rocket mass heater workshop*
Permies likes organic and the farmer likes Ocean water for trace minerals permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login

permies » forums » growies » organic
Bookmark "Ocean water for trace minerals" Watch "Ocean water for trace minerals" New topic

Ocean water for trace minerals

David Chapman

Joined: Jul 28, 2012
Posts: 36
I have been reading the various threads on means of obtaining trace minerals and the rock dust one was especially tantalizing. So much so that I began to research how to get it. The problem is, in order for me to get rock dust, I would have to have it shipped long distance. Not only does this cost a lot of money, but it's bad for the environment and the embodied energy of all my produce would go up substantially.

I began thinking about what I DO have near me that is full of trace minerals and the ocean was an obvious choice as it contains every trace mineral a plant could need.

Has anyone here ever used diluted ocean water as a means of replacing trace minerals in your soil? If so:

1. How much did you broadcast,
2. How much did you dilute it
3. How often do you do it
4. What have your results been?

- Obviously a concern is salt and salt build up. Although this paper showcases that some plants may actually do well with a little salt.
- It seems these guys are selling a fertilizer that is basically dehydrated ocean water. It seems silly to buy something so easy to make to me but the reason I post here is people seem to have good results with this.
- Here's an interesting thread on the subject
- A Doctor Murray appears to have done extensive research on this subject and wrote a book on it.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
Walter Jeffries

Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
I'm very dubious about "dehydrated ocean water" or using ocean water for trace minerals. By orders of magnitude the largest mineral there is going to be the salt.

You might want to look into kelp. The kelp plants have already done the job of concentrating minerals. Still some issue with salt but not nearly as with 'dehydrated ocean water' will have.
David Chapman

Joined: Jul 28, 2012
Posts: 36
According to this mineral list, you're certainly right about the salt content being the highest, as would be expected. And the dehydrated salt water fertilizer would be silly to buy in my opinion, especially since I assume it's just sea salt.

I'm just curious if the trace minerals would be sufficient to be beneficial to plants.
Walter Jeffries

Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
Chris Watson

Joined: Sep 08, 2012
Posts: 83
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
I have heard about ocean floor silt being sold as a soil amendment. I presume this would have some organic, decomposed jetsam in it, and perhaps some microbial activity. It would also be a lot lower in salt content than the other ocean products you're talking about.

“Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well.” ~ St. John Paul II
Meryt Helmer

Joined: Oct 02, 2012
Posts: 191
Location: west marin, bay area california uncertain of zone. sandy loam well drained soil and lots of shade
people often use seaweed in compost. i know they generally choose varieties that wont add salt. i don't know how much minerals seaweed has but it would be interesting to find out. kelp is a popular type here and it can also be woven into lovely baskets! i know people harvest it for baskets and use what doesnt make it as a basket for compost.
tel jetson

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3082
Location: woodland, washington
I use the sea-90 from SeaAgri, but not as a soil amendment. I just use it in place of sea salt in the kitchen and in place of trace mineral salt for livestock (along with kelp meal). those minerals make it into the dirt after they've been through an animal.

I don't think the sea-90 is anything magical, but I do know that some elements present in seawater are more soluble than others, so typical salt harvesting methods might not retain the full complement. steps can be taken to keep everything but the water. I certainly don't believe all the promotional literature, but the stuff isn't terribly expensive. I like the taste, and the animals seem to be doing well with it.

find religion! church
kiva! hyvä! iloinen! pikkumaatila
get stung! beehives
be hospitable! host-a-hive
be antisocial! facespace
John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6463
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
Kelp/Seaweed is a great source for trace minerals if you have a free/cheap source nearby.
Leave it out in the rain for awhile, and most of the salt will be washed off.

If there are commercial Ag suppliers near you, you can buy Azomite for around $20/44# bag.
(My local source is $16/44#)
Home garden suppliers are about double that price.
NOT something you want to pay shipping/handling on. I don't understand how mail order houses can warrant the hassle.

Leila Rich

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3631
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
I've been interested in this for ages, and I'm sure I've asked about it here too.
No, over there!
I never actually tried it, but many people in NZ who farm 'biologically' (basically, insert 'permaculturally') use dilute seawater on their pasture.
I'd never rinse seaweed, but my soil's extremely sandy and clay might be a different story.
Morgan Morrigan

Joined: Oct 16, 2011
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
if you check the articles on making your own sea salt, you can find that most of the calcium chloride drops out in the first evaporation. this is the bitter part of seawater, and is the most overbearing.

if you want to make your own for fertilizer, would prob be best to evaporate to 50% of original volume, and then decant and use the remaining water lightly , just before rains.

I also bought some seaAgri, shipping was a bit high, but nothing compared to the rock dusts, and looks like they understood the chemistry. I like the reports of how it helps the grazers to become less dependent on grains, and happier with just forage. Looks like a good sign.

It is also interesting when looking at the seawater percentages, how close it starts getting to cellular balances. It really forced me to look to adding more magnesium to the diet and the soil. Since the evaporated sea salt is an even better balance than i can mix, why not just use it?
I also am assuming that this is why kelp survives, and makes such good fertilizer. The magnesium helps the potassium exclude the sodium in biological systems.

here is one of the studies on the cellular pump.

and a video of the pump down here. this is the ATP pump, not quite the same i think, but easy to visualize with.

there are also some studies out there that show lyphocytes and other cleaner cells using "toxic" metals to help attack robust and dangerous amoeba's and such in the body. So it seems the body is set up to use the small amounts of heavy metals that we ingest in foodstuffs and dirt.

Get involved -Take away the standing of corporations
subject: Ocean water for trace minerals
Similar Threads
Welcome Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia's Garden!
Rock Dust
"One Circle" book: discuss garden plan
Chinampa Ponics & Hugelkultur
ways to break up salt lick
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books