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Benefits of Seaweed In The Garden

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pier-at-Galway-BayThere are many ways you can use seaweed in the garden and if like me, you are lucky enough to live so close to the sea you can smell it then it’s hard to resist getting some.

I am about a mile away from the shore line here in Galway and I use my trike to get me there and back. I have a large basket on the back of my trike which is great as it holds quite a decent amount.

trike-with-basket-of-seaweedI trike down to the bay a few times a week now to collect seaweed as it is very plentiful. I am very interested in experimenting with permaculture methods of growing and I am using the seaweed to create my first little permaculture garden 

Bhuí
The seaweed I collect is called Ascophyllum nodosum or Fearmainn or bhuí in Irish and looks like long, brown tangled fronds with bubbles. If you want some more detailed information about this you will find it here on wikipedia.

BENEFITS OF SEAWEED IN THE GARDEN

  • It’s free!
  • Using seaweed in the garden as a mulch stops the soil getting too dried out, though apart from the occasional heat wave, this is not usually a problem for us cold wet souls in Galway.
  • By preventing sunlight reaching the soil seaweed is a great weed prevention strategy.
  • Seaweed has lots of nutrients and minerals to boost and fertilize your soil. This is why people also like to slosh around in seaweed baths.
  • It’s free!
  • Unlike mulching with hay there is no danger of seaweed dropping millions of weed seeds into your soil.
  • Apparently slugs don’t like it, as it is salty, although some say that the salt kills worms and you should wash the seaweed before placing. We don’t have this problem in Galway. In a rainy country like Ireland the seaweed will have already been washed – if you collect it from the beach.
  • It’s free!
  • Seaweed breaks down and composes really easily and becomes dry and crispy – another thing slugs aren’t meant to like.
  • If you enjoy walking, biking or even triking like me collecting the seaweed adds a purpose to the trip and in my case it adds a bit of weight to the back of my trike. Since it’s uphill all the way back home – triking with a basket of seaweed is surely worth a visit to a gym and did I mention one of the greatest benefits of seaweed in the garden – it’s free.
  • If you have raised beds, a great thing to do in the winter is to cover them with layers of newspaper, cardboard and finally a large heap of seaweed. This will break down over winter and come spring you will have a lovely wormy soil in your beds.

I am sure there are more benefits of seaweed in the garden than I have listed but a word of warning…. Be careful when seaweed’s wet. It can be lethal!

A few years ago I slipped on a seaweed covered slope, broke my leg in two places and smashed my ankle – so be careful out there!

Bye for now and happy gardening

Grace

P.S. To obtain and share a FREE 21 card set of the original permaculture ethics and principles click here.

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