Glasshouse growing conditions are ideal for using natural biostimulants to increase the efficiency of fertiliser programmes. Neil Chambers, Technical Manager at Bell Brother Nurseries Ltd, has been talking to us about his use of seaweed extract Stimplex to help minimise growing times, produce healthier, more resilient plants and reduce chemical inputs.
Increasing levels of research into the various beneficial compounds naturally present within Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed, has given us valuable insight into its key modes of action: how it contributes to improvements in root development, increases nutrient uptake and stimulates plant growth. Stimplex, is a concentrated liquid based on North Atlantic Ascophyllum nodosum produced by Acadian Seaplants Limited (ASL), the globally recognised industry leaders in the harvesting and processing of seaweed-based products.
Having a good knowledge of the potential benefits of using seaweed Neil, had trialled a number of seaweed brands but with varying results. It was with Stimplex that he has achieved the consistency of performance he was looking for.
In our experience, Stimplex is the best seaweed extract there is. We use it all the time and on everything….With such rapid and sustained root development we are achieving much more efficient nutrient uptake from the compost .
Neil is adding Stimplex to the feed regime as a background when the plugs are at true leaf stage, and to the pot plants from potting stage. It is being applied at a constant rate of 0.1 ml per litre of water. With no other increases in fertilisers, growing times for many potted plants have been reduced by an average of 1 week. Neil also reported general improvements in plant health that have allowed him to reduce their use of fungicides and insecticides.
You only have to look at the plant roots to see the biostimulant effect of Stimplex… but other benefits are less obvious. In addition to being healthier, our plants are more resistant to water stress – which means less water is required, and the stimulation of more branching increases plant density and number of blooms per plant.”
Recent research has shown that Stimplex, rather than directly providing auxins and cytokinins, induces the plant’s own production of these natural growth compounds. This naturally stimulates cell division and regulates cell elongation to produce larger root systems leading to more efficient uptake of nutrients from the compost and feed programme.
In addition, the uniquely complex blend of natural organic acids in Stimplex act as nutrient ‘chelators’. These help bind the required nutrients in a form that can be more easily transported and used by the plant. Again this helps the plant fully utilise the fertiliser being provided, optimising plant health and vigour.
To find out more, click to view Bell Brothers Nurseries Ltd full case study.