There are many gifts from the sea that make excellent additives to our gardens, as they contribute organic matter, nutrients, trace elements and calcium.
Kelp Available in a meal form, liquid form or as actual seaweed, this wonderful product provides nitrogen, potassium and many trace elements. It is also known to contain growth hormones and it increases the soil's organic matter, thus improving its texture and water-holding capacity. Oyster Shells An excellent source of calcium, these shells are a must for the veggie garden. They are also known to sweeten the soil (i.e., increase the pH), improve drainage, help keep slugs away and increase organic matter. Smashed oyster shells are particularly useful when planting squash, tomatoes, lavender or lilacs. Simply crush the dry shells with a hammer or brick (be sure to use safety glasses and gloves). Fish Scraps Fish guts, heads and tails are excellent sources of nutrients in the garden, providing trace elements, calcium and nitrogen. But do not put these scraps into the compost, as they may attract rodents. The best way to compost fish scraps is to dig a deep hole (about 60 cm) and toss in the remains. Let the compost break down for a minimum of six weeks, then till or double-dig the area before directly planting into it. Alternatively, there is a wonderful local product, Sea Soil, which is available at garden centres around the province. Sea Soil is environmentally friendly and can be used for planting, mulching or in compost tea. It contains no weed seeds and is full of nutrients. Fish Bone Meal A bone meal made from fish bones, this product is extra high in phosphorus and trace minerals, further supplemented with nitrogen. Excellent at planting time, or where root and flower development are required. Crustacean Shells High in nitrogen, phosphorus and lime, shells should be rinsed and finely chopped for use in the garden. I like to bury them deep in the soil and let them compost, then double-dig and plant directly. Wonderful for alkaline-loving plants.