how much pulverized oyster shells?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by poppybgood, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Hey guys and gals, after reading about the benefits of crushed oyster shells for organic gardening I've decided to start implementing them into my compost and grow mixes. I have an untold amount of them buried in the edge of the woods on my property where we used to chuck them after an oyster party.(Down here that's just an old beer drinking and oyster shucking session:D). Anyhoo, my SS Chronics are ready to be put into their final pots for flowering, but before I do I want to add a bit of crushed shells. I've already crushed up some and the older ones powder up pretty nicely.

    How much do I need per gallon of soil? Also, will the larger fragments be beneficial to the tilth of the soil?
  2. #2 WeeDroid, Nov 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2011
    The rule of thumb around here seems to be a cup per cf of soil, so get out your weights/volume conversion web page and figure it out. ;)

    I would be more concerned about getting as fine a powder as you can, given the amount of time your plants will be in their soil. I would strongly consider a soak with them for more immediate assimilation. There is a formula around here somewhere for that.

    Found one formula anyway:

    From LD.
  3. #3 poppybgood, Nov 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2011
    Thanks Wee. I was under the impression that oyster shells have other trace minerals as well. Maybe I'm thinking of conch shells, but aren't they supposed to be high in selenium?

    Edit; Duh, I was thinking of the oyster itself. I'm gonna start collecting some freshwater mussel shells and snail shells next spring as well.
  4. no idea. Why don't you try wikipedia?
  5. Powder, powder, powder!!!!!

    We have oyster shell mounds in Fl that are over 500 years old and a few with houses on top. Also, have oyster shell driveways.

    If they are not ground down to nothing, they will last forever. Like limestone blocks vs powdered limestone.

    Needs to be like flour to be halfway fast. Like cornmeal, will take a year or 2 in comparison. I tried the stuff for chickens ... LOL, after 3 years it still has the sharp edges. Perhaps in my kids lifetime........

  6. Yeah, I realized right quick like that the only ones that will crush down to a flour are the ones we put on the grill and are blackened on the outside.. The ones we shuck and eat raw just make sharp shards. It's amazing at the architecture over in St. Augustine using those things. There was an old building in downtown St. Andrews stuccoed with oyster shells as well, but that's another story.
  7. Cool! If you grill with charcoal, you could toss some on the coals when you're done cooking, if you need more, using up the 'shucked' shells. If you use gas ...... ???????

    The shell mounds I was talking about are on Pine Island, near Ft. Myers in SW Fl.

    Good observation about the grilled/blackened of the shells. I'll remember that.

  8. Great thread guys and damn I miss my condo down in Seaside. Do y'all ever use the gulf shrimp shell meal? The best shrimp in the world. Hmm and apalachacola's(forgot the spelling), I miss those ouster parties. Not the shucking though. Lol. I recently had a problem with the be GO calmag reacting to silica products. Y'all ever have any issues with the vinegar/shell mix?
  9. #9 LumperDawgz2, Nov 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2011

    Coral is Calcium Carbonate - exact same level as Oyster Shell Powder, Calcite Lime, Egg Shells (which got there through their feed mix).

    Calcium Carbonate will contain 2.x% Phosphorus (available form) and there are very slight differences with regard to the source but the highest is around 2.8% and the norm around 2.4% as well as a large number of other elements (micro-nutrients if one prefers).


  10. Thanks LD. Although I had a stoner moment and was confusing the nutritional value of oysters themselves to the shell makeup, I did remember reading somewhere that they contained selenium,molybdenum(sp?), etc. The oyesters in Apalachicola Bay, which is where my shells are from are reported to have some of the highest selenium and zinc levels of oysters worldwide.

  11. Appies are by far the sweetest most delectable oysters on earth, bar none. Guess that's why they cost more.

    Way, way back when, I was living on Ft. Myers beach, we could get them right off the boat for $10-$12/bushel. During happy hour, they would ring a bell and you could get shucked on ice for .10/ea.:eek: 5 or 6 dozen and a few longnecks............ Good eating and good times. Mid 80's or so. Real nice then. Now, it's solid condos for the moment. Just waiting on the next CAT-5 storm.


  12. Hahahaha, we have that here! We eat Dungeness crabs by the boat load in the 'winter feeds', and can't afford them in the summer unless you lift them out of the water yourself. Tourist markup.

    We loose our condo equivalent's, the 4 thousand sf houses of retirees with indoor bowling alleys and attached plane hanger and air strip, off of our receding cliffs :) Sometimes if you're lucky the Dungeness River, as it overflows and shifts it's course, eats a few :eek:
  13. Hey wet,
    I have a couple pounds of oyster shells i picked up from my feed store for the chickens. Im making my own soil mix and was wondering if it would be better to crush the shells with a mortar n pestle or put them in a pan on my smoker next time i smoke meat?

