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Prime Seaweed (Availability) Conditions?


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Gautama
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: Prime Seaweed (Availability) Conditions? Reply with quote

When I lived in Dublin I frequently used seaweed on my allotment. Sandycove was my usual foraging ground as it was a 15 minute cycle from work or a 15 minute drive from home. I could nip down there and have a quick reconnoiter. If there was seaweed there, great, come back later on, car full of bags and trugs. If no seaweed, ah well, only cost me half an hour.
I should clarify, by "seaweed there" I mean most of the sand hidden by it, and a good six inches at that. Would take about 1 minute to have a fertiliser bag brimming.
Alas, I now live in North County Cork and a trip to the beach takes well over an hour. To go all that way and come home empty handed and minus 2.5 hours is just a bridge too far.
So I'm wondering if there are certain weather/sea/wind/etc conditions that greatly increase the chance of there being lots of seaweed washed up?
I'm sure that I heard that spring tides (as in spring/neap, not the season) are a good time? How about wind, I'm guessing on-shore winds?

Are there any posters there that regularly collect seaweed? And what conditions reap the best forage?

Thanks.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not an authority, Gautama, but my dog walks on beaches round here have never seen as much seaweed as you've described from the Dublin area. I've wondered about scavenging some for my own plot but its size would require me to get my trailer near the beach to get enough of it, and that's difficult too!

The only advice I can give is to wait for gale force winds, as they'll normally disturb enough weed - certainly enough for a car load of bags. Depending on where you are in the County, the two most convenient beach car parks are Warren Strand in Rosscarbery and Tragumna (but there may be others I haven't visited).

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makes me realise how fortunate we are living 10 mins from the Atlantic. I'd look out for the small crafting warnings on Met Eireann. They are usually a sign that it is choppy enough to stir up the seaweed and chuck it on the beach.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As practical a solution as any Lady Fermanagh. As always.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin wrote:
my dog walks on beaches round here have never seen as much seaweed as you've described from the Dublin area.


Yeah, it was very hit and miss, with a lot more misses than hits. Maybe some beaches are better than others?

Blowin wrote:
Depending on where you are in the County, the two most convenient beach car parks are Warren Strand in Rosscarbery and Tragumna (but there may be others I haven't visited).


Oh, and something I forgot to emphasise, parking proximity is vital. The beach needs to have parking very close by, i.e., less than five minutes walk. Don't want to spend more time traipsing than foraging or it's just not worth it.
I'll give those two beaches a try sometime, thanks.

Sue Deacon wrote:
Makes me realise how fortunate we are living 10 mins from the Atlantic.


More than half the population live within 10km of the coast, maybe they're onto something? 8 out of 10 cats and all that!

Sue Deacon wrote:
I'd look out for the small crafting warnings on Met Eireann. They are usually a sign that it is choppy enough to stir up the seaweed and chuck it on the beach.


Yeah, the small craft warning or gale warning might be a good place to start. The Met Eireann Rainfall Radar on the app could be relegated from its premier position in the near further.



I reckon seaweed is the sort of fertiliser that is needed only once every few years. Not like an NPK fertiliser where annual or biannual application is required.

The quest continues and I'll update this post with my progress, though a winter harvest is more likely than a summer one I'd say. Shocked Shocked
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've come to think of shop bought NPK mixes as fast food for the soil. It fills a gap but doesn't provide essential nutrition. Whereas seaweed is a good quality multivitamin! Laughing
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should clarify what I mean by NPK fertiliser.
Any fertiliser that has relatively high quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. For example, chicken manure, kitchen compost, fish blood and bone. Or shop bought fertiliser. Or "ten-ten-twenty".

Seaweed is high (and if I'm not mistaken the highest source available) in trace elements, such as calcium, manganese and molybdenum. Not sure if it's high in N, P and/or K, don't think it is.
As these are micronutrients the requirements for most plants is miniscule, so a little goes a long way.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I understand as NPK is stuff like Growmore.

Although plants only need small amounts of 'trace' minerals they are still crucial to plant health (and ours!) They are severely depleted in many soils today. When the doc says you don't need supplements just a 'balanced' diet he clearly doesn't have a clue that if the minerals aren't in the soil - they are not in the food!

Depending on type and season, seaweed does have both Potassium and Phosphorus as well as Magnesium. All good stuff. Smile

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder how many of these 'bits and pieces' are present in our water (in small quantities), especially for those of us whose H2O comes out of a hole in the garden. Discounting children, who are still growing of course, a newspaper study about 40 years ago revealed that, in terms of replacing what the day had taken out, the average citizen (UK) was eating roughly three times as much as he/she needed, so who really needs supplements? For me, by far the most worrying factor about our diet is the level of antibiotics that farmers are piling into animals to keep them disease free, and which feed straight through into meat and dairy products. Whoever heard of things like 'allergies' and 'gluten free' when we were kids, all now prevalent.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About seven years ago, for a reason I cannot recall, I got it into my head that I needed supplements. I was taking about five with breakfast every morning, e.g. A-Z, cod liver oil, garlic capsules, etc.
Five years ago I happened to get married, quit my job, move house. My morning routine was turned on it's head. I stopped taking these supplements without realising it. Six months later it dawned on me, "hey, I used to take all those supplements and now I don't. Do I feel worse without them? Ahhh... no!"

Sue Deacon wrote:

...if the minerals aren't in the soil - they are not in the food!

True. But, if they're not in the soil, the plant won't grow healthy and/or the fruit won't form. And it won't make it to the green grocer.
I'd say that the vast majority of mineral deficiencies in people is through non-balanced diets rather than the foods being deficient. Iron uptake through insufficient Vit D being an exception to the rule, common enough in Ireland.


As for anti-biotics in animals, who knows the long term effects.
Chicken noodle soup has increasingly become popular as a home remedy/relief for coughs and colds.
Some say it's the anti-biotics in the chicken that make it so effective.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin wrote:
the average citizen (UK) was eating roughly three times as much as he/she needed


I had a Shepherds pie last night. It said on the label that it was meant for a family of four.

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This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's a big difference between eating excess trace elements and eating excess food.
The former tends to get passed out, the latter retained?
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SCW yesterday but didn't have the free time.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small craft warning AND a blight warning! So if your garden is still there after the predicted storms (only just started raining here) it would appear to be the time to go looking for seaweed.

Just had an idea. Dave is down on the coast almost every day. If it's been stormy enough to dump seaweed on Donegal beaches, perhaps others, especially along the Wild Atlantic Way, would be similarly adorned? Watch this space.

Oh, and batten down those hatches people. How do I know it's going to be bad? My roses are looking gorgeous and the (very tall) peas are starting to crop really well. An ideal time for the gods to send an Armageddon-style storm! Rolling Eyes Hope I'm wrong.

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night's 'storm' was merely torrential rain which the garden could do with. We didn't have any strong winds at all. This morning we walked the dog on Rosscarbery beach. The sea was flat calm and hardly a trace of seaweed anywhere.

There's a lot in the local paper at the moment about a firm that wants to start cropping kelp from Bantry Bay. Lots of locals are up in arms about it but, if it does get off the ground, there MAY be waste material left over once the edible stuff has been taken. On the other hand they may already have a market for it with a fertiliser company like Fruit Hill Farm nearby.

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