What is Kelp Fertilizer?

Steve R.

A form of seaweed, kelp is produced in the ocean and is totally organic. Loaded in the elements of nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, and potassium, kelp is often used as a fertilizer. Kelp fertilizer strengthens soil with these nutrients, allowing plants to become more hearty and healthy. The organic substance boosts heat in plants and increases their capacity to withstand the outdoor elements. The seaweed also aids in lowering a plant's vulnerability to diseases and attacks from infectious insects.

Seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Kelp fertilizer can come in different forms. Kelp meal is used as a soil conditioner. To become a meal, the seaweed is quickly dried at a low heat to sustain proper moisture level for vitamin and amino acid consistency. Kelp powder, another form of kelp fertilizer, is made from a dehydrated liquid extract from seaweed. The powder can be used as a fertilizer when it is mixed with liquid. Kelp can be found at local garden centers, garden stores, and places that sell organic products.

The seaweed product is a valuable asset to plants as a fertilizer. Kelp enhances seed production and promotes thicker maturation of roots. The use of kelp leads to a larger production of chlorophyll, which leads to darker leaves and higher sugar levels in plants. Kelp also helps to increase the amount of mineral intake from the soil that flows into the plant's leaves.

When kelp fertilizer is used, it acts as a ripening agent, allowing plants to grow and develop quickly. After plants ripen, the kelp then acts as an agent to slow the aging process. This allows plants to live longer.

Kelp acts as a source of bioactivators. A bioactivator is an organic material that aids in decomposing other materials. In compost, kelp assists in the process of decomposing other plants into chemical components that plants are able to take advantage of. The decomposition of plant material also augments the quality of the soil. When kelp is added to a compost, it breaks down faster than other items, such as grass clippings and leaves.

For application in gardens, use three pounds (about 1.36 kg) per 100 square feet (about .09 square meters). In lawns, use 10 pounds (about 4.54 kg) per 100 square feet (about .09 square meters). With trees, use one pound (about 453 grams) per inch (about 2.5 cm). In compost, add three to six ounces (about 88.5 ml to 177 ml) per cubic foot. To water plants with kelp meal, add one gallon (about 3.78 liters) and stir.

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Discussion Comments


From what I understand, kelp powder and meal are meant to be mixed into the soil, whereas liquid kelp fertilizer is meant to be sprayed onto the plants, correct?

Which is better? Do the plants absorb the nutrients better from the soil or directly from the leaves?

Should I use the one of these products or both types?


@SarahGen-- Kelp is a type of seaweed, so you can definitely make your own fertilizer with it. I do it as well. I live on the Pacific coast and I can get fresh kelp here. I leave the kelp in water for the vitamins and minerals to dissolve into the water. I use the water as liquid plant and grass fertilizer.

It's a very cheap way to maintain a garden. I highly recommend doing this if you can get fresh kelp.


I've heard that some farmers use fresh seaweed or dried seaweed to make their own seaweed fertilizer at home. Can the same be done with kelp?

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