Chesapeake Blue Crab Compostfor your Tomatoes.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is a c/p of the Post I just wrote on the Tomato Forum. I hope you all have a place somewhere to buy this! It is amazing!
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We here--in the Chesapeake Bay area eat thousands and thousands of tons of steamed crabs every Summer...It is a way of life here...The whole act of "picking the meat" out of the crabs is a pasttime in itself--gory to some--an art to most others. Accompanied by X number of cold beers--of course.
Everyone will tell you that THEIR way of picking the meat out of a crab is THE best way!!!!

Anywhere you go out to eat, you opt instinctively for Crab cakes--AHHH such delicacies!!!! Or--Crab Fluffs---Or--Shrimp stuffer with crab----Or--Crab Imperial (the ultimate!)--How about Crab Soup? Comes in 2 versions-Cream of Crab or Crab Vegetable with beef Soup-----even Crab pretzels...

Crab...Crab...crab...You would think nothing else exists in the Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas area---just crabs! We just love it and eat it up by the tons and tons...Well, for every crab--there is 10 times the weight in shell that is left over. So, they have been composting these mountains of shells (being environmentally minded) for years, and the By Product is:

Ta-Dahhhh!!!!! "Chesapeake Blue" Crab compost. It is the remnants of the last stages of composting all these crab shells and the most amazing product you could ever use on Tomatoes! Honest!!!! It will double your yield! It will almost eliminate Blosson End Rot! It is just great!

You cannot buy this in a HD or a Lowes...Maybe in a Southern States or a Farm Supply type of a place. I am not sure if it is even sold outside of marylaand--but we have a Nursery here that will ship it to you----"Carroll Gardens" and also "Myer Seed Company International". See Garden Watchdog if they are listed...I know C.G. is!

I bought mine a few days ago at Myer Seed---a bag runs $4 something...It is like a top soil bag--just not as full. You mix in several hand fulls in every prepared hole you will plant a Tomato in. That' all, Folks!

Here is what the bag looks like:

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is the top part of the back. I had to split it up so you could read it....

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

This is the bottom part.....

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

And here is a close-up of the "Analysis Box"

In my area--I can get it from "Myer Seed"--only about 15 minutes from my house.

If you want to pay for shipping (it is heavy!)--"Carroll Gardens" (see Garden Watchdog) will ship it to you. So does Myer Seed Co.--it comes by UPS--each bag in it's own box?????

Gita

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Upper Marlboro, MD

Thanks, Gitagal

I want to try this but Carroll Gardens is sold out along w/Myer seed. Myer seed told me that they won't have any for about another 6 weeks that the plant stopped production on Chesapeak Blue because of environmental issues. I did find it at Valley View Farms. I'm going to make a run for it and look forward to beautiful tomatoes.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

LadyK---

I also found out that it is no longer available----until June, maybe???

I drove out to Myer Seeds Saturday (only 10 minutes from my house) to pick up a couple of bags, and they said they were all out--could not even get any more until June.....It is not even an option --as the supply has been eliminated until much later... "They" have stopped making it at this time! BUMMER!!!! Too hot! Everything is too dried up!
Luckily, I got my 2 bags before Myer Seed sold out. The ONLY had received 2 palates of bags! Such a drop-in-the-bucket for a Farm Supply place!!!!

Wanna hear a funny story? I was in my local Ace Hardware store......There was a man trying to get directions to Myer Seed Co. So--I jumped in, as I had just been there 2 days ago. Gave him all the directions and all that------Then I asked him--"What are you looking for"??? He said, "Chesapeake Blue". I told him to forget it!!!! It is no longer available--until June. Save your gas! He was all distraught.....Seems he was after a "one upmanship" with his neighbor for who can grow the best tomatoes....

Well, after a long chat between him and me (inside and outside the Store--in the rain) and the cashier and manager of the local Ace Hardware store-----I said to him:..."Look! If you want to follow me home (one mile), I have a little bit left over from the 2 bags i got earlier, and I will give you some (he was only planting 2 tomatoes!). He was SOOOO happy! He followed me home and I gave him about 3 cups of it. We chatted....I gave him some Datura seedlings-----I "enlightened" him on how to plant leggy tomatoes--etc.....etc....etc.....I can NEVER stop "educating" people!!!!!! and--they are always SO grateful! Seems my mission in life!!!!!!

