I am continuously amazed at how wonderful azolla is - this floating fern. Azolla pinnata is the native in my area but there are many localised species throughout the world. This is what azolla looks like after being piled up for just a week! It is rich dark brown, sweet-smelling compost. It decomposes so rapidly creating an abundance of easily accessible, nutrient-dense food for the soil and plants. I simply mounded up my pile of collected azolla in my compost bays and allowed it to sit - nothing else added and no turning. One week and you can barely see the leaves. This is rapid decompostion! Over the next month it will continue to break down, but I'm pretty sure it won't last that long in the bays. I am putting it our around our garden as much as I can - around fruit trees, in the veggie garden areas to replenish an area for new plantings. I am also using it in my mix to propagate seedlings and cuttings. I made this little film today so you could see what it looks like closer up.
If you'd like more information about azolla (how it grows, how to harvest it and the many uses of it) read a previous blogs post: