Benefits of seaweed application to garden

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by proflex4ever, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. proflex4ever

    proflex4ever Member

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    Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.
    Every fall something inside me directs me to the local beaches after a storm to collect seaweed to mulch my garden beds with. I am wondering if someone has an opinion of what benefits adding seaweed to garden beds has. Thank you and I look forward to any information.
    chris
     
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Seaweed is very nutritious for plants. I am reminded of what I read about the traditional way of growing potatoes employed by the crofters of highland Scotland for hundreds of years. No other fertiliser or manure was used, only fresh seaweed which was spread in copious quantities over the prepared bed, onto which the seed potatoes were placed and the whole thing was covered up by a few inches of the sandy coastal soil.

    Hopefully the plants in your garden grow as well as the potatoes in the isles of Scotland. I live a long way from the sea, so have to make do with small and expensive bottles of seaweed extract from the garden centre, but believe me I would collect seaweed too if I lived near the beach!
     
  3. proflex4ever

    proflex4ever Member

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    Most excellent info Maf! God bless the internet. Happy gardening in the English Isles.
    chris on the Coast
     
  4. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Pro,

    I try and gather seaweed whenever it is available in my beach town. I think like maf that it is hugely beneficial to the soil. I don't have any science to support my hypothesis but it's definitely therapeutic to to gather it and there is no question that it benefits soil biology with organic matter.

    Last year there was almost none but a good storm the year before yielded a few hundred pounds. It provided a light coating.
     
  5. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I live about 2 miles from the beach - Jericho beach, to those who live in Vancouver - and I have thought of gathering seaweed in the winter. But I have always feared that a lot of salt would come with them somehow. Any comments?
     
  6. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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  7. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    The salt in seaweed is not a concern. If the idea psyches you out a soak or a hose down should alleviate your issues.

    As far as the paper cited above, it is referring to extracts. Adding seaweed to soil obviously is a positive because of organic matter, the trace elements must have a measure of usefulness. Adding whole seaweed is markedly different that adding an extract. apple::apple juice ?
     
  8. proflex4ever

    proflex4ever Member

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    Excellent. Thanks Bjo for the link to the previous thread re: seaweed in the garden. I have through and feel quite comfortable adding seaweed straight to the garden. Like composting, there is something about heading to the local beaches and harvesting seaweed that is soul enriching. Thanks all for the comments.
     

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