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Using Clam Shells as Mineralizer

Sean Banks

Joined: Feb 22, 2013
Posts: 148
So my great grandmother used to take clam shells from the beach and throw them in her garden. She claimed that the shells leached minerals into the soil like calcium. I was at the beach and collected a large bag full of clam shells. I took them home and washed them to remove the salt. Then I let the shells dry out for a day. Afterwards I put them into a 5 gallon pail and smashed them into a coarse gravel/sand consistency with a sledgehammer. I plan on spreading this in my garden this fall...What do you think? Will the shells actually release minerals into the soil?
Dale Hodgins

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 5490
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
This is the raw materials of limestone. Calcium and magnesium and probably some trace stuff. Crushed oyster shell is sold as a fertilizer and to reduce acidity.

Dale's picks - These are some of my favorite threads. Greed - My garden - ethics - Good wood bad wood Alder - Bees - Pulling nails -
Su Ba

Joined: Apr 18, 2013
Posts: 524
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
I have used crushed shells in my garden for year's now. I usually put them in my wood burning stove at the end of a burn because they are easier to crush afterward. I believe that they help add calcium and trace minerals to the soil.

In the New Jersey pine barrens you can still find plenty of oyster shells in the old farm fields. Many farmers plowed truckloads of shells into their land.

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