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A Seaweed Tonic

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Mar 24, 2017
A Seaweed Tonic

At this time of year everyone is thinking about growing plants and as the growing season kicks off lots of people start looking at how they can get the best results from their plants. In my mind the best way to give your plants a boost in terms of growing is by feeding them and making sure they have enough nutrients to grow healthy. If you manage this you are off to a winner.

I have said in the past that seaweed feeds are one of my favourite feeds to use in my own garden not only for edible crops but also for ornamental plants as well. Seaweed as a plant food is not a new concept to Irish gardens. In fact it has been used for generations and generations as one of the best forms of plant food.

However in the past seaweed was only readily available to people in coastal areas and thus was not used as much as you travelled more inland. But now, no matter where you live it is very easy to get your hands on seaweed feeds thanks to companies producing liquid and dried seaweed feeds that you can pick up in any garden centre.  

Recently in CountryLife we started stocking a new seaweed feed from Ocean Leaves. The bottle has the slogan ‘Sea the difference’ and I have to say having used it for the past few weeks in the garden I am seeing the difference.

With good seaweed feeds the very first benefit you see on your plants is improved foliage. I used some of the feed on my strawberry plants and within about 10 days I notice a distinct improvement in the leaves of my plants.

You see noticeable results with seaweed feeds because of seaweeds ability to improve soil quality and a plants ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. By doing this it means the plant is able to tap into much more beneficial nutrients from the soil to grow stronger and healthier. As the seaweed breaks down in the soil it also releases a lot of micronutrients that really benefit the plants.

You can get two different forms of Ocean Leaves Seaweed Feed, a liquid concentrated and also a dried version. As with other forms of feed the main difference between liquid and dried versions comes down to the rate at which nutrients is made available to plants. Liquid feeds show quicker results as they get to work straight away on the plants and soil where as dried feeds are often more slowly released so can take longer to take affect. With dried or powdered feed they need time to break down before they give anything to the plants or soil. 

With this in mind I often recommend using both kinds but for different reasons. If a plant is in need of a quick boost or lift, liquid feeds are much better to use. This is why I often use liquid feeds for pots and container with short-lived plants.  While for anything like shrubs or hardy plants a dry feed can often give you better long term results for your plants. 

Written by Malachy

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Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category.