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Alliance at Alliance at
Thu Feb 12 15:31:17 CET 1998

hardy  Aroids)" <ARISAEMA-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL>
From: Alliance at ARCTAZONIA.ORG
Organization: The Arctic to Amazonia Alliance
Subject: Re: seaweed
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Two subjects here: As a new member, having just benefited from the
terrific seed distribution, I need the snail mail address to which I
sould send my donation.

Second, several have requested more inf on the seaweed soak. I have used
liquid seaweed for over 25 years now, since I first heard about it in
Maine. At the time, Atlantic Labs in Waldoboro, Maine was the only
source. They conducted a fairly exhaustive series of analyses and sent
me a list of the trace minerals, cytokins, gibberelins, auxins, and
other growth stimulating compounds naturally found within the seaweed,
Ascophyllum nodosum. I was impressed. At that time I was running an
orchid range (yes, in Maine of all places), and we used the seaweed in
very dilute concentrations in every watering and in the fogger. We found
more frequent and more numerous vegetative buds breaking on older
growth, quickly forming specimen clumps. We found more regular blooming,
with shorter more compact spikes. On non-orchidaceous plants the effect
was similar to spraying with vitamin B9, making compact, well branched,
floriferous plants. We found the pests diminished, presumably because
the leaf cuticles had thickened to discourage chewing and sucking
insects. Fungal and bacterial problems decreased as well. We began to
soak all new plants in seaweed tea to counteract shipping and transplant
shock. It worked well. Then I began to soak seed flats of non-orchids in
seaweed tea to avert damping off, again to great success. I would have
to say that in my 35+ years in horticulture, that using seaweed is the
single most exciting and useful discovery, among a list of many
wonderful revelations. Now I use it for Arisaema, Cyclamen, and other
fleshy seed routinely. I have never conducted a blind test on tis, as it
works, fits my routine, is always on-hand. Someone else can do the blind
study, perhaps, and let us all know what you conclude. Perhaps too, Doug
Green could get us the results from the study run by Ag Canada for all
to read?

There are a number of suppliers now for both the liquid seaweed, and for
a dehydraded seaweed powder which costs a lot less to ship, and can then
be reconstituted to form a stock solution for further dilution. Be sure
not to get the seaweed/fish combination, as that not only stinks but
induces damp off by supporting mold and bacteria. (It's great for a
summertime drench, outdoors, if you have no dogs and cats to dig for the
yummy rotten fish they smell in your carefully nurtured beds). One
supplier is Charlies' Greenhouse Supply Co. I think MaxiCrop makes both
a powderede and a liquid version available at many garden centers.

Oh yes, seaweed tea is also a great soak for newly arrived roots and
tubers, wonderful for pre-soaking hard corms like anemone and eranthis
to plump them up before planting, and can be used as a spreader-sticker
and surfecant with other fertilizers and some chemicals, although I have
noticed it can make Benomyl solutions separate out into lumps, so

That's all, folks.

Erik van Lennep
Ivy, VA
USA zone 7 (previously Strafford VT, zone 4)

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