We squared up our away field this weekend now that it has been dry for a bit. It was lovely to see it looking like a garden not just a big pile of manure! River worked really hard, laying down cardboard and spreading it out to about a foot deep in a 30 X 40 foot garden. We planted 45 pounds of potatoes of three varieties and some onion sets and shallots. Our away field is in a beautiful location not far from our home, overlooking the Kennebec River. We feel very fortunate to have the space to use. Our neighbors want to improve the soil in the field and we needed space for our farm garden so it is a win/win.
The boys helped cut up seed potatoes, some of them might have been a little small, our five year old was very enthusiastic. He even planted his own little garden.
On Sunday we gathered seaweed to use as a mulch on the beds.
Seaweed provides many nutrients to the plants; 60 trace minerals including nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. All these minerals help grow healthy plants and a healthy plant resists disease just as a person with a strong immune system will resist becoming sick.
Seaweed mulch also helps keep the soil moist which means less watering is needed. I recently read that slugs and birds dislike gardens with seaweed in it because of the salt and the sharp edges when it dries.
I have heard that some people leave the seaweed for a bit to lesson the salt content before putting it on the garden. I personally put it right on the garden to make sure all the nutrients go right to my plants.
You can buy seaweed fertilizer at your local garden shop, but if you live near the sea, it is a good excuse to go to the beach at low tide, the children enjoy the tide pools and you will enjoy the benefits of seaweed on the garden. I love multifunctional options!