ARE constantly being told that our soils lack selenium. Could you
please tell me what I can put on the vegetable garden to help build
up the selenium?
in many parts of New Zealand contain relatively low levels of the
trace element selenium. While this seems to have little, if any,
effect on plant growth, the detrimental effect on animals, such
as horses and cattle, that feed on plants grown on these soils is
reasonably well documented. The effect on the New Zealand population
is less clear.
Among other things, selenium
is often referred to as a cancer-preventing nutrient in much the
same way as antioxidants are. Some medical experts claim if you
eat a balanced diet, including grains, meat and fish, you should
receive an adequate daily amount of selenium. Other experts promote
the regular use of selenium supplements.
It's important to note
selenium is only required in our bodies in small amounts and you
can get ill from taking too much.
For a wide range of information
on the topic, type "selenium in New Zealand soil" into a Google
internet search and you'll find impartial medical and scientific
opinions, along with those from vested interests such as companies
promoting health food supplements.
If you want to apply
selenium to your vegetables, the simplest way is to use fertiliser
based on fish waste - like Nature's Way Fish Emulsion - which usually
list selenium among the trace elements on the label.
Gardener, Issue 167, 2005, Page 26
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.