Crushed Sea ShellsCrushed Sea Shells
Crushed Sea Shells can be used in your garden or landscape, and as driveways and walkways.
Crushed seashells can be used as a composting type mulch for flower beds, gardens and landscape areas. The shells will gradually break down and provide valuable nourishment and nutrients to your soil, improving the health of your plantings. When used as mulch, the shells should be placed over a good quality planting soil in a layer approximately two inches thick. Care should be taken when placing the shells to ensure your plantings are not damaged by the sharp edges of the shells. An often repeated, but unconfirmed, benefit of using seashells in this manner is that they serve as a deterrent to many garden pests such as voles and slugs.
Other ways sea shells are useful. Their calcium content helps to balance soil pH levels, improves nitrate uptake, aids enzyme formation and strengthens plant cell walls. The coarse texture of sea shells also helps to reduce compaction in the soil. And, it helps prevent potted plants from getting waterlogged by allowing water to run through the soil without getting trapped along the way.
Sea shells have plenty of advantages for your home besides the fertility of your garden. Because sea shells are almost pure calcium carbonate, they make a useful supplement for poultry farmers that want their chickens to lay thick-shelled eggs. You can also use sea shells to keep garden pests away. When applied at the openings of their tunnels, the sharp shards and gritty texture also works as a deterrent in the soil to keep moles and voles far away from your plants.
Sea shells are environmentally friendly. They provide excellent drainage since rainwater runs through them to percolate into the ground. And shells are a natural material that benefits the ground below as they decompose.
IN YOUR DRIVEWAY AND WALKWAYS...
Many people simply fall in love with the classic Cape Cod look of crushed seashell driveways and walkways. Crushed shells are actually a very effective surface for walkways and driveways and, when bought in bulk, can be very affordable. Certainly, if you go to a local feed store, bagged seashells can be extremely expensive but if you can manage to use a couple of cubic yards or more, seashells are comparable in price to crushed stone. As the shells get driven over or walked on, they break into smaller pieces. Over time, the shells will break down to make a very solid driving or walking surface but will require periodic replenishment. Few materials will create the dramatic visual effect of seashells contrasting with a lush green lawn.
One of the most cited reasons for not choosing crushed shells as a driveway or walkway surface is a fear of unpleasant odors from the shells. While there is some truth to the idea that seashells will smell, it is a short-lived nuisance. Quality shells will have been thoroughly washed prior to being sold and there will be negligible organic matter remaining in the shells. This organic matter will decompose very quickly once the shells have been spread and the unpleasant odor will pass as the decomposition is complete