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Crab Meal Fertilizer/Soil Amendment, What is it good for?

Posted February 14, 2013

Crab meal may not be the first thing you think of when looking for a fertilizer or soil amendments for your garden, but you may start to think a little deeper into the topic!  Its benefits are huge!  Besides the fact that crab meal is eco friendly, it's organic and loaded with nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium.  It is slow release which is healthier for plants and it also helps with nematode and fungus problems in the soil.  Because it is also high in chitin it encourages soil microorganisms to discharge enzymes called chitinases, which break down the chitin that are a part of the parasitic nematode egg shell.   Crab meal can be considered a bio-pesticide (preventing, destroying or repelling) for this reason.   It can be worked into the soil or add it in the planting hole when transplanting.  It's great for planting with tomato crops not only for the fertilizer benefits, but the calcium is great for helping prevent blossom end rot.  Use 2 Tbsp per transplant hole and mix the existing soil or add 5- 10 lbs per 100 square feet.  Crab meal is also a great activator to add to your compost.  It really gets the microorganisms on the move and helps with the breakdown process for faster and more robust compost!

Comments (6 Comments)

Our living soil gardens have been in decline over the past few seasons and we were clueless as to why we couldn’t keep anything alive. The symptoms showed up in the leaves and appeared to be deficiencies or pH imbalances so we made adjustments. Actively aerated teas helped, however, the positive effects were short lived. Apparently, we had a different kind of problem on our hands. When we pulled up a Swiss Chard that suddenly wilted and died on us, we discovered abnormalities in the roots.
Root Knot Nematodes, small microscopic worms that bore into the root and secrete a hormone that causes the root to swell, causing the plant to show symptoms of deficiencies and eventually die.
After doing some research, we found that incorporating chitin in the form of crab meal with trichoderma was able to control the problem and now things are back on track.

Posted by @AttackoftheGrow on November 30, 2018

Yes! There certainly are good nematodes that are beneficial! Parasitic Root Nematodes are problematic though. They are not beneficial. These attach themselves to roots of our vegetable plants, causing them to become weak and eventually die. Sometimes soil gets out of balance with to many of these bad guys and not enough good guys. Crab meal certainly helps with this issue, thus feeding the beneficial nematodes, creating a better balance.

Posted by Alis Organics on March 26, 2017

Nematodes help rid unwanted things such as fungus gnats and other fungi when growing with probiotics and supersoil. Why would they be considered a problem? Knowledge and science folks.

Posted by Tony on March 15, 2017

I wanted to avoid using feather meal, because of G.M.O. feed contamination. Crab meal sounds like a great alternative. Thanks for supplying the measurement information, too.

Posted by Paul W. on April 18, 2015

I’m going to use it this summer. Thanks for letting us know how much to use. I can only afford 5lb per 100 sq ft, but that should help. I’ll let you know how it worked.
Feather meal was recommended to me, but I did not feel it is organic (with the GMO feed for chickens), and not particularly eco-conscious nor animal-friendly.

Posted by Paul W. on April 11, 2015

Fabulous sounding. I have had nematodes in my garden for several years and can’t seem to grow anything very good. I’m going to give this a try. Thanks!

Posted by Toni on February 14, 2013

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