening/) and they talked about using kelp and seaweed in your garden. They suggested collecting kelp and seaweed that is from the highest winter tide lines that washed ashore and then rained on, washing the salt off. Their suggestion is to cut up the larger bull kelp and soak it in a bucket until it becomes a slimy oozy mess and then use the "kelp tea" for your plants. Probably not your indoor plants, I would assume. The seaweed they said to grind up into as small of pieces as possible then mix it into your soil.

    So technically speaking, you are not "harvesting" the kelp or seaweed, you are merely collecting what has washed ashore.

  5. #5

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    I've only used fresh water pondweeds and they worked well just after harvest. The pile I got to a few days later was a slimy mess but workable.
    Seaweed and kelp have a high sodium content so I would use sparingly to start and monitor the plants for sodium stress (inhibited growth to death). The better the soil drainage the less likely to poison the plants. My thoughts...

    I defer to oceanside dwellers for an expert opinion...

  6. #6
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    It's for the compost bin and for the chickens in the winter time.

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