oyster shells - Knowledgebase Question

Richmond, VA
Question by hmead
November 29, 1997
If oyster shells are crushed are they good or bad for my garden soil? My garden is raised bed. Is there any benefit if I spread them in the beds?


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Answer from NGA
November 29, 1997

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Crushed oyster shells would eventually break down in the soil and become a good source of calcium for plants. Have you had your soil pH tested? The addition of calcium will make your soil more alkaline. Most vegetable crops like a soil pH between 6.0 and7.5. If your soil tests in that range already, the addition of oyster shells may raise it too high. Soils in the east tend to be acid, though. Contact your county Extension agent (ph# 804/333-3420) for information about soil tests.

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