Sea Minerals Fertilizer – My Favorite Fertilizer
If you’re lucky enough to live right beside the ocean, I’m envious of not only your view, but the incredible fertilizer you may have at your doorstep.
Sea minerals fertilizer is one of my favorite organic fertilizers. It has dramatically improved the health and increased the growth and yield of many of my plants.
Waterways and volcanoes have been adding to the sea for hundreds of millions of years, which is why it’s so dense with nutrients.
That’s what we want to emulate in our gardens.
Fortunately, these days, we all have access to it, even if we live far away from the sea.
Here’s a video:
Benefits Of Sea Minerals Fertilizer
Yes, the ocean has sodium, but it also has over over 90 other elements that are immediately available to plants upon application.
While only 17-20 elements are deemed “essential” to plants, we know they use more than 40 of them for so-called non-essential uses, and I’ll be surprised if that number doesn’t continue to go up.
This list of benefits of using seawater as a fertilizer is long:
- Increased yield
- Increased nutrient-density, brix, and flavor
- Improve soil tilth and microbial diversity
- Improve tolerance of drought, pests, transplant shock
Dr. Maynard Murray was one of the early pioneers of using sea minerals for fertilizer. He purchased a farm and started bringing railroad cars of ocean water in to fertilize it.
He got bigger yields, tastier and more nutritious food, far fewer pests and just healthier plants in general.
We want our plants to have more minerals for their own benefit, and if we’re eating them, for our benefit, too, not only for the minerals themselves but also because vitamins, enzymes, and proteins need minerals, and we need vitamins, enzymes, and proteins.
How To Use Straight Ocean Water In The Garden
If you live near the ocean, and the water there isn’t too polluted, you can use that water directly in the garden.
Yes, the whole ocean is somewhat polluted at this point, but unless you’re close to a particularly polluted part of it, like near a big city or industrial area, it’s still worthwhile to use it.
As for application rate, early experiments showed that various plants would take anywhere from 1000-3000ml of sea water per square foot of soil.
That’s a lot! Apparently 1 application would last for 5 years.
If I was doing it, based on what I’ve learned, I would apply much less, just 5ml per square foot, which is 5000ml per 1000 square feet.
I’d mix it in 10 times as much water and apply it that 4 times per year every year, for both foliar and soil applications.
Finding A Quality Sea Mineral Fertilizer
If you don’t have access to the ocean, there are a number of products on the market.
The 2 categories are 1) sea solids (basically sea salt), and 2) ocean water that has been substantially concentrated.
SEA-90 is an example of the sea solids form. It’s a great product.
But although I like the idea of using sea solids because then I wouldn’t be paying for the water component of ocean water, the evidence points to the liquid products being more effective.
For liquid products, GroPal looks good (also called Ocean Trace in the U.S.), but it’s from Australia, so it should be used in Australia, not shipped over to North America.
The 2 main North American products I come across are OceanSolution and Sea-Crop (the product I’ve been using for many years).
From what I can tell, Sea-Crop is many times more concentrated than OceanSolution, although it can be hard to find this info because the companies don’t publish it.
Another difference with Sea-Crop is that they remove 95% of the sodium chloride. Their argument is that sodium and chloride make up such a big percentage of the mineral component of ocean water, so if we remove most of them, we can get more of the other elements. I’ve looked at the composition of ocean water and I see what they’re saying.
Other companies argue that there’s no need to remove it, that sodium and chloride are a natural part of seawater. And that makes sense to me, too. I’m happy to bring some sodium into my soil in small amounts, especially when my soil is deficient, and even a little chloride, too.
The bigger reason I like the Sea-Crop product is that they put a lot of effort into retaining the organic component of the water – the microbes and microscopic plant matter. This component is substantially decreased in sea solids fertilizers and I haven’t seen it mentioned by other liquid products.
Anyway, I’d love to do some experiments with all of them someday, although I don’t know how much of a difference I’ll find.
In the meantime, I encourage you to get any of them. For now, I’m still very happy with the Sea-Crop.
How To Use Sea Crop In The Garden
Sea-Crop is more expensive than liquid seaweed and fish, but the application rate is lower so it actually ends up costing less.
