Tri-Kelp™, the new 100% soluble kelp powder from NTS is proving a particularly popular introduction. This remarkably cost effective and user-friendly fertiliser consists of three proven kelp varieties which include* Laminaria, Sargassum* and Ascophyllum nodosum. This combination offers a unique balance of the plant promoting and soil-life stimulating characteristics for which kelp is renowned.
Rewriting the Rules
I was speaking to a kelp expert during one of my recent international tours and he spoke about the potential of combining these three species in a single blend. Upon my return to Australia, we investigated a variety of kelp producers and were eventually able to find a manufacturer who produced a heavy metal-free, high quality product, at a very reasonable price. Tri-Kelp™ is now the most cost effective source of good quality seaweed fertiliser in Australia. Growers are now able to make their own 10% liquid kelp concentrate (the industry standard) for around AU$1.90 a litre and this has never before been possible.
Sargassum for Frost Resistance
All kelp species offer the full spectrum of minerals derived from the ocean and very high vitamin levels which are sponsored by these minerals. It has now been found that plants require vitamins just like animals and humans. In fact, vitamin C protects plants from disease, just as it does in humans, and eight of the B group vitamins are now recognised as plant growth promotants. All kelp species contain a broad spectrum of amino acids, and a variety of long-chain sugars, including Mannitol, which is a powerful chelating agent. However, each of the three kelp species in Tri-Kelp™ exhibits some very special and unique characteristics. Sargassum, for example, contains luxury levels of a compound called glycine betaine which has been linked to frost resistance, improved chlorophyll density and it can also boost tolerance to salinity.
Laminaria for Iodine
Laminaria is richly endowed with a substance called Laminaria polysaccharide which has been shown to aid in the recovery of viral infections. Laminaria also contains the highest levels of iodine found in any plant on the planet – almost double that of other kelp species at 4000 parts per million. There has been very little research into iodine and its role in plant health and that limited research has yielded conflicting results. However, there is no doubt about the role iodine plays in human health and animal health. Iodine is directly linked to the health of the thyroid gland in humans as two of the key thyroid hormones are iodine-dependent. Thyroid malfunction is a major health issue in Australia, and yet in Japan thyroid problems are virtually non-existent. The Japanese diet contains 500 times more iodine than the Australian diet. In this context any input which increases iodine in our food must be of considerable value. Iodine also concentrates in the ovaries in both animals and humans and it plays a big role in reproductive efficiency.
Ascophyllum** for Cytokinins**
Ascophyllum nodosum, the third kelp species found in Tri-Kelp™, is renowned for its very high levels of cytokinins. Cytokinins have been shown to assist in promoting optimum plant health.
Many dairy farmers, for example, have yet to discover the benefits of kelp applied to pastures. Large scale cereal growers can now afford one or two foliar sprays of Tri-Kelp™ each season, following an inexpensive seed treatment with kelp, to improve germination and kick start the seedling.