Seaweed meal

I was checking into using "water crystals" in my organic garden because being in Zone 9, we need to retain as much moisture as possible in the soil.
A British company suggested that I use "Seaweed meal", i.e. ground up seaweed, as this would help retain water in the soil. I see this is being used a lot on England, but can only find liquid seaweed or kelp here.
Does anyone here have any experience with this stuff? Where can I get some in the US, prefereably Los Angeles area. Helen
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Dunno about LA specifically, but doing a Google search for "kelp meal" (include the quotes) yields plenty of mail-order sources for kelp meal. I'd imagine that calling local garden shops would get you some positive hits as well.
Jason
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Jason Quick wrote:

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It would HAVE to be! Or so I'd think?
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K.

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wrote :

Not necessarily,
Besides (maybe) drying the seaweed, did the Irish, Scots, and any other coastal people who used it, process the seaweed before adding it as manure?
My mother years ago worked for someone who loved to fish! And, every now and then, we'd get the fish he caught (mainly seatrout, I think). One time, the fish developed freezer-burn, so I chopped the fish up- not wanting to waste it- and buried it into my peppers! That was the best pepper-crop I had :)
And, forr an even SALTIER tale, I once saw canteloupe vines growing below the window of a fishing camp less than a mile from the seashore! They were growing in a mound of oyster shells and dirt.. with the salty air all around them!
My guess? Certsin crops can take certain amounts of- at least- sea salt.
K.P. Graham
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Makes sense... ;-)
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K.

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Kelly Paul Graham wrote:

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il Wed, 29 Dec 2004 16:54:40 GMT, Someone ha scritto: [snip]

I was looking for stuff on alkaline soils and found out via various sources that 1. Seaweed is alkaline 2. that peppers like slightly alkaline soils 3. And sandy soils leach out really quickly, hence their need for things with lots of micronutrients. Little and often was the motto there.
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No wonder peppers do so well in Texas! ;-) We are on limestone flats...
So many darned rocks in the soil, I just do raised beds!

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K.

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il Wed, 29 Dec 2004 17:45:41 -0600, Katra ha scritto:

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Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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Heh, yah, it was in the 70's today. I opened the flaps on the greenhouses to dry them out a bit!
High humidity has been a problem.
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K.

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il Sat, 25 Dec 2004 11:26:55 -0600, Katra ha scritto:

Some people just collect seaweed and mulch it. No idea what they do with the salt.
Maybe you should swap some sand for somone else's clay soil. :-) You would both be happy.
Lots of organic matter is what you want, I don't see why it has to be seaweed. Grass clippings sawdust (untreated), straw, - anything that increases the humus levels. And it will always need topping up. Hot climates will make the material break down quicker. I don't have sandy soil except in one patch (sand or silt) but even for ordinary soil I feel you can't have too much humus. I even leave corn stalks lying around to break down at their leisure. A bit like having fibre in food for digestion. :-) I'd love to have a semi trailer come and deposit compost on my small garden!
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I have been told by "locals" here at the coast that the salt will leach out of the seaweed without harming the plants. I gather sea grass from the shore and from a public boa tramp and then add it to my compost pile. I usually soak it and rinse it first but have not noticed any harm to the grass where I soak it.
Ed Upshaw
Anna Maria Island, A quaint little drinking village With a fishing problem
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In Brittany there is an enormous build-up of seaweed on some beaches. In summer it starts to rot and smells worse than a sewage works. It also provides a breeding ground for millions of flies. From time to time they load it onto lorries and spread it across the nearby arable fields, without any sort of treatment. Some of the salt may have been leached out by rainfall, but I imagine there is still quite a bit remaining. The crops always look good so it can't be doing much harm.
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Graham

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