What Kelp Species/Extraction is the best for Plant Growth? Kelp Experiment! Come Try if you like!

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Hello to all you growers! I have been doing a lot of research as well as planning many tests on different brands of kelp and have been focusing my time to see which kelp products really benefit the Cannabis plant. I want to hear your feedback to see what others have seen with their grows or experience with kelp as well. I have been blessed to talk with different chemists and professors during my college career from the University of Arizona and Virginia Tech who have experience developing and testing these kelp products before as well as teach students lessons on botany, soil science, and plant physiology. They helped me learn about the differences between these kelp products on the market used today.

First, they showed me that you want to know a couple of factors before choosing which kelp product you want to use such as, kelp species, kelp extraction, and kelp form. Kelp species is something to look at as there are many types that can be used for plant growth. The most heavily used Kelp on the market is currently Ascophyllum Nodosum as it is easier/cheaper to obtain and has been studied the most. This form of kelp is used in most seaweed products out there. Yes, this product helps with roots, but what people do not understand is that this form of kelp tends to contain higher Cytokinin counts than Auxin Counts. These two things are considered natural growth hormones where Cytokinins regulate axillary bud growth, apical dominance and shoot growth. Auxins stimulate plant cells to elongate and aid in growth of stems, roots and more. With higher Cytokinin counts, it makes more sense to use this type of kelp species during the flowering stage yet they market a lot of products as a great root enhancer. Don’t get me wrong, it helps promote root growth but not as well as Auxin dominated species of kelp. There are few companies out there that are using another species of kelp called Ecklonia Maxima. This species of kelp tends to be harder to obtain in the South African Coasts and some other areas as well. This kelp species through testing shows to contain higher Auxin counts so wouldn’t this type of species seem better to use for root growth? That is why I decided to try and run tests on some different products out there to see which ones seem to work best in regards to root development. Maybe we should be feeding specific kelp species in certain plant stages? Maybe feed Ecklonia Maxima in Veg to really get the roots growing then switch to Ascophyllum Nodosom during flower to help with shoot and bud growth? There are companies out there that add kelp to their bloom boosters but generally containing the Ascophyllum Nodosum species which makes sense, but why market and use this kelp for root growth on other products? Or what if these two species were mixed and had great synergistic abilities? Feel free to make and share your own tests if this topic intrigues you. The companies that have products with this different species are shown below if you wanted to try and test this yourself. I am currently trying to test them all to find which works the best as well as see if you really can see a difference in the plants physiological growth depending on the kelp species used.

Next thing to look at when choosing a kelp product is the extraction method. I had help learning from some chemists who are experienced creating kelp products. There are different kelp manufacturers and I have even read about some other posts on here of people explaining the companies who harvest and extract the kelps but their info seems to be outdated. With today’s technology, there are products being created that are way more concentrated and more beneficial then kelp meals and cold pressed kelps when regards to natural hormones/ secondary metabolites. In order to get a specific kelp form, you must extract the kelp in a specific way. So the forms out today are Kelp Meal, Kelp extract, Kelp Powder, and Kelp concentrate. A lot of people on these forms tell people to just use kelp meal because of price reasons/making your own liquid kelp with it through rehydration/tea or using it because of the fact that there is no solvent like potassium hydroxide to harm your precious microbes and biology in the soil. Kelp Meal is good for someone on a budget, because you could make a tea and make the product last a long time but it is not working nearly as well as certain products on the market. Plus it takes weeks for it to be broken down by the soil biology because of the extra organic matter that companies add to their products. Kelp Meal is made by solar drying and being ground and pulverized which can harm and deteriorate some of the beneficials such as auxins and cytokinins. It is higher in Nutrients along with Mannitol and Alginic Acid when compared to certain kelp extracts but kelp extract or concentrate offers greater concentration of hormones and consistency of performance. The issue with certain kelp extracts is that it can be extracted through chemical hydrolysis (i.e. potassium hydroxide) and physical extraction (i.e., high-pressure and cold process). Chemical hydrolysis and high pressure extraction is not generally favored as it is harsh and kills off some of the beneficial hormones and nutrients the kelp has to offer as well as destroy alginic acid and mannitol. The cold Pressed kelp can be beneficial but what the chemists explained is that cold pressed kelp is not as concentrated and tends to be watered down. A lot of the beneficial vitamins and hormones keep contained within the plant cell and wont get extracted through cold press unless that cell is broken down through enzymes. That brings us to the other form of extraction called enzymatic digestion. Through this extraction, enzymes are able to fully break down the cells and retain most of the beneficial/secondary metabolites creating an overall more concentrated product containing higher hormones, alginic acid and mannitol content then other forms of extraction. Some companies may even have testing done to prove the content of their Beneficial’s within their kelp showing the amounts of vitamins and hormones contained in their product.

With all of this info, It urged me to test what I learned to see if what these scholars say was true. I am confused why the nutrient market has not caught on to this information but then began to learn that money tends to get involved. Companies out there selling watered down products or claiming things that are not fully true through their marketing tricks. I will perform testing on all these kelp products below based on their form/extraction and their species. I want to see if the species Ecklonia Maxima really does create more root growth than the Ascophyllum Nodosom species kelp. I also want to compare performance of enzymatic extraction vs kelp meal and physical and chemical extraction kelp. Through these tests, I could then see which form/extraction of kelp worked best as well as which species performs better as a root enhancer. I want to use the kelp that will best promote root growth as the greater the roots, the greater the plant organs, the greater the plant organs, the bigger the fruit it will create! I am open for any opinions or comments. I will be posting my results from the tests when done! I believe all of this is a start a something new and maybe you members might want to test it yourself! Happy growing to all!

Ecklonia Maxima Species Kelp:

-Herb N Grow=

-First Rays Kelpmax=

-Environotics Earth Kelp=Seems to be taken off amazon sorry for no link!

- Bloom City Clean Kelp (Blend of Ascophyllum Nodosum, Ecklonia Maxima, Chlorella Vulgaris, Arthrospira Platensis, Palmaria Palsmata, Laminaria Saccharina and Chandrus Crispus)= https://www.amazon.com/Organic-Fertilizer-Supplement-Bloom-Concentrated/dp/B073ZNW5CK

Ascophyllum Nodosum Species Kelp:

-Neptune Harvest Kelp Meal

-Fox Farm Bush Doctor Kelp Me Kelp You=

-Aurora Innovations Buddha Bloom=

-General Organics BioWeed=

-3 Gems Jewel=

-BioBasics SeaCrop 16=

-GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp=

-MaxiCrop Liquid Seaweed=

-Dr Earth Seaweed kelp meal=

-BioBizz ALG-A-MIC=

-NPK Industries RAW Kelp Meal=

-Blue Planet Nutrients Easy Weed Seaweed=

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