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

Curb appeal for sale of house
December 16, 2007 - Help! We're selling our house soon and need to redo our flowerbeds in the front of the house (facing north, gets partial sunlight throughout the day) in the coming weeks but don't have a clue where...
view the full question and answer

Colorful flowering plants in shade of live oak in Louisiana
November 29, 2013 - What colorful flowering plants can be grown near the shady base of live oak trees in the Deep South?
view the full question and answer

Difficulties in growing iris in Central Texas
October 06, 2007 - I live in Round Rock TX. I would like to plant Irises and have failed before. What type of irises grow best here? When should I plant them and should I add something to the soil to help them grow? ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Norman, OK
October 10, 2013 - I have two large plants in my back yard that just sprang up on their own this year. They are beautiful and the butterflies and bees love them. I think they are a type of milkweed, but they don't lo...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Hill Country nitrogen-fixing plants
June 07, 2006 - Please help me find a listing of native (TX Hill Country) nitrogen-fixing plants.
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