New Zealand has such a lot of wonderful coastline, which often delivers up the perfect garden fertiliser absolutely free. Here’s how to use seaweed in your garden.
Next time there is a storm, head down to your closest beach and grab a sack or two of seaweed. Here are some great uses for it in your garden:
1. Add it to your compost bin for extra nutrients.
2. Place some seaweed at the bottom of a hole when planting shrubs, trees or vegetables.
3. Use as a mulch on your garden to help retain moisture and fertilise the soil as it breaks down.
4. Use as a sheet compost – simply lay it in thick layers over the top of an unused garden bed and let it rot into the soil.
5. Make seaweed tea by filling a bucket or a plastic rubbish bin with seaweed, then fill with water. Leave in the sun for a few days, then spray the tea on plants to deter insects, or pour around plants to feed. Be warned, this does get smelly.
6. If you keep chickens, you can put some wet seaweed into a sack or bag with holes – it must be porous. Put the sack on the ground and after a few days turn it over. There will be a smorgasbord of insects for your chickens to feed on. You can do this a few more times, and when the insects run out, simply put the seaweed in the compost. Do not take all the seaweed off the beach. Leave some for the marine species who rely on it for food and shelter.