Gardeners and Their Tea – 6
Gardeners and Their Tea – 6
Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
This is the final episode displaying the differing compost ‘variteas’ available.
There are other slight variations of ‘tea’ – such as if you are boiling vegetables or even boiling eggs, don’t be too quick to discard that water – you can use it on household plants – the waters holds nutrients and in the case of eggs – calcium.
With further ‘tea’ variations – you can create from grass clippings, old mulches, deheaded flowers, twigs and sticks and even kitchen scraps – with the latter – don’t throw them directly into your compost heap – instead throw them all into a container and cover with boiling water, and allow to steep for up to 4 days and then strain and drain [throw the soggy contents into compost heap], but use the liquids for a fertiliser.
However l am sharing with you now, the last of the main six and this one is known as ‘seaweed or sea kelp’ tea.
Suze and l live near the beach and so we are able to collect up seaweed. We used to do it more frequently when Scrappy was able to walk down there, sadly she can’t get down to the beachfront anymore and it hurts her too much to keep lifting her in and out of the car, and we have become lazier and tend to not walk down to the beach despite it only being ten minutes away!
The last time we were remotely close to the sea was when we celebrated Suze’s birthday in October, mm, that needs to change! So we can collect seaweed and in many ways winter is a great time to collect the stuff, as the winds bring quite a bit from the beds and fling it onto the shingles! But also, the smell of seaweed is way less offensive in the winter sun in comparison to the heated suns of summer which also attracts flies.
Seaweed is more of a broad term for many different seaweed varieties whilst kelp is more specific and describes one of the largest subgroup of seaweed. Either way, it makes for no real odds, gather what you can off the beachline. However first a note of importance ….
In the UK today, you can gather seaweed or hand harvest seaweed as the term is better known, but you must seek permission first – if in doubt give the councils a call or drop them an email. If the beach stretch is privately owned ask the owner if they are adverse you collecting the sea’s discarded wastes? It is always better to be safe rather than imprisioned over seaweed!!! More likely a fine in truth. Some councils are fine with it and others are more finicky.
Personally l find it somewhat odd that we have to seek permission for some things, however there is always some bright spark looking to challenge beach combers so in order to keep these smart Alecs off your back, it might pay to seek permission first.
When collecting, always make sure that the seaweed is detached from the rocks as apparently attached is still growing and not considered a waste product. It is always good to know that from a conservation aspect.
Despite what many people think – seaweed and kelps are not drenched in salt, but merely covered in the salt from the seawater – so in order to not have all this salt present on your plants, either choose to soak the seaweed in a container with fresh water for a few days and then shake off or leave it on a tarp in the garden if you are expecting rainfall and this will wash the salts off easily and then shake it off.
With seaweed you have the choice to use them for either a fertiliser tea, a composting agent mixer or indeed as a mulcher.
Fertiliser Tea – cut the seaweed/kelps into pieces and place into a container with water for 2 – 3 months [be wary, it will STINK so do cover the container!]
Once the weeds have steeped then the usual 1 part seaweed/kelp to 5 parts water is great for your fertiliser tea. The remnants of the mixture can then be added to your compost and forked over.
Composting Agent Mixture – cut the seaweed into smaller pieces and add to the compost pile and fork in and over.
Mulcher – cut washed seaweed into strips and drape around the plants, over time the nutrients will seep and leech into the soils and the dried weed can be dug into the soil.
Seaweed is awesome for all the rich nutrients it can award to wherever you decide to utilise it with. The tea as a fertilser is brilliant for speeding up the processes of both flowering and fruit production of your garden plants and growth.
Don’t want to read? Then watch below.
Anyway l’ll take my leave of you now
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …