These algae dumplings are meant to be used as sort of a hybrid between mulching and weed cloth, and it's all natural. It'll help to protect your crops from weeds and also reduce amount of water needed to substain your plants.
But first, let me introduce you my pond. It's small, it has no water circulation and it's hot outside. So it has a substential algae growth in it. And at some point I've started to think, what use can I make out of it.
Algae is conglomeration of tiny water plants, and although it looks like nasty green snot, in fact, the substance consists of mirriads of microscopic fibres. Actually algae is pretty useful as it serves as a food rource for many water creatures, and generates oxigen (you can actually see tiny bubbles), which we all in need of to polute. But if algae grows uncontrollably and dead matter starts to accumulate it can poison the water and everyone will die. But you want to clean your pond from it anyway.
So, how can it be used? I know the technique of making paper out of algae fibres, and this is what I thought of firstly. But after trying to remove all the junk that has got cought in fibres I realized, that it requires either unreasonably lots of efforts, or some speciall technique. I'll work on that later, and maybe I'll even have to grow my own algae for this porpouse.
But I also kept thinking on how can use "dirty" algae, and these dumplings is what I came up with. So if you have a pond nearby and a garden it might be usefull for ti make some.
So before dealing with the green snot, prepare this simple device. Take a round sieve of 20-30cm in diametre, and hotglue a small plastic cup to the middle. You can scale the thing up or down, according to your particular plant's needs,
Now collectsome ammount of algae and rince it with fresh water. Remove large pieces of unwanted junk, like leaves and sticks,
Pour the algae suspension into sieve. Shake and jitate the mass untill most of the water drains out. You can simultaniously water your crops.
Now dumple the snot on suitable surface to dry. Paved or concrete surface works best since it gets hot on the sun and abrorbs water.
You can see that due to the plastic cup, the dumpling has a round opening in the middle.
Make as many these donuta as you need. I had algae only for two.
Leave your dumplings to dry for a day. Flip them over to faten the drying.
On the photo is a donut I made one day earlier, and since I didn't use the plastic cup that time I had to use a circle hole punch to make the opening.
You can place the dumplings on the ground first and then plant your seedlings inside the opening, or you can put the dumplings while the plant is still small and fitsinto the hole (as I did). You can make a cut from the centre to the side and place the thing around the plant if it's already too big.
This pathes will keep weeds from growing underneath, and water evaporating from the surface of soil. After the gardening season is over you can compost them.
So, hope it was useful for somebody, I'm also thinking on the idea of making cups for seedlings out of algae, and, who knows, what else will come up into my head, But this is it for now,thanks for your attention and have nice crops,