If you are a gardener who has a small body of water, then you are in luck. Not just because you have a potential source of superb drinking water, but also because you have nutrients at your fingertips.
Read on to learn how to turn pond, lake, and / or river plants in turn into some of the best fertilizers.
- 1 Freshwater seaweed is your friend
- 2 How River Plants Can Help Your Garden
- 3 Compost it, layer it, or mulch it
- 4 Some additional suggestions:
- 5 A final note on using seaweed and river plants
- 6 Was this article helpful?
- 7 We appreciate your help and feedback!
Freshwater seaweed is your friend
Are you familiar with the term “sweet water”? It refers to any body of water that is not salty. Originally, it consists of ponds, lakes, rivers, vines, rivers, and wetlands. These are tributaries that carry ground water into large bodies such as oceans and oceans.
If you have ever gone swimming in natural outdoor water areas, then you must have noticed that there are many aquatic plants there. These can cause long, disgusting work, known as filamentous algae (not known as “scum”) around your ankles.
Of course, there are countless beautiful and delicious plants like water lilies and cattails, but we are paying attention to gloppy today.
Additionally, “seaweed” refers to any aquatic plant that grows quickly. Most people think that it refers only to marine plants such as kilp or bladderrack, but it is an all-purpose term.
However, it is a good idea to remember that there is a great benefit to freshwater varieties. Unlike seaweed, freshwater species do not contain any salt.
This is important because salt can (and often does) irreparably damage soil. Have you heard the phrase “salt the earth” as a sentence?
In simple words, adding salt to the soil will make it sterile. We do not want that. No, we want lush, healthy, compostable soil that will nourish our plants magnificently.
How River Plants Can Help Your Garden
Although many people are frightened by the disgusting design of the river plants, they rarely think of how beneficial they are to the gardeners.
Aquatic plants such as algae, pond scum, and freshwater seaweeds are full of important nutrients. They mainly contain nitrogen, which serves a lot of purposes in garden environments.
Not only is nitrogen a primary nutrient for foliage growth (hello delicious leafy greens!), But it also helps break down compost.
Aerobic bacteria feed on that nitrogen, at which point they can also breed. More beneficial bacteria = healthy manure, which breaks down beautifully to nourish your plants.
In addition to nitrogen, many of these ponds, lakes, and river plants accumulate phosphorus and potassium. They have sucked up nutrients from the water and the river mud, and now leave it happily in their compost pile.
As an added benefit, aquatic species do not appear to carry any disease that can transfer land plants.
Compost it, layer it, or mulch it
The three main ways to use these river plants and other freshwater seaweeds are compost, either on a direct level or through mulch.
Composting is one of the easiest and most beneficial methods. We touched it from above, but let’s extend it a little more. One of the main reasons that compost is an ideal option is because of its broad spectrum usage.
When you add seaweed to river plants and your compost pile, chances are you will break it down and transfer it completely. Each time you bend the pile, add new material, etc., you will spread it across.
Then, when you take a scoop of compost to use in the garden, it will contain some seaweed. In contrast, the layering method would only benefit the actual bed (s) to which river plants have been added.
To make freshwater seaweed manure, make sure you already have a lot of carbon-rich stuff. This includes sliced paper, dead (crunchy brown) leaves, straw or cardboard.
Then toss in your river plants, along with other nitrogen-containing bits such as mowing grass, coffee grounds and veggie trimmings. The ratio of nitrogen to carbon should be 2: 1.
This option is great if you are working on a hugelkultur mound or raised bed.
Simply create alternating layers of soil and seaweed, such as a lasagna together.
If you are starting a raised bed from scratch, insert a layer of weed suppressor. Some people use gardening cloth, but you can also use a double-layer of untreated cardboard. Then add a layer of pebble or gravel for drainage.
Use soil for container gardens in your raised beds, or make your own. Add aged manure to your soil, as well as aryl such as perlite or volcanic rock, vermiculite or porc moss.
Add a layer of three to four inches to it, followed by a two-inch layer of seaweed. Then repeat at will.
As the seaweed breaks down over time, it will continue to distribute nutrients in the bed.
Apart from nitrogen, many ponds and river plants also contain a fair amount of calcium. These make them ideal for use in beds that will be susceptible to blooming tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, and other fruit-bearing plants that are susceptible to rot-less rot.
The last option tends to be one of the easiest. After harvesting your seaweed, simply slop it around the base of your plants.
Make it at least four inches deep within 48 hours of harvesting. This stuff is a tad too small, and it breaks very quickly. As it shrinks, pull it away from the base of your plants.
It is best to keep your mulch from touching the stems of your plants, so just let them do their thing nearby.
Not only will this seaweed break down the deposition of nutrients as it breaks down, but it will also hold significant moisture in the soil as it does so.
Some additional suggestions:
If you have harvested tall, hard river plants, prune them before adding them to your bed or heap of compost. Otherwise, they will all get entangled and have a bad dream to deal with.
Additionally, if you find that seaweed is actually shrinking quickly in the sun, make compost tea instead. Sometimes, especially in scorching weather, it can break as fast as it can break.
This means that it is not depositing its important nutrients in your soil.
Instead, get yourself a used, but still functional blender from a local thrift shop. Then puree the seaweed present in it, take it down and offer it to your plants.
Just be sure to dedicate this blender only to garden activities. No one wants to cross-flavor their favorite blueberry smoothie with algae.
Also, do not wear any cloth that you like while cutting this stuff. For some reason, ponds and river plants stain the fabric brilliantly. I once went swimming wearing a white shirt, and I never got any green stripes.
A final note on using seaweed and river plants
Now, here’s one thing to consider: algae and seaweed can actually smell funky. Additionally, it not only smells gross, but the dog starts rolling in it.
If you have a canine companion who loves to play outside, chances are he will be rolling wild around in your compost or raised bed.
If you don’t want to put this stuff in your growing bed, then avoiding pong in this way, there are some alternative options.
One of these options is to dry out the plants first. Spread them on a tarp on a hot, sunny day and allow them to cook well.
This will eliminate the stinky stench that can emanate from them. Once dried, you can mix them in powder and add it to your soil.
Another option is to use river or pond water as a type of compost tea. It only works when the water nearby is potable. The water will be full of delightful little nutrients, along with bits and insect parts of the plant.
Simply sieve some buckets filled with water, transfer the liquid to some water cans, and use it to hydrate your plants at the ground level.
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Idea Source: morningchores.com