En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 24, 2009

From: Greenport, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: How to use seaweed for mulch and fertilizer
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants,I live on the Peconic Bay, Greenport, Long Island. We have an oyster farm and lots of seaweed. I've read that seaweed was used on farms in the past as mulch (fertilizer?). I would like to mulch my plants and trees with seaweed - what type of seaweed and what is the process? Thanks for the info.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants lives a little ways from the ocean so doesn't have direct access to seaweed, but he knows it does make an excellent fertilizer and mulch.  First of all, the Irish have been using seaweed for fertilizer for hundreds of years and also use it for food, making cosmetics and many other applications.  You can read about the history of seaweed uses in Ireland from the Irish Seaweed Centre.  You can make a liquid fertilizer from the seaweed to put on your plants or you can simply place the seaweed on the ground as a mulch around the plants. You can find numerous recipes for making your own liquid fertilizer on the internet—here is one from eHow.com and here is another.  In Seaweed Comes Ashore from Organa Horticultural there is a description of its use as mulch, fertilizer, and pest control and how it enhances growth in plants.  Ascophyllum nodosum (knotted wrack) is a common seaweed along the northeastern Atlantic coast and is likely the seaweed you have in your oyster farm.

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Shade tolerant groundcover plants for Tarrant County, Texas
November 01, 2011 - I live in far NE Tarrant County (Ft Worth), TX and need a groundcover that can tolerate complete shade and poor, rocky, clay soil. I need mostly for erosion control, and needs to be relatively low
view the full question and answer

Native plants for city lot in Longview, TX
March 19, 2008 - Just bought a city lot in Longview, TX and want to put in some plants at the periphery even before the house is built. Can you recommend any that would be from your list of East TX plants that are pa...
view the full question and answer

Invasive native blackeyed susans from Warren OH
August 07, 2013 - In our demo garden we master gardeners in NE Ohio have been unable to get rid of black-eyed susans which have, like the other person, prevented or "killed" the other perennial plants. They are spre...
view the full question and answer

Milkweed with the biggest pods in Smith County, TX?
September 11, 2009 - I live in East Texas and I would like to know which of the milkweed plants bears the largest seed pod. I would also like to know the best time to locate the pods in and around the Smith County area.
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for North Central Texas
May 27, 2014 - I have a very large area that is in Palo Pinto County, Texas. We tried to plant grass but it never established. I'm looking for a ground cover that does well in shade (lots of oak tees) and is semi d...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center