Double Digging Using Seaweed

by Kiwi George
(Wellington N.Z.)

Hi Organic No Dig people from New Zealand. Although I am a confirmed No Dig organic gardener I recall helping my father trenching/double digging the barley and lupin green manure every year, and the magnificent crops he produced. Unfortunately the return for my efforts this year were not up to expectations and I am, albeit at a small section each day due to a dicky ticker, thinking of trenching/double digging the seaweed a recent storm in the Wellington area has blessed me with, rather than incorporating it into my compost heaps or soaking it in my liquid manure barrel and foliar feeding the plants.
Has anyone tried this method of enriching their patch and if so, how long before the patch can be planted.
Regards
Kiwi George

Comments for Double Digging Using Seaweed

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Aug 10, 2011
Burying seaweed under plants and spuds
by: Ryan, Oz

George mate, what we do around here in Oz would work for you in long white cloud land. I do this for spuds but Mae down the track does it for the most beautiful big healthy cukes, zukes, melons, pumpkins and I think toms.
Dig your trench for spuds or hole for plants and put in a great pile of seaweed in the bottom, a smidge of soil and bang in your spuds or plants and firm soil around.
Never get any diseases and the plants romp away. I also trail seaweed around the garden between the plants and it keeps peskie cats and possums at a distance. I don’t do compost, can’t be bothered, just throw everything on garden and bury a bit or put lots of seaweed on top sometimes along with old stable straw if Mae's dropped me off a load. Happy eating!

Aug 10, 2011
Seaweed
by: Kiwi George

Hi Ryan and thanks for the comment mate. Looks like we have been down the same seaweed road but this is the first time I have buried it as I have in the past been soaking some with Comfrey in my foliar feed barrel, some I dry and feed through the mulcher for mulch around the toms and some I use as a root feed via an upturned 1/2 gallon jar. As you have found, this gives me disease free toms but unfortunately my fine tilth soil is very attractive to our local moggies as a dirt box so I will have to try the leaving wet seaweed as a deterrent. Do you use different types of seaweed for different roles or just put it all together as when I can, I get kelp as it seems to give the best growth when mixed with the Comfrey whereas the everyday stuff gets dried.
Thanks again, Happy veggies
George

Aug 11, 2011
Seaweed sorts
by: Ryan

Here on the Victorian coast, we get a frilly pale seaweed, and lots of dark long trails with pods on and some wrinkly soft kelp I imagine it is. I use it all together, it is light and I reckon roots can work through or around it as it breaks down, but if I spy that heavy leather kelp I put that in a pile way out the back with other big organic materials like branches, and any fresh animal manure (chooks) (about the nearest thing you could call my compost pile) and it attract any walkabouts in its own good time.

George mate I'm impressed as you sure to seem to know what you’re doing. Good for giving others lots of useful tips.

Aug 11, 2011
Seaweed
by: Kiwi George

Hi Ryan.The more we chat the more we seem to be the same. I call the soft light green frilly stuff "Sea Lettuce" which grows in the warmer shallow water and garners more nutrients but also more pollution as this also seems to be more prolific in shallow water. It also produces the worst "pong" when brewed in my liquid manure bin !!!! The long strings with pods is the usual stuff I harvest and that gets dried and mulched. My favorite for the liquid manure bin is "the red lacy" stuff which rots down very quickly but the best all round is the big strappy kelp which makes the most gorgeous coloured liquid manure and also has a real "nose". It also rots down fastest due to it's soft outer but the stringy core takes a long time. I wonder what the Vic. seaweed collecting "rules" are as I can take as much as I like above the "Mean High Water Mark" but as yet no one can tell where this mark is but as long as I do not harvest "live" seaweed the Conservation boys do not mind. I just wait for a good Southerly storm and go get it as this is the only time kelp is available. We have an organic gardening Guru who writes for our Saturday paper and she is a real seaweed "nutter". Apparently many moons ago our coastal Maori people used seaweed extensively when the slash and burn agriculture style stopped producing enough food and she has studied their methods.
Regards
George

Aug 17, 2011
Seaweed in garden
by: Ryan, Oz

Interesting reading. I only take the storm seaweed and any interesting looking logs that get thrown up past the high tide mark. Guess that's not anti conservation, better in my garden that on the stony track.

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