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Are Clam Shells Compostable And Useful In The Garden?

Are clam shells compostable? The answer is yes and they are extremely useful in your garden, whether it’s inside or outside.

Both as a fertilizer and to enhance the look of your garden, shells are becoming very popular with gardeners today.

I didn’t give them much thought until visiting a friend who is a keen gardener. Her garden looks amazing. One of the ingredients are shells. She has them in her garden beds and also in her pots and containers.

It took me a little while to be convinced to use them and it’s only been in the past couple of years that I “pulled the trigger” and tried them.

I’m not going to say that my produce “took off like a rocket to Mars” because only magic will do that. But the immediate impact came from the improved aesthetic look around the yard.

And inside, adding crushed shells to pots and containers is highly recommended if just for creating a little flair and natural beauty to your environment.

Are Clam Shells Compostable And Biodegradable?

biodegradable shellsOkay, so we’ve established that clam shells are compostable.

But are they biodegradable? In a sensitive world where the word biodegradable just about adorns every label on every product, making sure you use something that will eventually disappear back into the earth and not leave any damage behind is important.

Well, maybe not to some, but that’s another article for another day.

But yes, clam shells are biodegradable provided you do a couple of things before laying them out in your garden.

Scientists will tell you that matter which occurs naturally will eventually decompose. Take us for example (maybe I shouldn’t go there).

Clam shells are organic matter so they will naturally decompose. But putting them in your garden in their entirety is not a good idea unless it’s for decorating purposes only.

For example, I have a couple of containers where the shells are undamaged. They are there to enhance the look of the pot and plant.

For gardeners looking for their shells to eventually decompose, then you’ll need to crush them. Their life span in the garden bed or containers will be reduced considerably.

In my experience, expect the shell dust and pieces to last several months. If put in the garden as whole shells, they may never decompose or it will take several years.

How To Crush Clam Shells?

compostable clam shells manufacturers in the usaThis is a simple process. You’ll enjoy this. You be crushing clam shells, oyster shells or whatever type you are going to add to your garden.

And you can let out a little “aggro” as well.

Here are the steps to turning your clam shells into mush.

1. Grab a piece of cloth. Or, if you have an old shirt in your closet you don’t intend wearing again then it’s just got a new job.

2. Spread the shirt out on ground and lay the shells in it. Put just enough shells in the shirt so you able to cover them up and contain them within it.

3. Grab a hammer or a mallet and start pounding away.

You’ll soon realize a couple of things. Shells can be extremely tough to crack. I don’t want to sound chauvinistic but if you’re hubby is around, ask him to help you mash them.

Some shells just won’t break up using a hammer only. You may need a pick of some sort to break them initially. But eventually, you’ll get them to a size you’ll be satisfied with.

One more thing, please wear goggles when you’re crushing the shells. Yes, they are encased inside the shirt but pieces can get loose and fly out.

The Benefits Of Using Clam Shells As Compostable Material

what are the advantages of using composter clamshellsI’m going to be honest with you here. While there are benefits using clam shells as compostable material, my reason for using them is more for aesthetic appeal.

And I’m sure some of you will feel the same.

But clam shells, or most types of shells do have great benefits when released into the soil as fertilizer and mulch. They add valuable minerals to the soil that plants need to grow. But best of all, they help keep the soil at the right ph level.

The right balance between soil ph and nutrient levels is one of the things you’ll hear a lot from really serious gardeners. I never think about it too much because I’m now in my own groove and the soil I use has been prepared and look after following many years of experience.

In other words, it just comes naturally. But you’ll know if your soil ph levels are out of whack and nutrient levels low because whatever you’re growing will tell you. And they won’t look pretty.

So yes, there are good benefits in using shells.

Before you put your shells in the garden or in your containers, the question in this article is “are clam shells compostable?” So you need to put those crushed shells in your compost bin and them forget about them for a couple of months.

What? You will need to give the shells a chance to biodegrade in the compost before spreading them in your soil.

Another tip is to mix them up in the compost with stuff you discard. I’m talking banana peels and egg shells for a start. And yes, I even use coffee grinds.

Conclusion: Are Shells On Your Shopping List?

what do you do with a clam shellIn conclusion, clam shells are compostable. They can be used as a natural fertilizer or mulch in the garden. They will help to improve the soil and increase plant growth.

But they are also very good when used aesthetically to enhance the look of a garden.

I hope you consider using shells as a compostable material for your garden. If you eat a lot of oysters then save the shells, break them up and compost them.

If you are having difficulty breaking them up, one gardener I know re-boils them but not for too long as to preserve the good nutrients within them. He then lets them dry out which seems to make them a little more brittle.

But only do this if you are struggling to break them up. And let me know by leaving a comment below on your best compostable clamshell trick.

Are Clam Shells Compostable For The Garden
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Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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