Since I also use liquid fish fertilizer, I alternate them every other month (eg. fish in March, sea minerals in April, fish in May, etc.). I use seaweed every month along with them.
In my garden, per 1000 square feet, I use 1/3 cup of Sea Crop, 4 times per year.
That works out to nearly 1.3 cups per 1000 square feet per year.
If you want to spray it weekly, use 20ml (1 1/3 Tbsp) per 1000 square feet instead.
The dilution rate can be between 1:50 and 1:100. I go with 1:50, which is a gallon of water for every 1/3 cup of sea minerals. I just use a hose-end sprayer set to spray 5 Tbsp per gallon.
Here are the annual application rate recommendations from the manufacturer:
- Garden Produce: 4 gallons per acre (1.5 cups per 1000 square feet).
- Row Crops: 2 to 4 gallons per acre (0.75-1.5 cups per 1000 square feet).
- 3-6 feet tall: 1/2 cup per tree, not to exceed 10 gallons per acre.
- 6-12 feet: 3/4 cup per tree, not to exceed 10 gallons per acre.
- Lawns: 2 to 4 gallons per acre (0.75-1.5 cups per 1000 square feet).
Note: The manufacturer of this sea minerals product says it’s best not to apply it in the same spray as liquid fish in order to keep its effectiveness optimal – I’m not sure how big of an issue that is, but it’s one reason I started alternating them every other month.
But other than that, sea minerals is great mixed with liquid seaweed, molasses, and microbial inoculants.
You can also soak seeds overnight before planting at 1 teaspoon per cup of water. You can optionally mix in 1 teaspoon of liquid seaweed fertilizer.
You Can Get It Here
In summary, this sea minerals fertilizer:
- Is my favorite fertilizer, often producing impressive increases in growth and yield, not to mention plant health.
- Is made by concentrating clean ocean water many times, removing most of the sodium chloride, keeping the other remaining 80+ elements along with the beneficial organic component.
- Is organic, OMRI-Listed, and produced sustainably.
As a free bonus when you order today, I’ll also enroll you in my online Biostimulants course.
Just click ‘Add To Cart’ up above!
“So much of my gardening was neglected this year, and here in PA we had almost no rain from July to September. One thing I did do, however, was to apply the diluted Sea Crop solution to my two Simplicity rose bushes, which I planted probably 10 years ago and had never done much over the years, except bloom in late August and into the Fall. In the first few years, they were being eaten alive by Japanese Beetles every year. I used to dress them with used coffee grounds and give them a shot of Miracle-Gro now and then, but they never really grew into anything spectacular. This year I gave them 2-3 applications of Sea Crop, and was surprised to see a lot more late-Summer blooms on them, plus, they grew to at least twice their normal height! In all the years they’ve been in the ground, I had never seen such a noticeable improvement.”Rick in PA
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When you buy this sea minerals fertilizer, you get enrolled in my online Biostimulants course.
The course includes 10 videos totaling about 75 minutes where I chat about seaweed, fish, sea minerals, molasses/dextrose, rock dust, and how to use them all.
I DO live by the ocean, 8 blocks away actually, and I live right off a canal connected to the ocean, so I have great access to both ocean water and seaweed. So, if I were to use the sea water, you said 1 teaspoon per square foot, so does the sea water get diluted? I also asked this before, but doesn’t the salt harm the plants?
Yes, I would dilute it with 10 parts water. You’d think the salt would harm the plants, but it generally doesn’t. There may be certain plants that are especially susceptible to salt damage, but they probably wouldn’t be doing very well 8 blocks from the ocean anyway.
Thanks Phil. I’m going to try it today. Oh darn, I have to go to the beach…… 😉
2 years later. What has been the result of your experiment?
i honestly don’t remember where i used it, if it was on the beds in the courtyard, it worked great, on my veggie plot, so so. i’ve used more seaweed actually. i think my veggie plot needed to get more organic matter and build fertility, and seems to be getting better, whereas the soil in my courtyard was already pretty good.
i have a 2 gallon ez flo system. how much do you add and how do you know when you have gone through it since it is constantly hooked up to a water source. and no other fertilizer then for 3 months? sounds good but i am so used to fertilizing at least once a week. thanks.
