[permaculture] Long term soil sweetening

Elizabeth Hilborn ehilborn at mebtel.net
Tue Jan 20 07:49:21 EST 2015

Hi folks, I am a newbie to the group and to permaculture.

I just started a project (still at the thinking and planning stage) in 
the mid-Atlantic US for a sloping parcel with a plan for pasture at the 
flat top, fruit trees on the slope, and vegetables on the fertile bottom.

My overriding issue is the inherent acidity of the soil. Can I spread 
crushed oyster shell (sold for chicken feed) on the land for a 
long-lasting solution. I am looking for longevity, because I do not want 
to be spreading lime every 2-3 years.

In colonial New England, they used crushed oyster shells to sweeten the 
soil. The bigger fragments of shells are still there in old fields, 
slowly leaching away, so I know this is potentially a long term solution.

However, I do not know how to calculate the correct amount of crushed 
shell to apply given pH, and area. Do I need other soil quality parameters?

Any thoughts?

Betsy Hilborn

More information about the permaculture mailing list