Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 18, 2016   #16
Tracydr
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Laurinburg, North Carolina, zone 7
Posts: 3,047
Default

Doesn't the chitin also help reduce root knot nematodes?
Tracydr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #17
ilex
Tomatovillian™
 
ilex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 388
Default

Chickens love shrimp shells, they will probably also break and eat crab shells. Then put chicken poo in the garden and eat the eggs.
ilex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #18
bower
Tomatovillian™
 
bower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 3,717
Default

I've no experience with RKN, but there's a fair bit of buzz and research using chitinous shells, meal, for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18678924.
The action is probably mediated by Trichoderma harzanium population increasing in the amended soil. The nematode eggs are made of chitin too - so Trichoderma will destroy them, besides other reported effects of increasing plant resistance.
Here's an example of research on Trichoderma where chitin is used to supplement the media where it's grown.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...38071708001193
bower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #19
MrSalvage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: VA - Zone 7A
Posts: 336
Default

This is all great info especially about RKN. I was googling around this morning for different kinds of shells. When I was looking for oysters shells i found a 50lb bag local @ tractor supply. The price is $9.99 so it makes no sense to collect oyster shells at all.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...b?cm_vc=IOPDP1
MrSalvage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #20
loulac
Tomatovillian™
 
loulac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: France
Posts: 403
Default

I’m glad to come back on Tville after a period of rest. I’m too far from the sea to pick up weeds, I can only buy them in bags sold as fertilizers.
I googled the use of seaweeds in Britany a region of France known for its production of seaweeds for farming and industry and a long tradition of farmers improving their fields with them.
Their composition is worth noting : 2% N, 2, 3%P, 1% Mg, 1 , 8% S, 5% Ca and small quantities of Fe Zn Mn Ni Cu I. Green seaweeds can contain 3% Ca and 6% Mg. Dry organic matter : 70%.
Red and green seaweeds, thin leaved seaweeds can be spread on the land in winter and will decompose quickly.
Brown seaweeds decompose slowly so people make compost, add kitchen waste and leave it in place for 6 months. If the heap is very big, it can be kept in an unused part of the garden to have rainwater wash the salt away.
Good for tomatoes, potatoes, all cultures needing potassium. Varieties with lots of iodine are not recommended.
There may be rules against picking them up in the ocean but when they are on the shore you will be welcome to clean the place !

Last edited by loulac; June 19, 2016 at 01:15 PM. Reason: thin leaves replaces thick leaves. Sorry for the mistake.
loulac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #21
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 6,829
Default

In addition to nutrients, kelp also contains a naturally-occurring plant growth hormone.

Chitin is also supposed to increase cell wall strength, leading to stronger stems and sturdier plants.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #22
bower
Tomatovillian™
 
