Maxicrop – Helps reduce drought problems
Gardeners and growers could benefit from the unique action of certain seaweed extracts in helping plants cope better in dry conditions.
We believe the main reason that keen gardeners and commercial growers in the UK use Maxicrop seaweed extract is for the stronger, healthier growth that results from its use.
However, it has been shown that Maxicrop can also helps plants cope better with stress – including drought stress. Maxicrop works by improving the efficiency of uptake of water from the soil and by allowing plants to cope better physiologically with drought stress.
Improving the efficiency of uptake of water from the soil
Regular use of Maxicrop increases root mass and rooting depth – from seedlings to mature plants – see Figure 1. The greater the root mass and depth, the greater the potential to take up available water from the soil.
Researchers at the University of Wales recorded a near trebling of root weight with perennial ryegrass after five weeks following use of Maxicrop – they concluded that: “The ability of Maxicrop to improve root development gives the plant a greater potential to increase nutrient uptake. Similarly, under field conditions, an increased resistance to water stress could be expected from a more extensive root system.”
More and deeper plant roots will tend to give better soil structure – allowing rainwater to enter and penetrate the soil better, with less run off.
Allowing plants to cope better physiologically with drought stress
Some naturally occurring substances in seaweed – such as mannitol and betaines – are known to enable plants to cope better physiologically with drought stress.
These substances work as ‘osmoprotectants’ in plants – increasing the ability of the plant cells to maintain an internal cell solute concentration when the external solute concentration is high – enabling plants to function better in drought conditions – see Figure 2.
Will Maxicrop cure a severe drought problem?
Absolutely not! – but it can help the situation as described above, as part of an overall package of measure that gardeners can employ – such as water conservation (water butts, etc.) using dish or bath water, watering early morning or late evening (to reduce evaporation) mulching (to hold moisture) etc.
However, if plants don’t get enough water they will not ‘do’ – Maxicrop will help, but it is not a miracle cure for drought!
We recommend mixing 45ml of Maxicrop Original seaweed extract in 9 litres of water (typical watering can full) – this solution can be applied as a root drench or foliar spray every 7 to 14 days (every 7 days in hot, dry weather). Watering cans or knapsack sprayers can be used to apply the solution.
Although positive effects on root growth start to occur after just two applications, it is important to apply regularly to get the best effect.
Applied in this way, a litre bottle of Maxicrop Original will be sufficient for a garden of 140 sq.m. (assuming the whole garden is fed for a 3 month period).
Maxicrop Original contains negligible quantities of N P K fertiliser and so tends to be used by gardeners who already use some sort of fertiliser mix. Maxicrop Complete Garden Feed has all the advantages of Maxicrop seaweed with the added benefit of 5:5:5 NPK fertiliser.
The benefits of Maxicrop in normal/non drought situations (better rooting, greener leaves, stronger healthier growth) make it excellent value for money – helping as part of a package of measures to cope with drought conditions is an added benefit.
Figure 1. Roots with & without seaweed extract blend treatment
Species Salvia. Top row plants treated with root drench containing seaweed extract blend.
Top row plants in each case treated with root drench containing seaweed extract blend.
Figure 2. Plants with & without Maxicrop treatment