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

Allelopathy in Sassafras albidum
January 11, 2012 - Sassafras albidum description says "Sassafras is allelopathic and can discourage the growth of certain other plants within its root zone." My question is: WHICH plants are susce...
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Attracting Plants for Shade in Smithville, TX
March 28, 2012 - I want hummingbird plants for shade.
view the full question and answer

Plants for northern exposure in Wichita, KS
March 17, 2009 - What are good plants for the north side of the house with acidic soil in Zone 6, Wichita, KS?
view the full question and answer

Low cost landscaping in Federicksburg VA
February 22, 2009 - Hello, I live in Fredericksburg Va and I rent a townhome with a small yard. My back yard is almost completely mud and my front yard has a hideous square shrub. So my question is do you have any plant ...
view the full question and answer

Is Phyla lanceolata (frogfruit) poisonous to dogs fromTitusville FL?
June 01, 2014 - Is Phyla lanceolata, also called Fogfruit, Lanceleaf Fogfruit, or Northern Fogfruit, toxic to dogs? We have it growing amongst our grass. I can't find it on any toxic plant list.
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