bower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 3,717
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSalvage View Post
This is all great info especially about RKN. I was googling around this morning for different kinds of shells. When I was looking for oysters shells i found a 50lb bag local @ tractor supply. The price is $9.99 so it makes no sense to collect oyster shells at all.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...b?cm_vc=IOPDP1
I have a little experience with oyster shells - a one time thing, when my son was a youngster and had a bad flu I bought a small bag of oysters to make him some broth. The shells got tossed in the garden. Yes I come across one now and then, they are mostly still intact after maybe 20 years. This is in spite of the shells being boiled to make broth.
We also eat lots of mussels whenever we get the chance, and those shells I toss in the garden - into the paths where foot traffic will crush them up over time. They are much thinner than oyster shells but still are very persistent. It's pointless to put them in the compost because they don't decompose. Eventually they will add calcium to the soil but we're talking on a scale of... maybe hundreds or even thousands of years. Archaeologists here were able to learn something about the history of native peoples, by the "middens" of mussel shells they left behind in their camps. So... it's not a readily available material for a vegetable garden.
Shrimp and crab shells, fish bones also will decompose in a few years at most or at least will be reduced to very small fragments that add texture until they're all gone. Egg shells I find like this too, the larger fragments persist for longer than fish bones but not as long as shellfish by any means.
bower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #23
MrSalvage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: VA - Zone 7A
Posts: 336
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I have a little experience with oyster shells - a one time thing, when my son was a youngster and had a bad flu I bought a small bag of oysters to make him some broth. The shells got tossed in the garden. Yes I come across one now and then, they are mostly still intact after maybe 20 years. This is in spite of the shells being boiled to make broth.
We also eat lots of mussels whenever we get the chance, and those shells I toss in the garden - into the paths where foot traffic will crush them up over time. They are much thinner than oyster shells but still are very persistent. It's pointless to put them in the compost because they don't decompose. Eventually they will add calcium to the soil but we're talking on a scale of... maybe hundreds or even thousands of years. Archaeologists here were able to learn something about the history of native peoples, by the "middens" of mussel shells they left behind in their camps. So... it's not a readily available material for a vegetable garden.
Shrimp and crab shells, fish bones also will decompose in a few years at most or at least will be reduced to very small fragments that add texture until they're all gone. Egg shells I find like this too, the larger fragments persist for longer than fish bones but not as long as shellfish by any means.
Yep we were talking above about a way to pulverized all the shells. The bag of oyster shells I linked to are for sized for pullets. So that's going to be pretty finely ground. That would certainly be easier to finish pulverizing. Than say the whole blue point shells I would retrieve from the bay. Now in powder form the nutrients would be immediately available for plant uptake. Right?

Oyster shells are just one ingredient naturally available around here. I am sure just adding a bag of lime would be easier.

I started this post trying to figure out ways to build new rows on top of my hard clay soil. Just like Cole_Robbie has been doing & I didn't want to spend a arm and a leg. I want to do this organically on the upper property. Garden number 1 is not organic and truth be told it doesn't get full sun anyway. The plants are doing good thou I must admit.

I really don't have a lot of leaf material to gather in the fall. I could buy top soil by the yard but i have no way to know whats really in it. It would be hard to say I am organic if I do that. So this is a bit of a challenge for sure.

I am going home to Southern Maryland again tomorrow and i will be checking all the beaches for the seaweed. I think it's a little early still in the summer for mass grass gathering but we shall see. Crabs are in full swing tho, so i will stop by a few places and see if it's a viable option to get some truck loads of shells.

It's a pipe dream but a fun one...
MrSalvage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #24
Gerardo
Tomatovillian™
 
Gerardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: San Diego-Tijuana
Posts: 2,011
Default

I pick up a few strings (10-20 ft+) of kelp from my beach visits. A blue Ikea bag is about the right amount to lug around comfortably.

I lay down the long leaves directly on top of my potting mix as a mulch layer, and it swells with each watering, it gets nice and slimy underneath with lots of life at the interface. It gets covered with regular bark mulch and the plants are happy. Loose porous beach rocks are placed on top, I figure micronutrients leach out of there too.

Chop up the seaweed strings BEFORE they dry. The leaves do crumble nicely when dry. Great when worked into the soil.

The curly-fry pieces last forever.

All of this reflects come tasting time.

Last edited by Gerardo; June 19, 2016 at 01:36 PM.
Gerardo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #25
rxkeith
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Back in da U.P.
Posts: 1,116
Default

there was a movie called The Field. it might have starred richard harris, i can't remember the costars name. i just remember the other guy had dark hair. the movie took place in ireland or the british isles. richard played this old farmer who covered his field in wheel barrows full of seaweed. so, pile it on. its good stuff.

got it. tom berenger was the other guy.

keith

Last edited by rxkeith; June 19, 2016 at 06:41 PM.
rxkeith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2016   #26
kurt
Tomatovillian™
 
kurt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 1,987
Default That California Kelp is scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo View Post
I pick up a few strings (10-20 ft+) of kelp from my beach visits. A blue Ikea bag is about the right amount to lug around comfortably.

