What's the deal on kelp for lawns?

stan6October 8, 2008

Maybe because I have 6000 sq feet of lawn, but its hard to top dress this area with compost so I am always looking for alternatives, especially the kind you can spray on with a hose end sprayer. I read a lot about kelp as being one of nature's near perfect soil amendments. Lots of trace elements, etc. I don't read much about it in this forum, so I wonder if its hype from the kelp suppliers or the real deal. Can anyone offer an opinion?

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dave11

I looked into it, and it's probably helpful, but IMO not worth the cost and effort to put down. Have you looked into compost tea? You could always include kelp/seaweed in your mix there, and get more benefit than using either alone.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:31AM
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stan6

I'd like more thoughts about kelp, but let me add another ingredient: molasses. Where do you find it? I read about blackstrap (don't know what this is) and unsulfered (this is the kind on grocery shelves). At my coop there is a $6 gallon of molasses for deer. Is that OK? Kelp and molasses, what's the deal? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:32PM
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decklap(5IL)

Both kelp and molasses are fine but if you're looking for something to give you the benefits of compost without the expense and back ache of spreading it then do a web search on aerated compost tea. Its cheap, easy to make, and easy to apply.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 4:43PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

And it's also very easy to screw up aerated compost tea too if you don't understand how the whole thing works in detail.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:36AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

If your soil does not have adequate levels of organic matter nothing you spray will be worth the time and energy, much less the money, to trry to correct the main problem which is insufficient levels of organic matter. Once you have adequate levels of OM in the soil then these products will be unnecessary anyway.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:07AM
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decklap(5IL)

Kimmsr you're right about that but getting soil to +5% OM can take awhile in some instances and in those cases there are materials out there that will make a difference to the PO.

Lou I gotta disagree. People make ACT terribly complicated but its a simple matter really of supplying a food source and oxygen to biology. Away we go.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 5:16PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Oh yes it is very easy to screw it up if THEY DON"T UNDERSTAND IT IN DETAILS! READ IT CAREFULLY! Duh...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 5:53PM
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decklap(5IL)

Lou Im curious to hear more about how you think ACT can get "screwed up". If you're not using manure based compost and keep everything well aearted then I contend that for the average po it is in fact a relatively simple matter.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 2:04PM
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aggrand_patriot(8)

Apply granular humate to the soil first thing in the spring. This provides carbon that is readily available for plant use. Nothing more than lignite coal. Then spray the whole yard with liquid fertilizers 2-3xs a year, trees,shrubs and grass all at the same time. It is simple, easy and inexpensive because you will then recycle the ingredients by mulching the clippings. You can find liquid fertilizers in the form of blood meal, bone meal, fish, humate, molasses, kelp,lime compost tea. Whatever you use can provide N,P,K,Ca,Mg, trace elements and PH change. Do a simple soil test to know what you need to spray and what quantity. The value of liquid is the smaller particle size that is more readily available taken in by leaf and root.

Here is a link that might be useful: amsoil

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 1:20PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

There is not a liquid anything out there that is a substitute for adding organic matter to the soil, no matter how many times per year they are sprayed. For an organic minded person the soil needs organic matter and when there is sufficient levels there would be no need for these liquid things that simply seperate you from your money.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 8:02AM
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aggrand_patriot(8)

I fertilize an acre lot with 1/3 4-3-3, 1/3 0-12-0, 1/3 0-0-8 liquid ingredients for $35/acre. According to the soil test needs. 2 gallons liquid mix to 30 gallons of water.
The soil test indicates adequate organic matter in the soil or carbon. I applied some applications of granular organic products before spraying for $85/acre on the lot.

The organic matter in the liquid is recycled by mulching.
Providing a sustaining supply of organic matter to the soil

These products are easily applied to crop and pasture with simple spray equipment. It is the most logical way to go green/organic on a large scale. Can't imagine the cost and work involved with spreading solid organic fertilizers. And solid organic products can wash away before they can be used by plants, polluting are waterways.
There is no doubt in my mind these are the products of the future for landscaping and crop production.

There is organic matter inthe ingredients and since they are liquid the smaller particles are used up faster.

That is why you want to apply the spray during dry weather, plants utilize them faster. The other big advantage has been fewer pests, fire ants,due to increases in microbial activity. And no brown patch in St Augustine.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 3:54PM
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