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Re: seedling mulch

> I would assume that oyster shells would raise pH IF the rain you get
> is on the acid side as most is.

Could you explain?  If acid rain is acidic (low pH) why would it cause
oyster shells (pH unknown) to RAISE the pH?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 2004 1:55 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] seedling mulch

> Interesting - well starter is the finest type and best for seedpots.
> I don't think it's much of a critter deterrent tho'.  From a soil
> additive point of view, the starter grade of grit is like adding a
> coarse sand without the finer sand particles.
> I would assume that oyster shells would raise pH IF the rain you get
> is on the acid side as most is.  Oyster shells are pure calcium
> carbonate as is coral which is ground up and used as a soil amendment
> in Hawaii to raise soil pH...now, how fast does it leach out of the
> oyster shells....I have no clue, but over time it certainly would
> leach some - might take a long time.  I read that ocean water has a
> pH of about 8, so maybe that's what oyster shells are...I couldn't
> find anything in a quickie Google that said what the specific pH of
> the shells were tho' the article on grinding up coral gave it as an
> 8.
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> mtalt@hort.net
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> > From: Kitty <kmrsy@comcast.net>
> > Well, I stopped in at the co-op today. They don't have any grit at
> all, but
> > he's ordering in a bag for me.  They carry starter or chicken grit.
>  You
> > don't get to pick the type of granite like they do in England.  I
> mentioned
> > that we'd sell it at Bulbapalooza for critter control and he said
> he thought
> > oyster shells might be better.  We've sold those for 4 years, but I
> > occasionally get someone who asks about OS raising the pH.  We
> already have
> > neutral to somewhat lime soil here.  I know you end up with more
> Calcium in
> > the soil after breakdown - and we don't need more calcium here -
> but I have
> > never been able to find reputable info on the pH of oyster shells.
> Does
> > anyone know?
> >
> > Since I don't have an answer, I thought I'd try grit this year
> instead.  I
> > can mention its other uses and possibly sell more.
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