Did you know that seaweed is an excellent natural fertilizer for the garden? That’s right! Seaweed is chock-full of beneficial trace minerals, micro-nutrients, and carbohydrates that stimulate healthy plant growth. Lucky for us, we’re surrounded by oodles of it in the Pacific Northwest.
I’ve been gardening for years but using seaweed as a fertilizer was new to me. I was first inspired to start collecting seaweed on our kayaking day trips after watching a garden series based in Ireland, similar to our Pacific Northwest climate. One by one after each trip, I would top dress my 10+ raised beds then cover with plastic for the winter. Come spring, all the seaweed was nicely broken down and easy to work into the soil. We’re now in the heat of summer and my veggies and flowers are bigger than ever before!
I’ve been asked many times, so what about the salt? I haven’t noticed or read about any adverse effects. In fact, the salt seems to be a bonus for fending off pesky slugs that are known to devour crops in the night. If you’re worried about a salt overload, a quick rinse in freshwater should do the trick.
If you’d like to try using seaweed in your garden, learn about local harvesting laws and restrictions. In Washington state, a license is required along with daily limits and location restrictions. I remember the day my license arrived in the mail. I felt like an official mermaid!
My kayaking friends used to tease that I would be too busy in the garden to kayak. Now I get to combine my passions and garden while I kayak! There are many online resources to get you started. So go ahead, give it a try, and don’t forget to launch without your harvesting sack on your next kayaking adventure.