Sorry Debra, I’m not sure how the ez flo system works. Do they give you a way of determining the dilution rate?
My Gilmore hose-end sprayer is set on 1 tbs per gallon when I spray a molasses/liquid seaweed/BioAg mixture for my 1000 square foot growing area. Could I add some sea minerals to this mixture and, if so, how much? Thanks.
Sure, I use 1/3 cup per 1000 square feet every month or two. That dilution rate is plenty, so you’re good to go.
Thanks! I’ll order some of your sea minerals today. Also, FYI, the video at the end of this academy lesson doesn’t work (“YouTube Remineralization”). The message I get when I select it is: “This video does not exist.” Thank you again for your academy and your willingness to answer questions. Our neighbors are beginning to ask questions like, “Okay. What are you doing differently?” So people are noticing an improvement around here.
Does this product contain iron?
Yes, it contains trace amounts of iron and every other mineral, but not too much of anything. For iron, it’s 15 parts per million.
this is absolutely staggering
Hi Phil, I am VIJAY from Malaysia. I do practice using beneficial microbs in my garden. By using sea water 1:10 does it harms the mychorriza networke, trichoderma, paecilomyces lilacinus and I do all so use becillus subtilis, pseudomonas fluorescens and many other microbs .
As long as you don’t use too much, it will be fine. I even combine sea minerals with my inoculants sometimes.
Do I need other fertilizer with sea crop, or is the sea crop everything that I need for my garden? Thanks
Fertilizing is a bit more complicated than that, but what I can say is that sea crop is the only fertilizer you need for supplying micronutrients. For macronutrients, you may need some specific minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which can only be discovered by sending a soil test to a good soil lab to see what you have.
Hi Phil, I am Nelson from Malaysia. Out of curiosity, some suppliers said that this brand and most sea minerals fertilisers are just water mixed with nitrate (synthetic), is it correct? Additionally, I tried to google abt the minerals analysis for Sea Crop, but I couldn’t locate any yet… If you have, mind to share the content here?? 🙂
Hi Nelson, the few sea mineral products I know of (including this one) are some form of concentrated sea water with nothing else added at all. This one here is even registered organic, so no synthetic nitrates for sure.I have seen an analysis of Sea Crop somewhere before, but no, I don’t have it right now. I’ll let you know if I ever find it.
Thanks for your explanation Phil :)Recently this supplier has approached me with Liquid Ionic Concentrated Mineral Fertilizing Water, what he mentioned is this is derived from the ocean water too from Arabian Ocean, and he is using membrane filtration and some unique method to extract the minerals in which is different with the method used by Sea Crop/ Ocean Trace, SEA-90 if I am not mistaken.Phil, since you are an expert in farming, what’s your comment on above? 🙂
Sorry Nelson, I’ve never heard of that product and can’t find any information on it online.
That’s what I thought. I couldn’t find anything when i googled that. Thanks Phil! Appreciate your help
Hi, I’m on ocean in Fla. Do I just dive down and get a bucket full of seawater? Heard it wasn’t concentrated enough. What do you think? I’m very new to all of this, but very interested. Please advise Thanks.
Yes, I use 5 quarts per 1000 square feet, mixed in 10-15 gallons of water and watered onto plants and soil. It’s not nearly as concentrated as the sea mineral fertilizer products available, but it’s still full of minerals (which you can taste when you go swimming).
Phil: How often should I treat w/sea salt? Once a month? year? Also, should I skim the top of the ocean water, or jump from boat, in and go a few feet under to harvest? Thanks for responding.
I do it 4 times per year. Skimming off the top of the ocean is perfectly fine.
After you dilute the sea water how do you apply it? I assume I would be applying to my plants?
Yes, you can dilute it in a standalone sprayer (like a backpack sprayer) or use a hose-end sprayer (which then does the diluting for you) to spray it onto your plant leaves – and the soil as well.
I have been given some dead sea mud, is it beneficial as a fertilizer?
Hmm, I’m not sure Ben. Do you have an analysis of what it’s comprised of? And any kind of mineral analysis?
I cannot use fish emulsion in my yard because it attracts raccoons and voles that tear up the yard. Does this product have a fish odor?
