Ocean Water for Plants
In the preceding series of blogs we have shared how to make fish amino acid, water soluble calcium and water-soluble calcium phosphate. These simple garden amendments work in synergy to help support a thriving beneficial microbe population in the garden.
A natural farming practice is good for people and the land.
Today we will discuss how ocean water is the naturally perfect amendment for soil that is need of more minerals. If you live within reach of the shoreline, ocean water is a free and abundant resource.
Hawaii is a young land mass in geological terms and is comprised of primarily basalt lava rock. Hawaii also receives a lot of rain, which contributes to erosion and the dilution of minerals in the soil. Heavier elements are flushed by rain from the soil and are deposited in the ocean. Ocean water is rich in minerals and nutrients that otherwise may not exist in the soil. It contains all trace minerals.
Ocean water is oxygenated and alkaline in pH and can be added to acidic soils to improve conditions for growing plants. It enriches the land and brings minerals anew to refresh the land.
Adding ocean water to your garden helps to boost the amount of life and beneficial microbe activity within the soil.
Think of the point of convergence in nature where freshwater and saltwater mix. Brackish water environments are teeming with life and are high in biodiversity. Adding ocean water to the freshwater environment of your garden can help to create the same effect that occurs when freshwater and saltwater mix to create estuaries and deltas.
Symptoms of mineral deficiency in plants and animals:
Fruit lacks flavor or sweetness.
Ripening of fruit and vegetables is slow or stopped.
Rust or scab is present on leaves.
Chickens lose feathers.
How to collect ocean water for plants
1- 5 gallon plastic carboy with lid
Ocean water collected from shallow depth of about 1 inch.
The deeper the seawater, the saltier and less biodiverse it is.
Collect ocean water from a shallow depth in a pristine area.
Store ocean water in a place with stable ambient temperature of about 73℉ to 77℉.
Store ocean water in shaded place with no direct sunlight.
Collect pure ocean water in a 5-gallon plastic carboy. Never use glass in the ocean.
Dilute ocean water with fresh water to a ratio of 1:30. For example ⅓ cup ocean water to 10 cups fresh water or about 1 cup ocean water to 2 gallons fresh water.
How to apply ocean water in natural farming & regenerative agriculture
Diluted ocean water is a saline solution and can be likened to a saline IV drip for plants.
Diluted ocean water is approximately the same salinity as the water within the plant. Plants are able to uptake the diluted ocean water directly from the soil.
Apply diluted ocean water to the roots of the plant.
Especially useful after heavy rains.
Use when weather is hot.
Can be applied 15-20 days before harvest to enhance flavor of fruit and vegetables.
Use to treat fungal diseases such as rust, anthracnose and rust.
To treat or prevent feather loss in chickens during the summer give the following amendments diluted with fresh water to the following ratios: ocean water (1:10), brown-rice vinegar (1:200) and water-soluble calcium (1:500) every other day.
Cho, Ju-Young. Natural Farming: Agriculture Materials. Cho Global Natural Farming, 2010.