Seaweed and Its Many Uses
In this article, we will be looking at the fascinating world of seaweed and how we can benefit from this wonder of nature that we hardly hear anything about when it comes to landscape and gardening.
So the question is, what is so fascinating about seaweed and how can seaweed benefit us from a landscape and gardening point of view?
The journey of seaweeds
Because of the scoop on this topic, I will try to keep this as short as possible while we take a closer look at the nature of seaweed. Seaweeds begin their journey from the ocean being carried by currents
as it finds its way washed up on our beaches. Though seaweeds are not looked upon as much by many, seaweeds are of great value and have been used in foods, cosmetics, the medical field, as an insecticide, as a bath detox, and even in gardening.
Seaweeds have been classed not as a weed believe it or not but as vegetables that grow in the nutrient-rich ocean which I think is pretty interesting. Seaweeds are believed to be rich in iron, calcium, and iodine, research has shown that the nutrients that are found in seaweeds are good for promoting healthy bones, proper brain function, and the body’s metabolism.
A diet of seaweed has also been known to help in weight loss, detoxify the body, lowers blood pressure, and helps control cholesterol. The plant itself is fertilized by the nutrient content that is found in the ocean.
Seaweed varieties and their benefits
There are said to be more than 7000 species of seaweeds that lives in our ocean, therefore we will be looking at the more common ones because of the scoop on this topic.
Seaweed and gardening
1. Dulse- Is said to have the taste of bacon, Dulse is rich in proteins, fiber, antioxidants, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, fatty acids, and trace minerals. Helps the digestive system, promotes eye health, seaweeds are good brain food, helps with thyroid glands, strengthens the immune system, strengthens the nervous system, and is good blood support.
2. Kelp- Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Iron, calcium, thiamin, magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, copper, zinc, choline, niacin, and folate. Kelp can be eaten raw, cooked, powdered, or in supplements.
Kelp is rich in antioxidants which help to fight free radicals that cause disease.
3. Irish Moss- Contains Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, iodine, and proteins. Helps to fight colds and flu, helps to promote healthy skin, helps to reduce constipation, nausea, gastritis, and indigestion.
4. Hijiki- Contains Vitamins Vitamin A, Vitamin VB1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, biotin, potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, calcium, sodium, iron, molybdenum, phosphorus, and iodine. Promotes heart health, promotes bone health, helps with digestion, promotes hormone,s and lowers cholesterol.
5. Bladderwrack – Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K zinc, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, bromine, and zeaxanthin. Health benefits of bladderwrack include promoting heart health, vision health, aids in digestion, helps with weight loss, helps to prevent cancer, helps to promote thyroid health and reduce inflammation.
6. Nori- Contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, fiber, taurine, and omega 3 fatty acids. Health benefits include Promoting cell health, promoting healthy skin, helps with weight loss, promotes heart health, and provides antioxidants.
Seaweed and gardening
Now we have come to the part why this article was created and that is seaweed and gardening, the question still stands and is what does seaweed have to do with gardening? My former supervisor told me many years ago as a small boy growing up he would watch persons while gardening using seaweeds
as natural organic in their gardens, when I heard that I was surprised, who would ever believe that seaweeds could actually be used as a natural organic for plants. As far as I knew they were just weeds on the beach washed up by the waves and nothing more, but to use as a natural organic, medicine, food, cosmetics, detox or insecticide is just amazing.
Adding seaweed to your garden soil
It is believed that before you add seaweed to your garden bed it is best to wash seaweed in fresh water to rinse away the salt. Others prefer not to rinse off salt saying that the salt content is not that high to affect garden plants. Rule to remember, always apply seaweed to soil 24-36 hours after collecting from the beach because
seaweeds degrades very quickly, especially when kept in enclosed containers or bags where there is no air circulation. If kept in these conditions for long periods of time they will become slimy and more difficult to handle.
Ways to apply seaweeds
You can apply seaweeds by
1. cutting them up into pieces and mixing them into your garden soil, best results are before any planting is done.
2. You can lay seaweeds on top of the soil around plants, then add soil on top to speed up decomposition.
3. You can also wrap them around the base of your garden plants making sure to keep them from the stems and leaves off your plants.
As seaweeds break down it will add nitrogen, potassium, and other nutrients to your garden soil.
Seaweed spray solution
Creating a seaweed spray solution is a great way to feed your plants, giving them a healthy nutritious drink and controlling certain insects.
To create this solution you will need to collect enough seaweed to fill a large container like a garbage container, rubber containers are great. 1.Wash of seaweed as safety measures to get rid of salt, 2. Add seaweed to the container, 3. add water and place lid tightly on the container, let this sit for about three to three and a half months, 4. remove lid and give the mixture a good stir, and you are good to go. A word of caution at this point, this solution does not smell very inviting.
Applying a seaweed spray solution
Add the solution to the spray bottle or backpack and use it as a foliar spray by applying it to your plant leaves, this makes a great natural organic spray solution. Here is an example of foliar feeding, just follow the link. foliar spray, I hope you enjoy it.
Before collecting seaweeds from beaches make sure that you are not in violation of federal or state laws. You want to be within your rights so check first.
The final word
Seaweeds can be used in so many ways, even in our landscapes and gardens, so make sure and add to your garden area this natural organic, this will work wonders for you.