Kelp Meal

Kelp Meal

Norwegian Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) gathered from the north Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, Canada. Dried kelp has long been popular for crops that demand high levels of potassium to flourish. Although kelp is most associated with potassium, it contains more than 60 other trace minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and plant hormones.

Because kelp comes from the sea – a natural mineral soup of common and rare nutrients – it is one of the only soil additives that includes mannitol. Mannitol is a natural sugar that helps break down micronutrients so plant cells can process and use them more easily. This same sugar is a food source for soil bacteria and fungi helping them proliferate and aid in nutrient cycling.

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Useful Info

Kelp Meal contains 60 trace minerals and an assortment of amino acids, enzymes, and alginates that feed and stimulate the necessary microorganisms in your soil. A healthy, active microbial population will breakdown organic material and improve the quality and texture of the soil.
The Health of Your Soil is Vital to the Health of Growing Plants. Healthy soil doesn’t come overnight. What you will see is a gradual improvement in the feel and look of your soil. It will become more crumbly and lighter in texture, perhaps becoming a little darker in color as the microorganisms digest and make available the organic matter in your soil. As you continue to use Kelp meal from season to season you will see healthier-looking, disease-resistant crops and your soil and will look better and better.

Benefits of Kelp Meal as a Soil Conditioner

  • Exceptional natural ingredient for increasing organic matter
  • Improves microbial activity in the soil
  • Reduces nutrient leaching
  • Increases water retention
  • Promotes manageability and tilth in heavy soils
  • Improves soil fertility

How to use

Apply any time of the year either by broadcasting or lightly cultivating at 1 lbs. per 100 sq. ft., 5-11 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft., 200 - 400 lbs. per acre. In your potting soil mix or as a tea.

Common Questions

How do I make the Clackamas Coot Soil Mix?

The Clackamas Coot Mix

Here is the recipe for my personal potting soil mix and this will make 1 cubic foot (which is just a little over 7 gallons).

You'll need a 5-gallon bucket, like the ones you can get at Home Depot. We’ll use this to measure out our base ingredients, which isn’t a long list. This was created for new gardeners so there’s nothing o worry about - it’s easy! 

  1. Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss (CSPM). Think of this as the frame on your car. This material is standard in the nursery industry and we can get this at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Lowe’s and other stores. This material is compressed, so we’ll want to break it apart so that it’s loose and you can move your fingers through it easily. We want 1/2 bucket which is about 2.5 gallons.
  2. Vermicompost. A good alternative is 80% compost and 20% worm castings. If CSPM is the frame for this project, the vermicompost is the entire drive-train. I cannot stress enough the importance of sourcing the finest vermicompost that you can find in your area. Measure out 1/2 bucket and add to the CSPM. I’m going to switch gears a bit and we’ll add the amendments to this combination and it’s only 6 items so nothing to worry about. 
  3. 2 cups of malted grains from a home-brew store. Have them grind it for you at the store. Try to get it ground to as close to whole-heat flour as possible.
  4. 1 cup limestone (I.e. Calcium Carbonate - CaCO3). You do not want to use Dolomite Lime which will have 10% or so of Magnesium. We want to use limestone only.
  5. 2 cups of granite rock dust. Almost every retail and even commercial potting soil lacks this all-important item. Soil at it’s basic level is rotted plant and animal material and shattered rock. For the microbialhealth in the soil as well as other reasons we want to add either basalt rock dust(West Coast) or granite on the East Coast. Please avoid Azomite, Bentonite,Zeolite because all are alumina-silicate compounds and the last thing that wewant in our soil is aluminum especially at the levels found in these colloidalminerals. 
  6. 1 cup Gypsum (Calcium and Sulfur)
  7. 1 cup Crustacean Meal (Crab and/or Shrimp Meal) (Calcium, Nitrogen and Chitin along with other benefits)
  8. 1 cup kelp meal (North Atlantic) to our developing soil mix. No other plant has the array of nutrients, compounds and such as kelp meal.
  9. 3/4 cup of Karanja Meal
  10. 3/4 cup Neem Meal
  11. Now, water this mix and let it soak for a few hours to make sure that we have good hydration in all of the material. 
  12. 1/2 bucket of perlite or rice hulls for aeration. Use a pitch fork or hoe and thoroughly mix everything together. So, you will see your potting soil coming together. 

You’ll notice that the soil has a very rich smell like the floor in a forest - humus! 

This exact recipe has been used by hundreds and hundreds around the USA and it grows in popularity every year as friends tell friends about what it did for their gardens. 

"This mix is perfect for starting seeds or for planting seedlings or transplants that you buy at shows." -Clackamas Coot

What is IPM (Integrated Pest Management)?

Fundamentally IPM is creating a complete management system for indoor/outdoor growing                                      

UC Davis Defines IPM as:

“Integrated pest management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal o removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial organisms, and the environment.”

If your interested in implementing this in your garden, be sure to check out our comprehensive instructions.