Seaweed Feed

Ok, my second question for today is...

Over Easter the much beloved went collecting soft crabs for fishing bait, when he brought back the crabs to freeze he also brought back a load of seaweed. I chopped it up and have been steeping it in water since.... it's proper stinky now image.

I'm going to bottle it and use it on the garden and then compost the leftovers or dig them in.

but what sort of ratio do I need to water this down? Also how long will it keep in air tight bottles?




  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,093

    You want Verd for this oneimage

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

     I though you weren't supposed to take seaweed from the beach. Is that true? I'm sure I heard it somewhere but I've probably got it wrong!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,093

    I think if its washed up and between the high tide line and low tide line you are allowed to take it. Some councils will bulldoze it off the beach after big winter storms, because the holidaymakers complain about the smell of the stuff rotting down. When it rots it releases Hydrogen Sulphide (bad egg gas).

    The environmentalists will say you should leave it because its part of the ecosystem and necessary for some kind of  amphipod called a beach hopper.

    There should be no problem taking a carrier bag full or two.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Thanks fidget! image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,093

    When my friend in Perth Australia,moved house, I went over to help with the garden. I thought I had sandy soil, but they garden on what is practically pure sand. With watering restrictions constantly in place, we decided that sea weed might help.

    I bought back bagfuls of kelp from the beach, and then decided to wash it in a barrel of water to remove sand and salt, before chopping it and putting it in the compost heap, to mix with all the dry stuff. Because of the heat, stuff rots really quickly.

     Unfortunately the top came off the outside tap , and metered water was gushing everywhere. I was grabbing every available container to save this expensive water from going down the drain. Eventually  the stop cock was found, The water turned off, and  I looked like a drowned rat.  So much for saving money by making compost from free seaweed. I had to make a quick trip to bunnings (oz version of b and q) get a new tap, and fit it, with instructions over internet from OH back in England, before we could turn the water back on and have a shower.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    You'll not want to be in mine Verd when I bring home a couple of dozen bags of horse s**t soon for the boundary fence ....image

    Heh heh....I'll have the biggest hedge in town by next year.....

    That'll larn 'em  image

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    Right on, me 'ansomes.  I steep nettles, or sheeps dags, comfrey  or whatever comes to hand for liquid feed. They all 'goose' !  Honk like bug***y, but I always  say, if it don't smell, it don't work !

    I have used all sorts for feed, and generally use an old barrel for this, like a 50 litre one, 3/4 fill it with greenery before it wilts, and within a few days, you can tell where it is and what its doing ! I leave it for a month, and 'bottle' it off into a plassy can, and the 'Oh be joyful ' is ready to add to plants, seedlings in small amounts, compost heap for 'wetting' down in drought time, and let nature take it's time. 

    Enjoy yer garding !

  • Rodgy-dodgeRodgy-dodge Posts: 117

    Do you know I live two miles from the sea and never used the stuff! shame on me...this weekend I think we'll take a trip to the beach to see what I can gather. I do comphrey tea at 1:9 if thats any good!

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,907

    Depends how strong the mix is as to how much to water it down by. It's not an exact science though. To make, I fill three carry bags, tie the tops and pierce the bags before submerging in an old bin 1/2 to 3/4 full and replace the lid.

    6 wks later it's ready to bottle up, which is the smelly bit. I use litre milk cartons to store it in. Add half a litre to a full watering can and feed plants weekly.  Flowers and veg love it.

    Regarding storage. I try to use it in the same season it was made but was using last years brew in April and May with no adverse affects.    

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    Comfrey tea !  I drank this for a season and grew 4 inches, or 10 cms, or was it 100mm ?  

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,093

     Peat,  Was that before or after it buggered your liver.?

    Comfrey is hepatotoxic if taken internally

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Moonlit HareMoonlit Hare Posts: 153

    Thanks Chaps, I've got comfrey just spouting, new seeds this season ready for cropping next year, my gramps used it on his plants.

    It just seemed a shame to waste the stuff after he'd dragged it back from the beach, he was all for throwing it in the brown bin.... I think not MR!

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    Comfrey tea, is a rawther nice bevvy, to be sure ! It is similar to nettle tea, and has a lot of herbal uses, as knit bane, or bone, for fractures, bruising, or large organised periostal haematomas, good for calves with the scours, etc etc ad nauseam...................... ectually !  Besides all this , my liver was buggered years ago on nettle beer and home made wine !!

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Now I know comfrey was known as knit-bone but I had to look up periostal on Google and I still don't understand how you would use comfrey, especially as it is no longer recommended for internal use.

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    Comfrey has been used for centuries as a gut calmer for calves with the scours. Comfrey is really only 'DANGEROUS' to humans if you choose to eat a field of it. I don't really think I could manage a whole hedge !  Mind you, there IS another plant that dogs 'n' cats  detest, and this is called appropriately, the 'Piss Off ' plant.I'm surprised no-one has thought of this one before !

    All this dangerous type reports has come about since I first learned about comfrey some 40 years ago. and it was worshiped by the self sufficiency chappie, John Seymore, whos speciality was to write about self sufficiency, and get visitors to do all the hard work !  Canny bugger, that Seymore !           

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    This is on the web, to perhaps alleviate any worries about it being used as medicinal porpoises.  Read on dear reader..........Comfrey is used as a tea for upset stomach, ulcers, heavy menstrual periods,diarrhea, bloody urine, persistent cough, painful breathing (pleuritis), bronchitis,cancer, and chest pain (angina). It is also used as a gargle for gum disease andsore throat.

    Comfrey is applied to the skin for ulcers, wounds, joint inflammation, bruises,rheumatoid arthritis, swollen veins (phlebitis), gout, and fractures.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I believe that comfrey also supplies Vitamin B12 that vegetarians lack in their diet.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,093



    Scientific Name(s): Symphytum officinale L., S. asperum Lepechin, S. tuberosum L., Symphytum x uplandicum Nyman. Family

    : Boraginaceae (Borage)

    Common Name(s): Comfrey , bruisewort , blackwort , knitbone , radix consolidate , Russian comfrey , slippery root

    Uses of Comfrey

    Therapeutic use of comfrey is limited because of its toxicity. A limited number of clinical trials show short-term efficacy of topically applied, alkaloid-free comfrey preparations in skin

    abrasions and inflammatory conditions. Although not examined in clinical trials, comfrey may possess antifungal and anticancer activity. Comfrey Dosing


    use of comfrey is not supported because of potential hepatotoxicity. Additionally, because externally applied alkaloids are well absorbed and detected in the urine, topical use of comfrey should not exceed an alkaloid exposure of 100 mcg/day. Limited trials have evaluated the efficacy of alkaloid-free preparations for topical use; however, these studies do not report on hepatic laboratory indices of study participants. Contraindications

    Comfrey is not recommended for internal use because of the hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid content. Patients with hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to the plant should avoid external use. Use is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, in infants, and in patients with liver or kidney disease.


    Contraindicated because of documented adverse effects. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids have abortifacient effects and increase the risk of fatal hepatic veno-occlusive disease. Animal experiments have detected alkaloids in breast milk




    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
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