Kelp extract for seedlings w/ first true leaves?

pintoksJanuary 30, 2013

Hi All,
I have many vegetable seedlings coming up with their first set of true leaves and was wondering if it would be a good idea to water them with a seaweed extract (in my case kelp extract that has been diluted at about 2 tablespoons of the dried kelp to a gallon of water). I don't want to burn the roots by fertilizing too early, but if this would be a good boost to get them on their way to a productive spring, I am all in for kelp!

The seedlings are varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs primarily that are growing indoors under lights.

If the kelp water is ok, what would be an advisable schedule for frequency of substituting the kelp-water for pure water?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Young seedlings at that stage don't need supplements and may be harmed so it isn't generally recommended. It all depends on the nutrient levels in your particular product (kelp extracts come with all sorts of varying nutrient levels), how well you dilute it, the potting mix you are using and its water retention capabilities. In other words, there is no simple answer given all the variables.

Once they have 2 sets of true leaves a VERY diluted (1/8-1/4 strength) supplement may be of assistance but how much again depends on the nutrient levels in the supplement you are using. N stimulates top growth which, without care, can quickly out-strip the root growth needed to support it. With seedlings it is root development that is vital, not top growth.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Thanks Dave. That is helpful. I think I'll hold off on the kelp for now.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:03PM
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