Monday, 15 September 2008

Seaweed

So one of the big things achieved on Saturday was finally going and collecting some seaweed off the shore. We live by the sea, so there really aren't any excuses as to why it took so long, but it's done now. We've had a good few stormy days/weeks here in Northern Ireland so the beaches were known to be covered in the stuff but really, we weren't expecting this...


(Note the right photo has our wonderful Carrick Castle in the background.)

Every inch was covered in free, organic soil conditioner! We took 4 bags and you wouldn't have noticed, brought it back to the allotment and Andrew raked it out over the grass to let it dry out a good bit in the sun. Saturday was gorgeous in Carrickfergus and our wee plot smelt of the beach; lovely. We even had lollipops in the afternoon.

When it was time for home, the seaweed was gathered up and taken home with us. Andrew put it through the garden shredder (no problems and fun too). Back in bags it was ready to be taken back to the plot on Sunday, when it was put on the permanent bed as a mulch.

I have looked up the benefits of seaweed in a book - The Royal Horticultural Society: Essential Gardening Techniques by M. Beazley. None of our collection of books says much more than this and many say a lot less....As a Soil Conditioner it is 'rich in minerals' and as a fertiliser it 'has a strengthening effect on plants, particularly when they are young'. From others on the allotment, well, they just know it's good stuff and people have been using it for donkey's years (good enough for me, though I will not eat the darn stuff, I draw a line).
Some of the seaweed also went into the compost bin, along with lots of paper shreddings, cardboard and leaf mould from Mamma G's garden. It is roasting, the warmth hits you when the lid comes off and it's too hot to touch if you poke a finger down into it. Seems to me like it will be goods stuff.

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