Seaweed Gardening

linchat(10b)May 7, 2008

I know their has been many posts, but, have not clearly got an answer to these questions.

Do I need to dry seaweed before mulching with it? Why?

I live east coast Florida, do I need to be concerned about contamination from seaweed? Arsenic, Ecoli and so forth?

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In any general sense there is no need to dry your seaweed before using it as a mulch, however, rinsing it to remove as much sea water as possible is a good idea. Whether you need be concerned about contamination depends on where you are and where you are collecting that seaweed. Some places will contain enough pollutants to be of concern while other places the pollutants will be so dilute they are not a concern.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:29AM
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Don't bother with rinsing; just leave it in a pile and let it get a couple of good rain-drenches. Seaweed dries out wicked fast and then will pretty much cease to break down, especially in florida sun and sand soil. I would put it on wet and then put a couple inches of sand over it to help keep it moist.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:33AM
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You don't need to rinse seaweed by any method. Thalassa Cruso, Eliot Coleman and the author of the Good Green Garden, whose name I cannot remember, all say that rinsing is unnecessary. I don't know anything about Florida, but Maine seaweed is edible, and I assume fairly pollutant free.

I use all I can get my hands on. Seaweed does dry out quickly, but every time it rains, it rehydrates, which is one reason I like it so much.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Yes, it's quite unlikely that one could introduce enough seaweed to seriously salinize the soil. The Nearings used hardly anything else for compost in their Maine place (Coleman was their star disciple) and apparently never had a problem.....

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:37PM
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We had seaweed to our garden yearly. I use it for mulch. It's an excellent weed suppressant. It's also excellent for tea used to water plants. It's the only "fertilizer" I use for thousands of seedlings every year. When I have enough for mulch the next loads go into the compost bins. There's no need to rinse it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 7:04AM
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celticgarden(z6b CT)

How do all of you collect it? I have loaded it into trash bags and hauled it that way but wet seaweed is heavy. Not to mention the odd looks from the multitudes of CT people who don't know anything or much about sustainable growing. What a gift seaweed is!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 11:10AM
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