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Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

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Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

Post  sanderson on 2/19/2015, 11:35 am

I will be building a new compost pile today using fresh seaweed.  I used the C:N calculator to try to determine how much brown leaves, fresh (rinsed and chopped) sea weed, and horse manure to use.  I used cow manure at 17 for the kelp.  Does anyone have advice on how much seaweed I can use in my 3' x 3' x 3' compost bin?

C:N calculator:  http://www.klickitatcounty.org/solidwaste/fileshtml/organics/compostCalc.htm

According to this article it is 25. http://recycledorganics.com/infosheets/5csi/IS5-07.pdf

This article states 19: http://homecompostingmadeeasy.com/carbonnitrogenratio.html

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Re: Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/19/2015, 12:36 pm

Sanderson, as far as I'm concerned seaweed is like eating salad on a diet - unlimited!  The more the better.  I've found the C:N #'s in the past and it's different for different types, but the numbers are so small. I think the main attraction to seaweed is that it aids the plants in taking up all the nutrients available in the MM/compost/soil.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge will chime in.

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Re: Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

Post  Yardslave on 2/19/2015, 12:58 pm

Sanderson, there's a discussion HERE that I hope will answer your question. My experience with common brown kelp in compost is that it acts like grass clippings, but the kelp needs to be shredded to break down effectively. I tossed an armload of unshredded kelp in my bin and it was a bear to turn and made sifting a lot of work, so now I chop the fronds or leaves up for composting, and keep the bracts, or branches, immersed in a covered 40 gallon garbage can full of rainwater to break down into a liquid fert that I can just apply undiluted. Stinks to high heaven, but is a fantastic plant food- my roses an fruit trees love it!. I keep an old blender in my shop to juice up a batch that I mix with a 5 gallon bucket, let it sit for a few days then drench the tops of the beds with it before I add a layer of mulch on top- keeps the microbes happy.

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Re: Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

Post  sanderson on 2/19/2015, 1:42 pm

Thanks guys. The smell is normal on the beach but stinky out-of-place in my tiny city back yard. Well, so does my Berkeley compost piles! Embarassed

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Re: Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

Post  camprn on 2/19/2015, 8:33 pm

If it really starts to stink badly, sprinkle a layer of your sawdust soil mix on top. What a Face

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Re: Sea weed / kelp C:N ratio for composting caluclations?

Post  sanderson on 2/19/2015, 11:41 pm

Very Happy

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