    Appreciate your thoughts.
  14. Better for *me* is just going to HD or Lowes and picking up a 40# bag of Penningtons calcatic lime for $15. Usually right next to the dolomite lime.
    This calcitic lime is pretty much a 1 to 1 equivalent for oyster shell and much easier to work with. Cheaper too if the OSF isn't available locally.
    IDK, a mortar and pestle is pretty labor intensive and just might mess up the M&P. I'd just slap some in a pan the next time you fire up the smoker and go with that. From what I understand they crunch up easier after being blackened.
    BTW, if you use lump or 'cowboy' charcoal (which is all you should use anyway), the fines or dust, or if you get happy with a hammer, does a real good imitation of the very expensive bagged "Bio-Char". Briquette's should be avoided, for cooking or adding to the soil.
    I get 50lb bags for 12.99 and can easily grind it up in the same blender I use for my alfalfa pellets. It only takes about 2 minutes to produce about 3 cups so really it depends on the scale of your operation or how big your blender is :)
  16. Thanks guys.

    Im just starting to build my own soil again after years of not doing it.

    Ive had to take and bake a few bags of fox farm soil that were contaminated with mites, fungus gnats, and the dreaded root aphids. Cooked 250 degrees for two hours.

    I was able to gather about 20 gallons of well water containing minerals (you can actually see the minerals when you freeze this water) to wet the now dead soil.

    I plan to amend it with a few pounds of fresh vermicompost worm castings from my worm bins.
    Picked up a huge bag of perlite.
    Have blood meal
    Bone meal
    Dolomite lime granules (small bag which sucks) i actually mortar and pestle this crap
    And a host ofother amendments

    My problem is that i dont want 4-5lb bags they sell online. I need 50+lbs cheap.

    I live in central cali, farming area and think ill hit up feed stores.

    I bought some alfala meal (dr earth or something) and it was WAAAAY overpriced.

    I can get bags of anything feed related from my local feed store (90 year old business that still has wooden cash register drawers lol) for really cheap.

    I buy alfalfa pellet bags like 5lbs for 2 bucks. I wish now id bought alfala there and just pulverized it like you guys said.

    I plan on building my soil over the next two months so ill be adding lots of bennies and letting them do their thing.

    And whats your opinion on kellogs tomotao herb and vegetable?

    I picked up some kelloggs vegetable tomato and herb fertilizer? Supposedly contains a bunch of mycorriza fungi and other bennies. Never used it.

    Sorry so many questions but you guys know your shit (pun intended) :smoke:
  17. Last first, I have no experience with Kelloggs since Espoma is available locally and in 20lb bags. Should be ok though, I've never heard anything bad about it. Then again, once I found the Espoma, I never looked any farther.
    Let me guess, that granulated lime is brown, right? It's actually powder formed into pellets with a quick dissolving binder. The binder melts and releases the powder with the first watering. Put a little in a glass of water and see for yourself. The M&P action is wasted effort.
    Feed stores FTW! 40lb bags of alfalfa run $14-$17 here. Dolomite lime is ~$4.50 and Calcitic lime ~$15, both in 40 lb bags.
    The pelletized alfalfa is just meal held together with some molasses. Grind it if you wish, I just soak it in some water and drink beer while it dissolves, then add it to the mix.
    Get to the feed store.
  18. Yes to everything you said :smoke:

    Ill take your advice. I have endless perpetual grow going so i have an endless need for all of the above both in and outdoors.

    Ill look into espoma, never heard of it. I have been tossing the old alfalfa that turns brown after it ages to my chickens. I assume now that i should throw them to my soil mixes instead since theyre probabbly dehydrated due to loss of molasses content?

    All of my chicken and rabbit manure goes straight to my two old wooden orange bins that have been converted for red worms. (as well as all leaves from all trees on my half acre) Im in the process of building a harvester since i have at least 500lbs (easily probably more) of worm poop ready to harvestv(two years aged). I built a hand harvester but lung disease + cardio = not much worm poop harvested, so my adding a small cooler motor with a controller is my goal.

    Appreciate your help wetdog. Always enjoy reading your posts since youre a real dude and your help helps. :smoke:

    You da man! :)
  19. Espoma can be found at Walmart in my area as well as Lowes and Menards... shouldn't be too hard to find if you are in the states.
  20. #20 rain dancer, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
    To my utter surprise my local feed store doesnt carry kelp meal at all.

    50lbs of alfalfa meal is 17 dollars.

    In in Central California, farming area.

    I was looking on and found it for 72 dollars for 50lbs. :(. Anyone know a cheaper place? I put my wife to the task of calling around to find the fresh good stuff. I dont like to buy stuff from big box stores as their stuff is typically blended with chemicals n other fillers.

    My upcoming soil grow will be using approx 5 sq cubic feet of soil or 2.5 bags of fox farm.

    How do you all feel about crab meal?

    I like to have my own little "store" in my grow rooms so I can mix and match to my hearts content...creating beautiful soils.

    I grow both soil and hydro btw....

    Ps. Once again, my fox farm soil is dead, so im using it only as a base and when its done being mixed it wont resemble anything fox farms puts out....

    Plus, i plan to reuse this soil for the next decade or so, as i always have, after composting it of course

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