Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Interesting native orchids in MS.
August 21, 2012 - I have a stand of 18 Cyp. parviflorum orchids which I tell only few people about. I've been an hobby grower for over 15 yrs. Recently, I noticed I has some Spiranthes growing which thrilled me. Now, ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in the Southern California desert.
October 16, 2007 - We are located in southern California in Lake Havasu. I'm trying to landscape sloping areas. I have arrow weeds (Pluchea sericea) and want to get rid of them permanently. How can I achieve this or...
view the full question and answer

Need perennials for front beds in south-facing house ib San Angelo, TX.
February 12, 2012 - What perennials will work in my front beds of southern facing house in West Texas?
view the full question and answer

Brown leaf problem with herbaceous blooming plants from Greenfield MA
May 28, 2014 - I have 3 plants cimicifuga brunette and lots of astile planted near each other. Suddenly the edges of leaves have turned brown and shriveled and spread to entire plant, all of them. It has not been ...
view the full question and answer

Mulching Spring Bulbs in Upstate NY
October 25, 2010 - Just planted tulip bulbs for Spring. The Parks Department then put 4 inches of mulch on top. Will the tulips be able to get through and bloom come Spring? Is mulch a good winterizer for them? Indoor c...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.