Finding Seaweed For My Compost

Posted on Jan 8 2010 - 5:31am by Mike Lieberman

I’ve heard from many people that seaweed is supposed to be real good for your plants and compost. It’s said to be high in all kinds of nutrients and minerals.

So I decided to head out to the beaches in Brooklyn on a fine winter day and hunt for some seaweed. No better time than the present huh? And yes Brooklyn has beaches.

Before I headed to the beaches I hit up the Canarsie Pier. I hoped that I’d be able to find some that people fishing tossed away. There was none to be found though.

The first beach that I went to was Manhattan Beach. Of course the beach was closed, but I was still able to get onto the sand and walk along the shore. There was not a trace of seaweed to be found. It was just me freezing my ass off.

Then I ventured over to Brighton Beach. I found much of the same here – a lot of wind and nothing.

At that point, I decided to call it quits and head back to my Grandmother’s. There was some traffic along the Belt Parkway (surprise), so I decided to pull over and check out Plumb Beach.

I was able to find some seaweed there. When I was walking along the beach I saw the Marine Park Bridge and a light bulb went off in my head – Mike.

Who is this Mike? He is my boy who lives in Mill Basin and has a house on the water with a dock. I hit him up and asked him if I could swing by for some seaweed. He gladly obliged.

After seeing that low tide was later that evening, we decided to get some seaweed that night. We headed down to the water and started to scrape some off the rocks.

It wasn’t until we used the nets in the water that we started to really rake in the seaweed (Jamaica Bay Sticky Icky). It also wasn’t until 20 minutes into the collection of the seaweed that he asked me what I was going to use it for. He thought I was going to eat it.

For the first time I collected a good amount to start my compost, but definitely know where I’ll be going the next time I need some more of that Sticky Icky.

The real lesson that I learned is not to go looking for seaweed on beaches in the dead of winter.

What’s been your experience with using seaweed in your garden?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwFrBJK1ezQ

  • RawDamon

    Ya'll da seaweed pimps! Great work…. I was wondering if the worms in the worm bin will eat seaweed? Orinically we had seaweed salad for dinner last night. Great stuff! Looks like you worked on that all day I hope it works out. I've used ascophyllum nodosum seaweed from Gardens Alive for the past few years. Might just go out to the beach and snag a pile for our compost now instead 'cuz it's free…thanks again man! One thing though, I was at a class and they mentioned needing a fishing license on the West Coast to harvest seaweed, I'm researching that again now…. East Coast too?

  • Mike Lieberman

    This is for a separate aerobic compost pile. No worms. I have the compost set up, but it's frozen now. Not sure about any kind of license. I just got it off my boys dock and people fish all the time in BK and I'm pretty sure that they don't have licenses.

  • http://twitter.com/containergarden Kerry Michaels

    We have seaweed galore in Maine. We get it by the barrel and put it in our compost and use it as mulch. We usually leave it out so the rains can wash off the salt. I also use liquid seaweed fertilizer.

  • Mike Lieberman

    I've heard so many people talk about it that I decided to go out and get some. I just threw it in my compost as well. Is that all that all you do with it? I heard that during the season you can just throw it straight onto the soil.

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  • http://www.eattheyard.com/ Jason

    Searching for seaweed is a bit easier in San Diego. Yesterday it was a frigid 70 degrees. I haven't tried it yet in my compost, which is mostly comprised of kitchen scraps and yard waste.

    How are you composting in your tight space? Any tricks for small-scale composting?

  • Mike Lieberman

    It's warming up here and now in the high 30s. My buddy's place is the spot that I'm definitely gonna be hitting up more often. I'm sure that when it gets nicer out that the beaches will do just fine as well.

    Besides my worm bin, I also have a small garbage can in my kitchen as well to compost http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/how-to-buil

  • http://www.eattheyard.com/ Jason

    Searching for seaweed is a bit easier in San Diego. Yesterday it was a frigid 70 degrees. I haven't tried it yet in my compost, which is mostly comprised of kitchen scraps and yard waste.

    How are you composting in your tight space? Any tricks for small-scale composting?

  • Mike Lieberman

    It's warming up here and now in the high 30s. My buddy's place is the spot that I'm definitely gonna be hitting up more often. I'm sure that when it gets nicer out that the beaches will do just fine as well.

    Besides my worm bin, I also have a small garbage can in my kitchen as well to compost http://www.urbanorganicgardener.com/how-to-buil

  • http://www.compostjunkie.com/ Compost Dave

    Another great post Mike. You’re bang on with seaweed (the plant) as well as the liquid extract being full of trace minerals and other nutrients. It also has a lot of plant growth hormones in it. I’ve been recommending the extract and meal for years in compost tea, however, I just learned the other day that it delays the microbe development by many many hours. So I’ve gotta revamp that on the ol’ site. Great post bro. Looking forward to the next one.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    My pleasure. Appreciate the comments as always.