Well today turned out to be slightly different from planned which happens quite a lot in my world. I’m not complaining as life can be more exciting (sometimes) when you do things on a ‘whim’. Today we woke up to sunshine, although a little cold as we have a northerly wind but decided it was a perfect morning to collect seaweed for the garden. It’s a great FREE organic fertilizer, mulch and can also be used as pest control.
Seaweed is so good for the garden soil and plants due to the amazing amount of trace elements (these are the nutrients that plants only need a little of), potassium, magnesium, growth hormones, nutrients, and anti fungal and disease elements.
If you are not lucky enough to live close to the sea and collect seaweed fresh, don’t panic as seaweed can be used in its natural form or as a powder or liquid fertilizer and is available in most good garden centers. It can be used as a foliage spray on both plants and seedlings. It can help prevent disease (mold and fungus growth), act as a growth simulator, due to the micro nutrients and help set fruits. To make your own seaweed fertilizer you will need to fill a bucket or barrel to 3/4 full with fresh water. Add as much seaweed as you need to fill it up and leave to soak for at least 6 weeks, even several months stirring every few days. It is best to keep it somewhere ‘out of the way’ as it will smell pretty bad for a while. It is ready to use when it no longer ‘stinks’. It should be diluted before you use it, at least a minimum of 3-4 parts of water to 1 part of seaweed fertilizer.
Seaweed also works as a great mulch and unlike other ground cover mulch at often make a great hiding place for slugs, snails, earwigs and other little pests, the seaweed is both salty and as it dries it crisps up and makes it very uncomfortable for these horrid little critters to crawl on. It is also great as a weed suppressant and any weeds that do manage to pop up above the seaweed can be easily seen and destroyed.
Seaweed is also great for the compost heap as it helps to condition your compost with trace elements so that when you use it in your garden you are getting the benefit both from the mulch and the compost. I would advise you to mix it with such materials as straw, paper or dried leaves when composting, otherwise it will become very slimy and leave your compost pile smelling rancid.
Seaweed is also great for the garden if you haven’t got time for manure to age, as seaweed can be used straight away and dug into the soil before planting up your fruit and veg.
We collected a couple of trailers full of seaweed today, with the help of one of our dogs Tilly, she not only loves the beach, but loves water:)
Tomorrow I will put some seaweed around my tomato plants, put some into a barrel for fertilizer and some onto the compost heap….and maybe get some of the other jobs done that I had initially planned for today 😉
Thanks for tuning in and happy gardening.