London (change)
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19/10/2012 at 14:53

Living on the coast I can easily collect seaweed - mainly brown.My father in law used to tell me that it was used a lot in the Channel Islands.How best can I make use of it, either as a plant food or soil conditioner ?

19/10/2012 at 14:56

Can I just give a word of warning-collecting seaweed may be considerd a criminal offence it is taken without the permission of the land owner whoever that may be.

19/10/2012 at 14:59

If you can get it and it's fine by all the various authorities, who I'm sure will have a view on the matter, then it is meant to be a very good fertilizer. I saw a programme a while back about the Lost Gardens of Heligan where they collected a truck full in the spring to dig in the veggie patch, fine for them as they have their own beach.

I imagine once rotted it would also make an excellent mulch.

19/10/2012 at 15:14

HI jackwers we have on our allotments a chap who invented green fingers ,every year his is best and his secret is simply this, he told me to go to the beech preferably after bad weather,rough tides and collect seaweed,(big tip you must tie the bags very secure or you will get sand hoppers in your car and thats a very very big NO

19/10/2012 at 15:26

sorry about that Jackwers only half the message came through,right, living on the coast removeing seaweed i quantitoies were talking about has never been a problem and the tide line decides who ownes what, in winter lots of seaweed is deposited  and gardeners collect it, if its placed on top of the soil slugs tend not to go over it when its dry, our chap digs some in and from the £ shop he gets a pillow protector and fills it and places it in his water butts for food, he then fills a dustbin with water and does the same for food for summer,this needs diluting and is wonderfull, the rest he leaves in the bags untill summer and digs it in, he Never buys plant food 

19/10/2012 at 15:44

I think it needs to be made very clear that you must have permission from whoever owns the land before you take it. It may well be that some local authorities or land ownders allow it, whilst others don't.  


19/10/2012 at 15:49

There is a common misconception about the tide-line and what can be removed-I will repeat- it may be considered a criminal offence.

19/10/2012 at 16:11

Hi again Jack,i have actually spoken to our local council about collecting seaweed and they we cannot see a reason why a council would mind gardeners collecting sea weed,beachcombers are accepted as is people who collect flotsam and jetsam,also shell collectors and so forth,the tide lines used are high mean ,so between the high tide line and the sea shore and sea bed that is almost always owned by the crown ,high water lines are the accepted point of change if any,  and not the start of  buildings or roads or vegetation and are the legal acceptance in almost all cases,charges made on beeches ie car parks etc are after the high tide line therefore legal,  so seaweed is best and free


19/10/2012 at 16:34

Pretty much all land is owned by someone, it doesn't matter where the boundaries are, you must have permission from the owner to take anything from it. 

If your local authority doesn't mind then that's great.

19/10/2012 at 16:43

I understand these regulations are in place to stop commercial organisations coming along in a truck collecting stuff and selling it on for profit

Now the occasional gardener might get the blind eye treatment but imagine if it happened en-masse

A few years back when pebble gardens were the rage, people were taking them from beaches,driftwood as well- as has been said it does belong to someone.

19/10/2012 at 16:44

seeing as seaweed doesnt deposit passed the high water line  no one can own it, as its between the high water line and the seabed  permission cannot be granted by anyone eccept by the crown and i dont think they will mind  do you

19/10/2012 at 16:47

Thanks for all that.There seems little doubt that it is good stuff however it is applied and I suppose it could be added as one of the layers on the compost heap.Thanks also for the warning re legality etc. - I will ring the local council,If you don`t hear from me again you will know that I`m banged up in The Tower

19/10/2012 at 19:20

Check you local by laws to see if you can collect it legally or ring your council.

It makes excellent liquid feed. Toms and spuds particularly like it. Seaweed feed can easily be made in an old bin, half/three quarters full of water, with a couple of pierced bags of seaweed immersed in the water and with a lid on the bin. After six weeks the liquid can be bottled up, the litre plastic milk cartons are an ideal size. Half a carton to a watering can is enough to dilute it ready for use on the garden. If it's left longer to brew than it might need watering down further.   

In liquid form it can also be used as a spray to deter black/green fly. I don't think slugs and snails like it either but the jury's still out on that one. It smells very strong used in liquid form  but this goes, a couple of hours after spraying.

It works well as a mulch too, put round the top of pots, it dries out very quickly, goes black, with no smell and rots down quickly.  

The wet stuff from your bin can be dug into beds or mixed with compost. 

20/10/2012 at 15:56

I seem to remember reading somewhere something about leaving it out over the winter to get it rained on to wash the salt off.

21/10/2012 at 21:51

You can also wash the salt off in a bucket.

22/10/2012 at 13:12

I have been in touch with the local council who are happy to turn a blind eye to the collecting of small quantities of seaweed ( they weren`t actually sure whose problem it was anyway ).I shall wash it before using it in some of the ways described above, and report on results next season - thanks again.

22/10/2012 at 13:16

well done Jackers ,we haven't actually washed the seaweed but good luck


22/10/2012 at 15:38

I use sea weed ,I do the soak in the bucket and then take out sea weed after 2wks and then put weed on garden it breaks down eventually and use the liquid as a feed,diluted of course.

31/10/2012 at 07:11

i have used seaweed for several years, never asked permission, never been told i can't take it. I just put it on veg beds quite thickly about now to rot down over winter, i never wash it. better than manure- no weed seeds!

31/10/2012 at 08:28
I agree with Jenny. I used seaweed for years. No need to wash it. Great slug deterrent, great soil conditioner and great for protecting soil over winter. If you can get it do so.
1 to 20 of 24 messages