ground crab shells in compost?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by tula, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. tula

    tula Member

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    I will shortly be retiring to Northern Vancouver Island and hope to feast on Dungeness crab as often as possible. Can I grind the shells in my food processor and add them to my compost? Or is it even necessary to grind the shell if it is broken into fairly small pieces? My father used to just bury the crab and fish waste directly in the garden. I would like recycle as much of my organic waste as possible.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, but not for lime-hating plants like Rhododendrons, etc., only for plants that like lime.
     
  3. tula

    tula Member

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    Thanks for the quick response. I am going to use the compost in my veggie patch and greenhouse and not on acid loving plants. I had heard that shell doesn't have much impact on the pH but supplies calcium--I will be growing tomatoes in a small greenhouse and understand that they need calcium to prevent blossom end rot.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Should be ideal for that.

    One other (non-horticultural!) point - I don't know if grinding the shells in a food processor might be a bit harsh on the processor blades. Might be better to use something more robust.
     
  5. tula

    tula Member

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    Hi Michael,
    I do have quite a robust Kitchen Aid but you are probably right--I also have a large stone Thai mortar and pestle that might be better for the job. It is difficult being here in the Lower Mainland with a garden on the North Island--however, I will be visiting for the Easter weekend and will be planting raspberries and strawberries in raised beds that I contructed in March. Then, once July comes I will be in residence....
     
  6. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

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    I hear that ground crab shells are excellent for Boxwood....there is a product called Chesapeake Blue (used for vergetables and box and such).
     
  7. tula

    tula Member

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    Thanks, Levilya. I looked up Chesapeake Blue on the web and it is composted crab shells and wood chips. Evidently, because it is a stable organic, it has benefits for many years. Off the topic of gardens, I would love to try your Chesapeake Blue crab. Our Dungeness here is wonderful.
     
  8. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

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    Phillips crab house has the pasturized crab and they can send it to you...(it will keep)they will even send crab cakes(but expensive).
     

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