No, this one has very little odor, perfect for your situation, Paula.
For comparison, below is a typical sea water analysis:Magnesium 0.13%Sodium 1.07%Calcium 0.04%Potassium 0.04%Chlorides 1.9%Bromides 0.007%
I am a bit confused, I wrote to you yesterday about settings when applying ocean water using the Gimour hose end sprayer to a 250 Sq Ft garden. Your response was ” Setting 10 is 10 Tbsp per gallon, which is a 1 to 25 ratio, so that’s plenty diluted”. How much undiluted sea water am I supposed to put in the hose end sprayer and then apply using setting 10? Thanks, sorry for the confusion
The research has been all over the map about how much to apply, but I’ve settled on applying less ocean water, sprayed more often, in order to avoid applying too much at once.I do 5 liters per 1000 square feet 4 times per year, which would be 1250ml per 250 square feet, or exactly 1/3 gallon of ocean water. So ya, you’d have to make a few passes with the little Gilmour. As for the dilution rate, setting 10 is the highest setting the Gilmour does, which is perhaps unnecessarily dilute, but that’s fine.Alternatively, to speed things up, you can use a watering can, and a 1:10 ratio is fine, which is 375ml (1.5 cups) per gallon of water. So that’s 3.3 gallons of water for your 1/3 gallon of ocean water. Hope that helps.
I have two young apple trees and my raspberries that are yellow and not doing well. I have addediron and magnesium and it last a short while and then they are yellow again. How much sea crop would you give a 6-7 foot apple tree and raspberry plants that are in a row? Thanks
I generally think in terms of square footage: 1/3 cup per 1000 square feet, 4 times a year. Twice as much for fruit trees.RASPBERRIES:If the raspberry patch is 3 feet by 50 feet, that’s 150 square feet. At 1/3 cup per 1000 square feet, that’s a little less than 1 Tbsp for the raspberries – 4 times a year.TREES:Here’s what the sea minerals product developer says for trees:Medium size trees (size 3-6 feet): use 4 oz. SEA-CROP® seawater concentrate per tree, not to exceed 10 gallons per acre per year.Large trees (size 6-12 feet): use 6 oz of SEA-CROP® concentrate per tree, not to exceed 10 gallons per acre per year….Depending on tree size, I would use 1-1.5 oz (2-3 Tbsp) per tree – 4 times a year.
Thank you. I will give it a try.
Sorry there is no scientific proof that see water benefits terrestrial flora and plants cannot use or process the sodium. Good organic soils such as using plain dark compost will better promote good microbes to break down nitrogen and other important micro nutrients.
There’s actually a lot of scientific proof, Ken. Not sure if you have access to the research, but you’ll find it there, and even Google will turn up a few things. And yes, plants not only can process the sodium, but they need it – it’s an important nutrient for them.
Yellowing of fruit trees is basically a nutrient & lack of nitrogen problem or could be poor drainage -hence the leaching of nutrients. Also there is no mention of sun exposure and the amount of hours the trees receive. Sorry no amount of sea water is going to resolve that issue.
Yellowing of fruit trees can be caused by a great number of things, not just nitrogen deficiency and poor drainage.
I farm and am not organic but am interested in using sea salt. Raise corn and soybeans. Have 500 acres but would not be interested in doing the whole farm yet. Right now am interested in knowing a. the availability of your product for this size acreage b. the application rate/year c. the preferred application method ie. broadcast on the soil surface and or applying it in the seed trench d. rough estimate of the cost/year d. do you have any producers that have used you product on a large scale?
a. Yes, if you email me your shipping address and the acreage you want to buy for, I will quote you.
b. The annual application rate is 2-4 gallons per acre, generally divided into 3 applications, usually in the spring, each one about 3 weeks apart.
c. It’s broadcast as a soil drench and foliar fertilizer at a 1-2% dilution rate with water. Often 1 of the applications is before emergence and the other 2 are after, although they can all be done after.
d. For 500 acres, I’d say about $30/acre.
e. Absolutely. If you email me, I can share some examples.
