Seaweed is one of nature’s wonders, full of minerals and nutrients which plants love! It's also free! I sometimes use it as a mulch, sometimes add it to the compost pile, but it also makes a great liquid fertiliser; especially beneficial to those plants which I grow in pots like tomatoes and chillis.
It needs time to brew so it’s best made over the winter months so it’s ready for the summer.
Simply collect seaweed (using the guidelines below) and add it to a large bucket; preferably with a lid because it will smell pretty bad as it matures! A large screen wash type container works well although it’s essential to clean it thoroughly before us – plants don’t like screen wash!
Pack the container as full as possible with seaweed and then fill it with water (preferably rainwater). Cover and leave it in a dark place for a couple of months, the shed or garage is ideal. The longer you leave it, the more concentrated the final product and you can simply dilute it with water until you get a week tea colour. Use it once every 10 days or so when you water your plants; they will love it. It's good for watering hanging baskets, as well as vegatables too.
For added nutrients you can also add some comfrey and nettle leaves in the spring when these 'weeds' start to appear in the garden.
A few guidelines for foraging seaweed as given by Natural England; consult their guidance document (July 2014) for full information.
1. Gain permission from the land owner.
2. Only collect seaweed by hand and do no take vehicles onto the shore.
3, Avoid disturbing wildlife and seabirds
4. Harvest sparingly, especially in erosion prone areas.
5. Harvesting seaweed can be dangerous. Always let someone know where you are, be aware of tides and do not put yourself in danger.