I lay down the long leaves directly on top of my potting mix as a mulch layer, and it swells with each watering, it gets nice and slimy underneath with lots of life at the interface. It gets covered with regular bark mulch and the plants are happy. Loose porous beach rocks are placed on top, I figure micronutrients leach out of there too.

Chop up the seaweed strings BEFORE they dry. The leaves do crumble nicely when dry. Great when worked into the soil.

The curly-fry pieces last forever.

All of this reflects come tasting time.
We spent time when I was younger around Ft Ord/Montery Bay.We used to swim in that ice co;d Pacific water and those Kelp tendrils would wrap around you as if "alive".I am glad that "Jaws"was not out then.Sometimes you see some shadows in the Kelp forests when free diving.Still gives me the shudders.
__________________
KURT
kurt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 20, 2016   #27
loulac
Tomatovillian™
 
loulac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: France
Posts: 403
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSalvage View Post
we were talking above about a way to pulverize all the shells... . Now in powder form the nutrients would be immediately available for plant uptake. Right?
...I could buy top soil by the yard but i have no way to know whats really in it. It would be hard to say I am organic if I do that. So this is a bit of a challenge for sure.
Bower’s questions in post 22 may not be an answer but have a lot of weight.
I’m not sure plants could make use of the substances found in finely ground shells. It reminds me of the (very) early XXth century when some people drank water from a bottle full of rusting nails, thinking they would enrich their blood with iron. In big quantities it might soften a hard clay soil, just like adding sand, which would be faster.


MrSalvage intends to till “a bunch of rows about 4 ft wide by 100 yds”. Improving the soil significantly may require 5 inches of kelp every year for at least 5 years. Simple math will give an impressive volume…


I quite understand money can be a problem. Buying a truckload of good earth from time to time might be solution if you can contact a building contractor, a digging company that can give the precise origin of the earth it can deliver. Personally I had to buy 9 or 10 trucks of top soil (the upper12 inches) to add a garden to my new home, I knew exactly where the earth came from. I do hope MrSalvage will find a solution, his garden could first be a bit smaller than intended then grow year after year…
loulac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 20, 2016   #28
MrSalvage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: VA - Zone 7A
Posts: 336
Default

Adding sand can have a lot of i'll effects as well. Isn't playground sand for the kids special? If you read the labels on the bags of sand at lowe's and home depot they are not good. Certainly isn't the kind of sand you want to go put into your garden. So you half to be wary of where it comes from. I certainly don't know all the in's and out of it.

We drove to Maryland today and stopped by a few beaches. Like i was saying a few post back it's a bit early for seaweed. We struck out in that regard on this trip. However I have a lead on crab shells. So it wasn't a waste of the day. Maybe i will get lucky and come up with a few truck loads...
MrSalvage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24, 2016   #29
Tracydr
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Laurinburg, North Carolina, zone 7
Posts: 3,047
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt View Post
We spent time when I was younger around Ft Ord/Montery Bay.We used to swim in that ice co;d Pacific water and those Kelp tendrils would wrap around you as if "alive".I am glad that "Jaws"was not out then.Sometimes you see some shadows in the Kelp forests when free diving.Still gives me the shudders.
Some of my favorite diving is the kelp bed on Catalina Island,especially in the winter when it's good and healthy. That said,the first trip we made there,I had some minor freak-out episodes when the kelp tangled in my fins and I'd feel trapped.Took awhile to get used to that.
Tracydr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25, 2016   #30
kurt
Tomatovillian™
 
kurt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Homestead, FL
Posts: 1,987
Default

Not to get too morbid,but their are some drownings due to that thrashing/gulping sea water by inexperienced swimmers.We always took our fins off,never used diving equipment for that entanglement reason.But I sure love ABALONE and that would be the only reason for me to jump in.
__________________
KURT
kurt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:33 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★