I am from BC (Canada) I love your site. I had a list of product (mycos + sea minerals + … and was going to signup to you for your on line class (I have so much to learn). Then I read ‘sold only in US’…and my heart was broken… _
Hi Karen, my friend Christina should have what you need 🙂 http://www.gardenerspantry.ca
Thank you for your reply to my April ’17 questions, I didn’t see your response till now Jan. 1 2018!
I have some SEA 90 dry sea salt ( I thinks that is the name of the product I bought years ago) I am trying to find out what rate of the dry salt (dissolved and diluted) I should use on a per acre basis. Can you help mw with this.
Here are the instructions for broadcasting it dry: https://seaagri.com/applications/broadcast-application/ (you can also click ‘Instructions’ in their main menu to see other application methods)
You indicated that you could supply me with some examples of large scale farmers that have been using sea 90 as a drench and/or foliar. Would appreciate it you would do that.
Thank you Dave
I don’t have anything on soy, but agronomist John Kempf had these findings:
Corn ~ 2,000 acres, 2 gallons Sea-Crop per acre in the furrow.
Result: Made plants stronger and increased yield by 10%.
Popcorn ~ 200 acres, 2 gallons Sea-Crop per acre in the furrow with a microbial inoculant.
Result: The neighbor across the road on the same type of soil planted the same variety of popcorn. The neighbor used 200 pounds of nitrogen to the acre and the Sea-Crop farmer used 40 pounds of nitrogen. The Sea-Crop treated popcorn gave a 40% greater yield using 80% less fertilizer. The Sea-Crop treated field was ready for harvest 20 days earlier than the conventionally treated field.
if you do a drench for transplants for a 30 ft row, how much diluted sea minerals per transplant
If the row is 1-foot wide, I would use 1/2 teaspoon (5 ml) of Sea-Crop (or if you’re using ocean water, use 1/3 gallon) diluted in as much water as you need to do the drench. Do this 4 times/year, whether as drenches or foliar or a combination.
Is that 5ml for each transplant or 5mls for the 30-foot row?
For the whole row. It’s very concentrated.
Could the sea minerals be used for aquaponics. I am looking for an alternative, since the “supplements” you use for the Tower Garden are not organic. Thanks
I know it’s used in hydroponics at a 1:100 ratio (2.5 Tbsp per gallon of water).
Did Mr. Murray figure out if the naturally occurring halophilic bacteria and archea in the ocean solids contributed to the positive results on crops? Bacteria from the ocean can be found growing on cheese rinds that have been cured using sea salt and in other foods that have been brined or preserved with sea salt.
Good question. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that Murray discounted the biology. What I do know is that the people who make the product discussed on this page believe the biology is of paramount importance and have taken great lengths to preserve it. That’s one reason why the product is liquid instead of solid (because a lot of the biology dies in the dried sea mineral products) and also why the container is opaque, to protect the biology from ultraviolet light.
I have real salt which is harvested from mines in Utah USA. It has 80 or so trace minerals. Is this a good additive for gardening?
Definitely. The application rate recommendation I’ve seen most often is 1 pound per 1000 square feet annually. I’ve seen as high as 10 pounds but to me, that only makes sense if you have a documented sodium deficiency in your soil.
So do you recommend I add dry or dilute? I’ve seen growers add dry to soil on youTube.
Dry is fine. Probably easier.
i have all potted plants, many are large and some small.
should i dose with one teaspoon (diluted) per sq foot?
what is recommended for potted plants?
The application rate, a few times a year, is 1/3 cup per 1000 square feet, which is about 1 teaspoon per 60 square feet or .08 teaspoons per square foot. The dose is very small because it’s so concentrated.
I am on a two-week spray schedule, alternating each time between Liquid Fish and Sea Minerals – the base spray is 2 Tbsp Molasses, 2 Tbsp Bio Ag, and 2 Tbsp Liquid Seaweed, in 2 Gallons Water. I have also been doing a monthly soil drench with Compost Tea. This is in addition to the plants being mulched with homemade compost. The growth and health of the vegetable plants is nothing short of amazing! And, for the first time, the squash plants have not developed powdery mildew as they normally due during the humid summer days.
