Living in the Tropics it can be a bit of a challenge to get a photo of frost, but last year I did! I do live at 1000 metres above sea level so frosts do happen in mid-winter.
Frost is a challenge for all of us who are growing plants or feeding animals. In just a few hours it can destroy all your hard work and hit hard in the hip pocket.
Seaweed is proven to give plants an extra 2 to 4 degrees of frost tolerance! I know, this is an incredible fact and this winter it could save your crops, gardens and pasture! Let me tell you how...
Frost destroys plants because it causes ice crystals to form inside the plant. This draws water from the cells which dehydrates and destroys them, and this is why frost-bitten plants look brown and burnt.
Seaweed has two amazing effects that stop this happening.
The first is that it raises sugar levels. Plants with a higher sugar content have a lower freezing point.
The second is that it strengthens cell walls. Stronger cells hold onto their water and are less likely to collapse under freezing conditions. Stronger cells give you a stronger plant.
Simply by spraying your crops or pasture with Seaweed a couple of days before frost is expected you can potentially stop or minimise the damage you would have expected otherwise.
And as well Seaweed will help plants bounce back to health more quickly after being under stress.
This can be difficult for some to believe, but we have seen it work and have spoken to farmers who use Seaweed at this time of year just for this reason.
And it is scientifically proven.
This is an excerpt from a Canadian study on Arabidopsis - a small flowering plant related to cabbages and radish that is often used in biological experiments because it grows and seeds quickly...
"We investigated the effect of Ascophyllum nodosum extracts and its organic sub-fractions on freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana. Ascophyllum nodosum extracts significantly increased tolerance to freezing temperatures.
…the extract-treated plants recovered from freezing temperature of -7.5 degrees C in in vitro and -5.5 degrees C in in vivo assays.
Moreover, histological observations of leaf sections revealed that extracts have a significant effect on maintaining membrane integrity during freezing stress. Treated plants exhibited 70% less chlorophyll damage during freezing recovery as compared to the controls.
Taken together, the results suggest that chemical components in Ascophyllum nodosum extracts protect membrane integrity and affect the expression of stress response genes leading to freezing stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana."
Rayirath P, Benkel B, Mark Hodges D, Allan-Wojtas P, Mackinnon S, Critchley AT, Prithiviraj B.
Planta. 2009 Jun;230(1):135-47. doi: 10.1007/s00425-009-0920-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12.
So... farmers swear by it, scientists have proven it and we have seen it in action.
Are you ready for this winter? Buy your Seaweed now and have it on hand - watch the BoM, and when you see that frost forecast head outside and spray everything!
Once it has passed you will be amazed at the difference between your green crops and your neighbour's burnt plants. We guarantee he'll be asking your secret.
And you can tell him it's a gift from Mother Nature and the SEA!
Blog Post by Liz