Fish Fertilizer: Information about Time Released Crab Meal Fish Fertilizer: Information about Time Released Crab Meal

Fish fertilizer comes in different form. The shells of crustaceans (or shellfish) are rich in nutrients specific to their makeup. Time-released crab meal is available wherever fertilizers are sold, and though possible to make on your own, the process is not easy to simulate at home.


Crab meal is made by kiln-drying the shells, and then grinding them down to powder. This powder can be added to other fertilizers, lending the benefits of chitin, or the protein specific to crustacean shells. It can also be used by itself as crab meal fertilizer. The chitin provides slow release nitrogen to the plant and soil, granting the leaves deep green color and strength in its stalk fibers.

Another benefit of time-released crab meal is the protection from nematodes. Nematodes are the species of organism more commonly known as ringworm. It’s the chitin protein in the crab meal that provides this service and, as a result, your plants are parasite-free for most of its maturing, if you have used time-released crab meal.


Where some companies add the crab meal to another fertilizer—for instance, another fish or seaweed fertilizer they produce—others choose to keep the crab meal by itself. When applying crab meal, it is important to remember that the directions on the back of the container you purchased will have the best proportions of use for your garden, lawn, or trees. These instructions are unique to the brand and formulation, so remember to read them before you even purchase the container of fertilizer.

For crab meal by itself, though, the concensus is that using more crab meal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The proportions agreed upon by most experts is:

  • Vegetables – 5 lbs. per 50 ft. row
  • House plants – 2 to 4 oz. per pot, depending on plant and pot size
  • Tomato and pepper plants – 6 oz. per plant
  • Ornamental trees – 4 lbs. per tree
  • Ornamental shrubs – ¾ lbs. per bush

Usually crab meal is tilled into the soil, or spread around the surface of the soil at the base of a plant. Though the meal is powder fine, it is still important to remember that before it was processed the crab meal was a protective shell of an underwater animal, and so it isn’t soluble. For this reason, it is not recommended that you use crab meal as a foliar feed spray. It won’t have much affect at all, if it has any. You can add it to your mulch, and allow the time-released nutrients to gradually benefit your garden. You can also add it to the compost you apply to your garden upon planting to give those same benefits from germination.

There is an abundance of benefits in using time-released crab meal for your garden, yard, or indoor plants. Time-released crab meal is a great way to provide special proteins to your plants, especially in a region where pests are a looming problem. When choosing a fertilizer, consider the benefits of crab meal as you shop around.

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