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?