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?
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.
I saw a pile of freshwater clam shells at a local lake by the shore. I'm guessing they were eaten by a muskrat, and I was thinking about permaculture uses for them, and thought they must contain lots of minerals. I started researching a little and found this older thread.
I may try crushing them up and apply them to the soil and also may add some to biochar and see how it goes.
My soil is already pretty sandy, but maybe the shells could be crushed to a point of looking like large sand grains and useful for places with clay soils to help with drainage?
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