Getting seaweed for the garden, and enjoying the views.

I love that we are just a 15 minute drive to the Irish sea.  It’s great to go and have the kids run on the beach. I tend to look for pretty rocks, while they usually find some shells to bring home.  They love writing in the sand, too.  It’s just fun.  It’s always a treat when we make the time to do this.  Now that I’m obsessed with my garden, there is a new “fun” thing to do at the beach: collect seaweed!

Over the past couple of  years, I’ve attended a few Organic Gardening courses through Groundswell, in Carlingford, County Louth. Pamela Whitaker ran the courses.  She is just a wonderful woman who is overflowing with information on Organic Gardening!  She first introduced me to using seaweed in the garden.  It makes sense to use what you have around you (as long as it’s a clean beach!).  Seaweed can be used as a mulch, or can be added to your compost.  It is a plant growth stimulant, and contains a range of trace nutrients such as plant hormones and carbohydrates.  You should only used washed up seaweed that is no longer attached to rocks.  Also, depending on where you live and how much rain you get, it is recommended to rinse the seaweed before using.

I took these pictures yesterday.  I was lucky that the tide was out – way out! I was able to gather up a few bags of seaweed in no time.   I’ll be adding some to my compost pile, and the rest will be used as mulch.

The bottom picture shows some yellow gorse growing in the hill above the sea. It gives great color to sweeping landscapes!   I found this information about gorse:  U. europaeus is a very spiny and bushy shrub with blue-green branchlets and leaves reduced to small scales or thorns. It can grow to more than two metres tall. It is found throughout Ireland, especially in the east on lime-free soils in rough pastures, heaths and rocky places, but not in woodlands.

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