One thing that is not clear, though, is the recommendation that it not be sprayed when plants are flowering. Plants such as peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers are in a state of constant blooming. If those plants were not sprayed while in bloom, they would never be sprayed. But, since there has been no decrease in fruit set since starting to spray, I am not sure the reason for recommending not spraying when in bloom. Any thoughts on this?
I’ve heard rare stories of plants deflowering when hit with EM, hardly ever, but I just like to be safe. Sounds like it’s working great for you so keep going!
Thanks, Phil! Fortunately, I have not experienced any bloom drop up to this point. I’ll watch the plants following sprays to see if there is any noticeable change in the blooming of the plants.
Saw this in a magazine, and it made me laugh – just thinking about the Sea Minerals I apply to the gardens.
Q: What kind of vitamins do sharks eat?
A: Vitamin Sea
i guess you didnt understand my question
i need the mix ratio of sea mineral fertilizer and water for potted plants.
based on an application every two weeks
i dont need help with molassas and all that other stuff
also, its been about a month since i ordered sea mineral fertilizer and havent received it yet
Hi Richard, I don’t have a record of a question from you or an order from you, but to answer this question here, for potted plants with application every 2 weeks, I would mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea minerals per cup of water and spray the plant foliage with that.
i need another dosage formula i cant use the foliar one you gave me my plants are all indoor potted plants and i cant spray them for many different reasons.
all i can do is normal indoor watering where each pot has a medium size drop pan.
watering levels are from 4 oz per plant up to about a gallon per plant.
what mix do i need for every two weeks a mineral watering?
In that case, I would use just 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water. It’s not a lot per watering but will add up when watering every 2 weeks.
Might be able to help you here. Check out the commercial greenhouse bean trial: https://98e5f4a4-77b2-4834-a51d-2e5c94f46891.filesusr.com/ugd/82f260_9838dfb231c246a28426ee307f8100dc.pdf
Their T6 application resulted in a 68% increase in product mass. Application and concentration rates are discussed throughout, but the “winning formula” for them is found on the last page of the PDF.
I’m container gardening as well, and plan to follow their instructions, as they seem to jive with the other recommendations that have been made here and other places. Mine source is Christina at gardenerspantry.ca, but the product is made in Washington state so if you’re in the U.S. you can source it from Phil up above.
Hope that helps.
I just bought the sea minerals, bioag, and fish fertilizer. My question is: is it okay to use all of these on acid loving plants such as blueberrys? Thank you!
Absolutely. They love all 3 of them.
I’ve been using the em-probiotics/molasses/liquid kelp for a couple of years, every month during the growing season. Last year I also bought the sea minerals. I have used some other organic fertilizers as well (G&B Harvest Supreme, MaxSea, Steer Manure.) My flowers and ornamentals look pretty good, but I just had my soil tested for the first time and it showed that I am very low in nitrogen, yet very high in Phosphorus/potassium/calcium. Do you think I can go on using the products I purchased from you (along with some recommended blood meal) while my levels are so high?
Yes, the products you’re using from me are more about micronutrients than macro. The other fertilizers you mentioned in brackets above may bring in too much phosphorus/potassium.
Thanks for your reply. I’m so glad because I love using your products!
hi 🙂 just wanted to say that I have found that I learn A LOT from reading through responses to questions posed by readers. Appreciate your care in giving thoughtful answers!
Regarding mixing the sea minerals with molasses, seaweed and microbial innoculants: What are the amounts of the other products per 5 Tbsp. Then is that whole solution sprayed on at 5 Tbsp per gallon- or did you mean just the Sea minerals. Also can I use this on everything in my garden- vegetables, flowers, bushes etc? Or will it harm some things?
Also, I understand you to say at a rate of 4 times per year, correct? I assume early spring, late spring, mid-summer, early fall?
Here’s a link to help you figure out the application rates for all of my products ( https://www.smilinggardener.com/sale/calculator/ ).
You can use it on everything but flowers in bloom can be sensitive, so I either skip them or just do a very light pass on them, but skipping is the safest.
Yes, that schedule is perfect. It could be divided into even more times per year (some people do it monthly or even more) with the application rate reduced, but if you’re doing 4 times, that’s a good schedule.
Many thanks Phil. This is very helpful.👍