Now he wants to bring his wife around (to my house) later in the Summer, to see my garden.....I even told him, i would let him have some of my Heirloom Tomatoes to taste--if they were ripe.....
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another connection made----and ANOTHER convert to DG!!!! Of course, i always tell all these people about the wonders of DG!!!!! Of course........

Just LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Gita

Upper Marlboro, MD

Yes, Gita!

I do love it... I just read the thread on the tomato forum and you are wealth of info. So I have lots of questions. I'm a newbie and this my first vegetable garden. I grew one tomato plant last year and cutworm got to it...soooooo how do I keep the cutworm off my three different kinds of tomatoes and do marigolds really work?

Thanks,

Lady K

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Don't know about the cut-worm---I guess you could use Sevin?--but i did read recently on someones' provided link that marigomds are really NOT great companion plants for Tomatoes.....Don't remember WHY!
I have never had any problems with cutworms....Maybe it is just the area (a development) that I live in.....Then again--I have only grown tomatoes for 3 years....

Sorry! Gita

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

LadyK, When I plant my tomatoes, I make a paper collar of newspaper and put half in the ground and half sticking up around the tomato plant. Here is an article and a picture of what a cutworm looks like. http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/cutworms.html
I also put some epison salts and a few unburnt matches in the hole, why? Someone told me a long time ago to do it and I can't break the habit, I have good success with tomatoes so why change now.

Upper Marlboro, MD

Thanks!

Gita...

Ladygardner1 ...I'm going to try the newspaper collar. Do I put the epsom salt in the hole before I put the tomato plant in? And how does the paper collar stand up to watering and rain?

Many thanks,

LadyK

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

Put the Epsom salt, about a small hand full, in the hole before you set the tomato plant in, I give it a stir to mix it in with the soil.
Newspaper collar: one full sheet of newspaper, fold it in half, then fold it down 2 times, it will be about 6 inches tall, tuck the one end inside the other to form a circle, you could staple the loose end to hold it together better as you plant.
set your tomato plant and slip the collar over the plant. I usually make a small trench around the tomato plant to bury the collar about 2 to 3 inches.
By the time the collar falls apart the tomato plant is well on its way, newspaper really holds up pretty well. I also use newspaper as a weed barrier between the rows of plants, I lay down sections of newspaper and then cover with compost and chopped up fall leaves. Holds in moisture and disinigrates back into the soil. The printing ink they use now is safe for the garden.

Upper Marlboro, MD

Thanks! from one Lady gardener to another Lady gardener

I'm going to set my plants out this week. I'll keep you posted.

Happy Gardening!

Central, VA(Zone 7b)

Having been summered on blue crabs on the Severn River, I am assuming they do some processing to rid the crab shells of that particular smell they get the day after you eat em.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Well--I went to Myer Seed Co. last Sunday to buy some more Chesapeake Blue and they had NO MORE! Besides--they could NOT get any more until June. They had only gotten 2 palletes of it. Lot of good that will do all of us Tomato planters!

Seems they cannot manufacture it at this time......Even on Alan Summers Website (they ship) it stated that none was available until June.....

So sorry! Shoulda--Woulda-Coulda----bought more!

Gita

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

I found this wonderful product at my local Southern States store. I've been using it for years and swear by it! My local store always has plenty of bags of Chesapeake Blue in stock.

As for cut worms & tomato plants, newspaper collars work well, but many time I just wrapped aluminum foil around the base of the tender plants and that helps them until they get bigger & stronger. Never had a problem with cut worms once I protected the stem. At the end of the season, I just remove the aluminum foil and throw it in the garbage.

Harford County, MD(Zone 6b)

Gita, I know this is an old thread but I'm getting ready to transplant some seedlings in the garden. I found a half bag of the Chesapeake Blue in the basement, leftover from years back. Do I still need to use other fertilizer when using this? Ginny

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