High, and welcome everyone to today’s article regarding, growing cannabis using crab meal. I just want to give those of you who don’t know, a closer look at this wonderful amendment. It can really cause your cannabis plants to be way too happy. Plus, it delivers a lot of essential nutrient value, slowly, over time, just how Mother Nature set it all up to work—heh heh.
Crab Meal (basically any shellfish shells) also have a good amount of Chitin. I always think my plants are happiest and heartiest when I know there is some serious chitin coming on the scene. Chitin also has some other bennies, like making it super hard for some parasitic types of nematodes and fungi to survive. Having chitin on the scene spawns a lot of chitin consuming microbeasties. These parasitic types of nematodes and fungi use chitin for protection… Which doesn’t work so well with a chitin feeding frenzy going on—ya follow?
Okay then, let me show you guys some stuff when it comes to using crab meal, that may really help out along your path of all-natural growing. Crab meal is a bit of an “odd duck” when it comes to nutrient rich amendments. It’s all about the form those nutrients be in baybee. Let’s roll…
What Crab Meal is Packing
Hopefully some kind of shellfish meal like crab meal is easy for you to source—and there’s always online options too. It’s well worth it to have, and cannabis plants love-love-love what this stuff brings to the table. Stuff like a lot of trace nutrients. Nitrogen (N) in spades, some phosphorous(P), magnesium (Mg), and a lot of calcium (Ca)—boom!
Earthworms and bacteria go crazy for crab meal, and why not, the calcium bump is a good long term pH buffer for the worms’ happiness, and plenty of food for the microbeasties—especially N. Not to mention bacteria also prefer their environment to be buffered up (6.9 – 7.5 pH) and the calcium handles that well. Cannabis plants prefer bacterially dominated soil.
My favorite crab meal (in the photo) runs at 4-3-0 NPK. Growing cannabis using crab meal is almost a complete fertilizer. Shellfish meal in general usually is packing somewhere around 5% – 12% nitrogen, 23% calcium, 1.5% magnesium, and about 4% phosphorus—Nice! A few studies I saw suggested using it in your soil mix helps plants to fight off parasitic fungi like Botrytis (Bud Rot) and powdery mildew. I dunno myself about that, but I do like the sound of it—LoL.
Growing Cannabis Using Crab Meal Methodologies
Micropond TLO Style growing can be done with crab meal. In the photo above you can see it in action. These are cannabis plants in 2-gallon pots (Plant Warrior), under an 18/6 photoperiod. I used 1 teaspoon of crab meal on each plant’s catch tray of runoff water. They have about 10 days left in these pots. In the water like this, exposed to all that air—decomp occurs swiftly amigos.
You will want to keep your crab meal sealed up in an air-tight type container. A plastic coffee can is all good here. Gnats and flies tend to like crab meal a lot too. It will float on top of the runoff water for several hours before sinking. It will be hyper-fast decomposing with tons of air and water. Anything flies or gnats would be interested in is quickly consumed by the microbeasties that abound in the Micropond.
Growing Cannabis Using Crab Meal as a Top Dressing
Top dressing with crab meal is the bomber for sure. Fantastical really. The only problem is if you are using crab meal AND you tend to overwater and draw gnats… They will likely go all batshit-crazy on you. They really love crab meal if they happen to be around. I rarely ever, maybe three times ever, have had that happen in a decade of using this type of amendment. But it’s always a mega-invasion.
Fungus Gnats do actually no harm to an all-natural cannabis grow in living soil. Quite the contrary really, in their larval stage in the soil they actually do a ton of good. Once they become airborne, they become a huge pain in the ass, but still mostly harmless. Getting stuck all over your gooey buds during later flowering is a big bummer though.
That being said, I like to go pretty big with crab meal as a top dressing. Rather than using smaller amounts with a greater number of applications. On a typical 3-gallon container I would go a full level tablespoon. Alternately, 1-teaspoon per gallon of container size. I find this keeps temptation down for gnats, plus crab meal is so slow release and buffered with calcium that it won’t piss off your top-roots.
Soil Building Using Crab Meal
Using crab meal 🦀 while building and/or recycling custom living soils is about as good as it gets. Because it is a slow-release long term addition, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. The N and Ca particularly are very important nutrients for healthy hearty cannabis plants.
Nitrogen is easy to add in many ways, but crab meal is distinctive. Like feather meal, or hoof meal. They keep “dribbling” that nitrogen to the plants slowly but surely. This keeps your plants “knowing the score” encouraging them to grow more vigorously and hearty. They know they can count on that N supply for a while, like about 21 days or so; plants love things they can count on.
Per 3 cubic feet (18 gallons) of custom or recycling soil, I would add about 3 cups of crab meal. Alternately, about 1 cup per cubic foot (6-gallons) of soil. By the time your recycling, or soil building finishes (about 30 days), all the crab meal nutrients will have mostly been released into your soil mix. Having that long-term N in their once again, supplies microlife with an extended source of proteins for growth. Super important, aiding in the releasing of all the other nutrients in the soil mix.
Rev’s Tips Growing Cannabis Using Crab Meal
- Stop using crab meal about 25 days before harvest date.
- Using crab meal as a spiking amendment for TLO style growing works well, especially when combined with kelp meal about 50/50.
- Get a smaller box of crab meal to try out and if you love it big, like I’m pretty damn sure you will, you can get it online or from local nurseries in larger (bulk) amounts and save a lot of moolah over time. I use a small tote to store mine in.
See ya all back here next week for another bit of Rev babble, heh heh. I have a great idea… Pop on over to KOS and get you some smokin’ cannabis beans baybee.
Maybe, even start a whole new adventure that will likely change your life for the better. Grab a copy of True Living Organics 2nd Edition by The Rev. TLO philosophy in general applies to all life on the planet. Made my life healthier along with my plants. For the first time I actually understood what ‘All-Natural’ means, as a style of growing/living. I have heard from many peeps with similar experiences.
I’m not an all-natural extremist or anything. But knowing that shit sure does come in handy. Hasta and cheers my esteemed homeskillets.
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.