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Seaweed Mulch

July 31st, 2014

My tomato plants in the potager behind the house are much deeper green, more compact and overall much better looking than my tomatoes plants in the main garden behind the garage. I was trying to figure out why since the soil is very similar in both gardens and the plants have been treated almost exactly the same. The plants in the back garden have actually been fertilized more than the ones in the potager.
tomato plant
Then I remembered that the plants in the potager have been mulched with seaweed from when we buy lobsters. It acts as a seaweed tea of course, every time it rains the plants get a low dose of healthy nutrients.
seaweed mulch
Seaweed is a dynamic accumulator, it also contains loads of minerals and micronutrients. I don’t harvest seaweed for my garden, but whenever I get it when we purchase lobsters it goes right around my prize plants.  Comfrey is a good alternative to seaweed if you don’t live near the ocean.  I also grow massive amounts of comfrey to use in/around favorite plants.  I always throw some in planting holes because it stimulates root growth & development.  Comfrey deserves it’s own post, more on that wonder plant later.

What’s your favorite local mulch product?

5 Comments to “Seaweed Mulch”
  1. Nebraska Dave on July 31, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Susy, you totally know my mulch of choice is fall yard waste. It still amazes me at how one foot of sheet mulching can compost down to only a couple inches of nice compost in a single season. Not only has the weed issue been easier to control but the soil it getting better at holding moisture and not quite as sticky. The soil texture at Terra Nova Gardens is one of what is called river bottom gumbo. It’s a soil that is rich in nutrients but tends to get very sticky when wet. If working the soil is tried when it’s wet it will dry out rock hard. The slow sheet composting has helped to eliminate this condition. The more compost that I’ve added the softer and more manageable the soil has become. Folks always ask why I don’t till in the mulch and don’t understand that sheet mulching trickles the nutrients down into the soil below slowly as decomposition happens.

    Have a great seaweed mulch day.

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  2. Ken Toney on July 31, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve been using comfrey leaves and rabbit manure to side dress and mulch my garden. I learned about the wonders of comfrey from Rise and Shine Rabbitry, http://www.riseandshinerabbitry.com .

    Reply to Ken Toney's comment

  3. Lorna on August 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Now that we live in New England, I like to use a LOT of chopped leaves. I’ve also been fortunate to have access to some very nutrient dense mulch hay. I’ve dabbled with the seaweed I gather when we visit my sister-in-law near the coast, but I’ve always wanted to try using comfrey. I don’t have any growing on my property, although it does grow around here. What I need is a nice neighbor to offer me some to transplant :) I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts/methods on using comfrey in the garden.

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  4. Amy on August 2, 2014 at 6:41 am

    I brought home seaweed from the beach a few years ago. The tomato that I put it on did not do as well as the others. I have always wondered if it was a fluke or if the seaweed was too salty. Do you think I should have rinsed the salt water off of it?

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  5. Tommy on August 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Susy, You inspired me—I went down to the beach on Saturday morning and loaded-up on a bunch of seaweed. I brought it home and put it around most of my veggies plants in the garden. I’ve never used seaweed directly, but I have used a lot of fish offal (heads, guts, scales, etc.) from the fish market, letting it compost down or planting it directly under the planting rows. I’ll let you know how my plants do with the seaweed treatment!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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