February looks to be a very busy month for gardeners – trees and flowers are blooming earlier than usual, and there are scads of events happening. Following our last meeting, I was searching various sites for information on the exact nutrients that Seaweed could bring to a garden. The University of Florida site was the most specific, citing that nutrient concentrations would vary by species, but generally that seaweed has 1.5% Nitrogen, 0.1% phosphorus, 1.3% potassium, 5% calcium, 1.3% magnesium and “various essential nutrients”.
Marion Owen’s blog: www.plantea.com , suggests that seaweed contains 70 mineral, vitamins and enzymes, which stimulate soil bacteria. Since it decomposes fairly quickly, it can be placed directly onto your garden or into planters (as they do in Nova Scotia), and is probably best done early in the spring. The seawater on the weed isn’t salty enough to hurt garden plants, but one biologist did suggest rinsing the weed while at the beach, to release the tiny plants and animals that may be living/hiding in there, waiting to wash back into the sea with the next tide. He also suggested that we respect the species that live on that stretch of beach, and not strip all the seaweed (shades of clear-cutting).
Dried eel grass may keep cats away from gardens, and the fresh seaweed will deter slugs and cabbage worms. Should a Garden Club Field Trip to a quiet beach be organized? Your thinking about Field Trips – editor. L.F.