The benefits of seaweed extract to promote growth and help plants resist disease and pests are well known. In this article from Chase Organics we look at Chase SM3, the first seaweed extract, and its history in detail.
The fascinating history of Chase SM3 Seaweed Extract
Chase was established over 100 years ago in 1912 by Major L.H. Chase, inventor of the Chase Cloche. The business really took off during the war years and the Dig for Victory campaign, when the company adopted the slogan “Cloches vs Hitler”!
Chase also grew their own organic seeds, and the first Chase mail order seed catalogue was published in 1945 and is still going strong today!
After the war, Chase was approached by the government to help in the re-inhabitation of Alderney. Alderney was evacuated at the start of the second world war and like the rest of the channel islands, occupied by the Germans until 1945.
This was when the company became interested in the potential of using seaweed in horticulture, so we started producing seaweed extract in the 1950s.
The First Seaweed Extract
SM3 was the first seaweed extract produced by Chase, and it was originally called Sea Magic – it worked wonders for plants but in those days nobody knew why! Now, thanks to our ongoing research, we know!
Why & How Does Seaweed Extract Help Plants
Seaweed grows in a tough environment. It survives the dry and wet conditions of tidal waters and a wide range of temperatures, not to mention the effects of storms and currents. It is therefore not surprising that it contains high levels of plant growth stimulants including hormones, trace elements, complex sugars and alginates which enable it to flourish and regrow.
Sustainable Seaweed Production
Our seaweed originates from the Atlantic shores of the British Isles, where seaweed has been harvested for generations. It is a truly renewable resource as the seaweed is cut by hand taking care that about 15cm of stalk is left for re-growth. This means it can be harvested every four years without endangering its survival.
A gentle, aqueous, chemical free process is used to extract the liquid, that can best be compared with coffee percolation on a huge scale! Nothing is added apart from food grade preservatives to maintain stability.
It is this natural characteristic that has enabled Chase Seaweed Extracts to be approved for use on organic crops by the relevant bodies in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Spain and other countries.
What Does SM3 Seaweed Extract Contain?
Chase SM3 contains 15% seaweed solids, and is just pure seaweed extract – nothing added and nothing taken away. It enables plants to make more efficient use of nutrients, leading to improved yield, taste and colour, and increased resistance to pests and diseases, drought and marginal frosts.
Amongst the various seaweed products available to gardeners, Chase SM3 is unique in being very slightly acidic, which further enhances the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Other Seaweed Extract Products from Chase
Farmers around the world use our Chase SM6 (which contains 30% solids) to increase crop yield and quality. They consider it a sensible investment! And in recent years our Agronomist and Sales Manager Bernard Courtney has developed the range further, to produce Chase SM4 and Chase SM5.
Chase SM4 Seaweed Plus Feed is a blend of plant derived nutrients and professional grade Chase SM6 seaweed extract. It is a complete organic, animal free biostimulant and plant food with an NPK analysis of 5-2-5, together with Calcium, Iron and Magnesium and other trace elements, plus the benefits of seaweed.
The balanced organic fertiliser content from entirely plant based sources makes this an excellent all round plant food. It is particularly good for heavy feeders such as tomatoes and cauliflowers.
Latest Chase Seaweed Extract
Chase SM5 was released to great excitement at last year’s National Fruit Show in Kent.
Specially formulated for use on fruiting varieties, and with a nutrient balance high in potash, Chase SM5 will encourage bigger yields of better tasting crops of tomatoes, sweet peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, strawberries and many other fruiting plants, as well as improving all round plant growth and development. It has an NPK value of 3-1.5-6.
60 Years of Trials Prove Seaweed Success
Chase seaweed extracts have been proven in nearly 60 years of trials, which is a historical record to be proud of. Expanding worldwide sales are proof that the product works on an extensive range of crops in a wide variety of climatic conditions.
The Chase family of modern, sustainably sourced plant nutrition products continues to grow from strength to strength, and is used by farmers and gardeners on every continent on the planet!
In December 2017, Chase Organics’ Seeds and Retail business was acquired by Suttons Consumer Products Ltd. and so ended a 105 years of serving the public, although Chase Organics Ltd. will continue supplying the commercial market with Seaweed based Plant Nutrition products.