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saying Hello and questions about olive branches and seaweed.  RSS feed

 
Anastasia Christie
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Hello everyone,
my name is Anastasia and I have been reading and gaining so much knowledge from this amazing site.
My aim is to go and create a homestead in the near future in Crete Greece.
I would please like to ask if somebody knows if olive tree wood,branches and leaves are good for hugal cultures or compost.
As this kind of wood especially branches and leaves are easily collected for free.
Another question I have is ...should seaweed have its surface salt rinsed off?
And the seaweed that is readily available there is very papery thin and dry and brownish colour.
Would this type of seaweed enrich the soil?
Thank you
Love Anastasia


 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Welcome Anastasia.

Olive wood is very good for hugelkultur. It rots well and does not poison the soil. Make sure that it is dead, otherwise you will get thousands of little olive suckers. A season in the sun should do it. If there is a place near you that produces olive oil, spent pomace may be available.

Your weed may be similar to eel grass. It breaks down slowly. It can tangle up tool blades, but is great as a long lasting mulch.

Salt can be a problem, particularly in dry places where salt levels are naturally high. Consult your local growers.
 
Anastasia Christie
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Thank you so much Dale for your reply.
I am so happy for your answers.
It's such a good feeling to know that when my hands get into the soil there will be so much support from all you amazing people to my potential queries.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Posts: 6786
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Rebecca Norman
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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About seaweed, when I lived near the ocean in the US, I would leave seaweed out in a pile on the driveway where it couldn't kill grass, and let it sit through a rain or two, or I sometimes rinsed it with the hose. I liked it as a mulch: it tangled nicely in place and didn't blow away, kept a nice even dark color and texture, and broke down a lot into nice compost. It was largely what we called eel-grass, long, paper thin, 5 mm wide, flat strands of stuff with a grass-like texture. Since then, I've heard somebody say that the amount of salt on the surface of seaweed is not that much, and might not actually be an issue for most plants. But that was in Cape Cod where there's plenty of rain and the soil gets flushed. If Crete is arid, you might want to be more careful about salts, and make sure your seaweed pile gets a good rinse before you use it. It's not that salty inside, surprisingly (taste it!).
 
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