Alginic Acid

Definition - What does Alginic Acid mean?

Alginic acid is found in seaweed/kelp, and is an important fertilizer for plants. In addition to supplying nutrients, it also acts as a soil conditioner.

Also called alginate, alginic acid is derived from kelp. It actually makes up a significant percentage of brown kelp’s mass, and is responsible for helping give the plant rigidity while submerged in seawater.

Alginic acid can be purchased on the market as dried seaweed powder, and in other forms.

MaximumYield explains Alginic Acid

In order to obtain alginic acid, the kelp must be harvested and then processed. The result is sodium alginate, which is used in a very wide range of industries, including the food industry, textile printing, and more. It can also be used as a soil conditioner and as a plant conditioner. Note that only fresh and dried seaweed can be used in this way; seaweed extract does not contain sufficient minerals and trace elements to work as a conditioner.

In its role as a soil conditioner, alginic acid combines with metals in the soil to create a unique polymer. This polymer retains significant amounts of moisture, enhancing the soil’s structure and also aiding with moisture retention during dry periods. Because of this, plant roots have better access to both nutrients and air within the soil, resulting in healthier, stronger growth.

It’s also important to note that alginic acid in the soil encourages bacterial growth (the good kind!). This has a positive effect on plant health.

Alginic acid added directly to the soil does have one drawback: It initially reduces the amount of available nitrogen. This can slow plant growth and seed germination. However, within a short time (as the acid breaks down in the soil), it actually works to improve the availability of nitrogen, which will improve plant growth.

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