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Seaweed

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Seaweed

Post  Icemaiden on 3/14/2012, 12:21 pm

Hi!
Does anyone have experience of composting seaweed?
We just had some bad storms with the sea driven on to the coast so today I went out, braved the strange looks, and collected some bags of seaweed.
Some I plan to put on the rhubarb as a mulch, the rest I want to compost. I read that it is very good for getting the pile going.
Some folk say that it needs to be washed, some say don't bother. Does it need chopping-up a bit? I took the frondy parts and ignored the thick stems.
Any seaweed experts out there?

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Re: Seaweed

Post  walshevak on 3/14/2012, 12:55 pm

Not an expert but I say wash the salt off. Salt can kill plants quickly. I've heard it makes very good compost. Chopping anything makes it compost quicker, so up to you.



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Re: Seaweed

Post  camprn on 3/14/2012, 1:10 pm

you will have to wash the salt off. There are a few previous threads about using seaweed as compost. Check the search feature.

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Re: Seaweed

Post  Icemaiden on 3/15/2012, 12:22 pm

@camprn wrote:you will have to wash the salt off. There are a few previous threads about using seaweed as compost. Check the search feature.

I did that before I posted and only found stuff about liquid seaweed fertilizer and seaweed compost. I didn't see any post about the actualy composting of the stuff. No doubt it composts like any other green stuff, I just wondered if there was any particular advice which I could benefit from.
I have washed it just to be on the safe side - though I suspect it got rained on pretty heavily before I got my hands on it. I let it steep for a while in very hot water as I thought I might manage to reduce the flies that way. No one is going to love me if they start breeding in my garden Laughing

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Re: Seaweed

Post  camprn on 3/15/2012, 8:49 pm

Hmmm I couldn't find it either. Here is some info. http://ventnorpermaculture.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/using-seaweed-in-the-garden/

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Re: Seaweed

Post  Icemaiden on 3/16/2012, 4:48 am

Great link, thanks.
Good thing I made the effort to collect and wash it yesterday - back to the all white look this morning Mad

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Re: Seaweed

Post  KDeus on 4/18/2012, 9:09 am

We were out at the beach for dinner a few nights ago and I told the family we were going to collect seaweed. I got a few strange looks. As my husband and I collected that, the kids collected shells, so all was good. Didn't find a lot, but what we did find, I rinsed several times in a bucket and threw it in the compost bin and covered with a layer of leaves. I've read that it can accelerate compost. Will have to wait and see! The dog sure loved the fishy smell Smile
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Re: Seaweed

Post  1airdoc on 4/18/2012, 2:01 pm

Here is a link about using seaweed and kelp in the garden directly.

This is another site describing composting of seaweed (no surprises here - just treat it as any other "green" after washing it).

I also found this description of making and using seaweed tea: "Put clean seaweed in a bucket and add water. After 2 weeks or up to 3 months later, use the liquid on plants to fertilize the roots. Do not splash this on plant leaves and as with any fertilizer, do not over use. In a 5 gallon bucket, add 1/5 bucket of seaweed and fill with water."

Apparently, Rodale’s Complete Book of Composting has this to say about seaweed in the garden: “Fresh seaweed is rather similar in its organic matter content as compared with ordinary farm-yard manure....Wherever it can be collected easily, with not too much load and expense, it is one of the most ideal materials for fertilizing and composting.” The only thing that is missing is phosphorous, a key agent in helping plants store and transfer energy.
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Re: Seaweed

Post  Icemaiden on 4/18/2012, 2:21 pm

What is a good source for phosphorous? Bat dung? Not much of that here! But lots of seaweed to collect.

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Re: Seaweed

Post  KDeus on 4/18/2012, 4:27 pm

Great articles! Thanks! The one I had come across for seaweed tea mentioned that many may not use it that way because of the smell. Here's another article and mentioned at the bottom to add molasses to ward off the smell. Never knew that!
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Re: Seaweed

Post  KDeus on 4/18/2012, 4:31 pm

@Icemaiden wrote:What is a good source for phosphorous? Bat dung? Not much of that here! But lots of seaweed to collect.

Well, according to this article, a pee-pot may help!
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