After a week at home with only three outings – 3 mornings in a row to the supermarket for a very short time, I was wanting to go out but kept feeling like it wasn’t a smart thing to do. Then a friend phoned and asked if I would like to go to the beach on the Forestier Peninsula near Dunalley and bag up more seaweed (which we had done a few weeks ago while returning from the Koonya garlic festival). I wondered if I would be putting myself in harm’s way, then thought I would risk it. And that it would be good for my friend who has been working every day for the past fortnight and more. We both needed to get away.
Well it was bracing to say the least. I had taken a beanie and winter jacket. The wind was fierce. The sea was a choppy beautiful aqua green. Black Oystercatchers were patrolling the sand. And we laughed manically like we do when wetsuit cladded we enter the water at Clifton Beach. Sheer madness. It was so invigorating. So wonderful to be out in the fresh air doing something. We struggled against the wind and filled 5 large black garbage bags, a box, and at least a dozen smaller shopping bags. There was so much seaweed along the beach you couldn’t see where we had been. An experience that lifted our spirit. Life giving. Vital.
The seaweed is a boon. One Google site tells me ‘Seaweed contains useful amounts of iodine, copper, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. There’s no need to wash it or dry it before use in the garden. You can use it as a mulch, add it to your compost or brew it into a seaweed tea.’ Another site tells me ‘Seaweed is a broad spectrum fertilizer that is rich in beneficial trace minerals and hormones that stimulate plant growth. Seaweed is high in carbohydrates which are essential building blocks in growing plants, and low in cellulose so it breaks down readily. Seaweed shares no diseases with land plants.’
I brought the slim fettuccine sized seaweed home for use in my garden. Mindful that it will contain some salt that might kill off some of my plants, I have made a pile in a corner and will let it sit and be rained on for a while to help wash away the salt. This waiting period will also help to start breaking down the fibres. With any luck the salt will kill those roots of my neighbours trees which have grown under the fence and onto my property deep in the soil. Maybe.
The eartheasy site https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/how-to-use-seaweed-to-mulch-your-garden/ details the benefits of seaweed and provides other information.
By the way, does anyone want/need some empty pots? There are many more outside the picture frame above, all of which I am happy to give away. I can tell you the address, then you can collect them without seeing me – so isolation can be preserved. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org