Tiny pulverized sea creatures might not be the first thing that you think of when you picture high-quality soil amendments for your garden, but the truth is that organic fertilizers can be found in a wide variety of forms. And, some of the very best come from deep in the ocean. Crustacean meal is full of healthy soil benefits that make it a smart choice to use for your plants, regardless of how close you are to the ocean.
The Science Behind Crustacean Meal
The primary reason it is so valued for soil health is the high levels of chitin it contains. Chitin is a nitrogen-containing compound found in the shells of crustaceans. It provides plenty of benefits for the soil when it’s crushed up and tilled in.
Most forms of crab meal are kiln dried in and then ground into a fine dust. When added to the soil it slowly releases nitrogen into the soil. This helps plants to grow strong structures and produce deep green coloring.
Besides its high nitrogen content, it also contains plenty of calcium (12% by volume) and magnesium (1.33%). Thus making it a favorite snack food of soil-producing earthworms.