Digging in

Richard Lutz gets busy…


It doesn’t pass me by that as we left the EU on New Year’s Eve and are still pummelled by the pandemic, we are watching the  Schitt’s Creek TV comedy mega-series. Whodda thunked the Canadians could ever be funny? And, anyway, where’s my paddle…?

I ponder this as the first day of 2021 leaves me no choice but to go to the shore and harvest seaweed for the garden. The Isle of Arran, fifteen miles across the firth, is crowned by snow.

The wind whips hard and the blue cerulean sea is set with angry whitecaps. I look for the seaweed hags, the sudden towers of the stuff that appear and then disappear overnight with tide and wind. The hags offer clean seaweed, free – or more free – of sand and salt than the stuff lying on the beach.

Since there seems to be a tiny cohort of folks who know about seaweed (why should they when you can get bags of compost delivered from your local garden centre?), I initially took to the ‘net to bone up. And, of course, therein lies the troubles. Too much info! Too much info! One wag said just dump it straight into your garden recycling bin. Another said dump it in the drive and wash all the salt and sand out. A third (cf, above) said just buy six bags of John Innes compost and stop f**king about.

I go for Option 43 and dig into the hags, dump the stuff in old fish boxes, haul them to the waiting open back of the car, drive them home, transfer the seaweed crates to the waiting wheelbarrow, dump the wrack onto the concrete patio, wash it down (Question: Am I also washing away all the goodies like iodine and nitrogen?) and then spread it in the borders.

Done it. And I have no idea why I did it; how it will help this spring’s plants; whether there’s too much heavy duty natural juices in the seaweed to actually kill off my plants; or, whether the effort still outweighs going back in the ‘net and ordering a dozen bags of plastic-encased compost from Nursery King  just past the broken traffic lights.

I just may have paddled up schitt’s creek….without a paddle.

4 thoughts on “Digging in

  1. rinsing the seaweed is probably a good idea; the sand won’t hurt anything but the salt might; and you didn’t wash away the good stuff, which will be released as it rots in your garden.

  2. The people at Findhorn used seaweed with great success growing vegetables in their soil which was really rock.

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