This Spring, Treat Your Soil to a Seafood Dinner!

Mar 28, 2016

Credit Barbara Damrosch / Washington Post

This spring folks on the High Plains might consider feeding their soil a seafood dinner. When we make soup, it might seem easier to just dump an envelope of dehydrated powder into the pot. But using real leeks and thyme isn’t hard, and it results in a richer and tastier meal. Your soil acts in much the same way, says a recent column in The Washington Post.

A few years ago the impulse to feed the soil nutrient-rich material led Barbara Damrosch’s husband to a local crab processing plant. The owners were happy to give him crab shells they’d otherwise have incinerated. Barbara’s garden thanked her for the crab shells by producing healthy, productive plants.

The exoskeletons of crabs, lobsters, shrimp, crayfish and insects contain a substance called chitin (pronounced KYE-tin) that plants love.

Gardeners on the High Plains might consider making a deal with seafood restaurants to haul their shellfish waste away. Or better yet, host a crab feast for friends and neighbors!