Here in Maine we were on the edge of the storm and were spared any major damage. As a matter of fact I found a blessing from the sea due to the storm. Last Friday I attended the Belfast Art walk. It is my habit after having a few sips of wine here and there to take a nice long walk around town before I head home. That walk, always, includes a visit to the town beach. As I stepped onto the darken beach my feet sank into seaweed up to my knees. Instead of being alarmed or grossed out I was elated. I even let out a little squeal of glee. I reached down to pull up handfuls of beautiful seaweed. I did not care that I was in my "fancy" town clothes and shoes. This was found treasure! The next morning my husband & I arrive early to fill our small truck with this mulch manna. It has been a couple years since we have scored any seaweed. Every trip to Belfast I check and there just has not been any. We are not alone in our desire for this garden gold. Often times we have arrived at beaches to find other lucky gardeners gathering ahead of us a leaving none behind. Seaweed does tend to incite a bit of greed! Well, we finally hit the jackpot! This was easy pickings and the cleanest, most litter free seaweed ever. Also, due to the lateness of the year there was very little visible animal life we were sacrificing to our gardens. It was so good we went back for a second trip (it is nearly an hour round trip to the beach). I was able to mulch my whole asparagus patch, raspberries, and the potato spot for next year. Gardener's Delight!
~~Gardening Hints~~Seaweed has many garden benefits. An asparagus patch especially benefits from seaweed not minding the high salt content but it is not so great for weeds. Besides adding organic matter to the soil many nutrients and mineral are leached in as well. Seaweed does breakdown fairly quickly so you need to spread soon after collecting or you will be dealing with a slimy mess (we collect ours in large garbage bags ((that we reuse)) to keep our truck cleaner. A couple days in the bags you end up with yuck! I know from experience). Since it breaks down so quickly don't count on it as a long term mulch. We apply it right from the beach. There are some suggestions to rinse it first. But with a fall application that is not necessary I have used it in the summer straight from the beach for mulch and have had excellent luck with my tomatoes. But nearly killed my onions one year applying it directly from the beach. Also, you can add seaweed to a big barrel of water and make seaweed tea for a rich liquid fertilizer. Happy Gardening!