Best use for seaweed

I managed to return from vacation with a pickup load of seaweed. Now, what is the best use for it? Mulch my strawberries? Compost? What?
TIA
John
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I grew up on the beach of Vashon Island, Puget Sound, and we put kelp on our garden every fall. It wasn't that mucky green seaweed, it was the brown bullwhip kelp. This stuff would wash up in the fall, we'd gather pick-up loads, spread it all over the vegetable garden and it would be tilled under in the spring. We had a very prolific vegetable garden.
Val
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It depends on the type seaweed it is. My friends up on Long Island send me boxloads every fall when it washes up on the bayside. It's rectangular, brown to very dark green and I mulch everything for the winter with it. I've never had a problem with salt leaching. If you want to play it safe, I'd say to find some carbon matter in dry oak leaves this fall and compost it over the winter under a tarp, watering it when it gets dry. It's great stuff.
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People here in Alaska and Janet over in Scotland (who must be on holiday) grow their spuds on it, in it and under it and get tremendous harvests.
I think Paghat missed on this one. We put it right on the garden and the salt doesn't bother anything. I don't know why. I've talked to our extension agent, who has a PhD in agronomy and he can't figure it out either, but he uses it in his garden, too. It seems to help things tolerate colder temps than they normally would. (That could be from micro-nutrients in the seaweed.)
Jan
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snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote in wrote:

How long have you been using it? I think there was a case in either Africa or Nevada where farmers were using marginally salty water for irrigation (subsurface stuff from an aquifer I guess). Results were great at first, but eventually everything went to hell because of the salt accumulation. I probably heard about in in early 80s and probably occured in the 60s or 70s if you want to try and look it up. I keep thinking Mopani, which is an Africa tree, but that may be unrelated. (Former Mopani woodland cleared for agriculture?)
So you might want to keep an eye on the salinity.
Hope that Kelps!
- Salty Kelper
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from snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) contains these words:

I'm not on holiday :-) I spent all last winter collecting huge amounts of seaweed for this starved garden, which I added to the compost heaps, dug into the veg garden soil, and used as a thick mulch on top of beds this summer. Terrific crops of beans, peas, potatoes and onions ensued. There hasn't been any salt problem; remember that coastal areas get huge amounts of salt dumped on them regularly during storms and that doesn't seem to reduce this island's great fertility.
Janet.
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On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 15:41:38 -0700, Tom Jaszewski

Mea Culpa, I should have qualified my comments...if salt levels in soils are already high, or too high as they are here, adding kelp unrinsed is dangerous...
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wrote:

Good thing you cleared it up! I've been using it for years. I do lay it out and rinse it off and let it dry in the sun so any salt will be obvious as it dries. I rinse it again. OR, I have put it into the compost pile.
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You could try selling it to some Asian food markets.
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Oh, another use, keep it in a wet pile, it will soon be chockfulla maggots, which you can sell as fish bait.
-paghat the ratgirl
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On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 12:24:05 -0400, John Bachman

I'd probably taste it to see how salty it is before using it. It is good stuff for many plants and applications if you take care with the salt content.
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