You will start off with two mesh bags of spat-on-shell for your garden. Distribute seed as follows:
Taylor Float. Deploy your float. Cut open each mesh bag of spat. Spread the oysters out evenly in the bottom of the float. Discard the mesh bags
Oyster Cages. Cut open each mesh bag of spat. Divide the spat evenly among all four cages. Deploy cages horizontally. Discard the mesh bags.
When Spat Are Small
Occasionally oyster gardeners will receive spat-on-shell that are less than 1/4 inch. These spat should remain in the mesh bags for one to two weeks after you receive them, which will help protect the young oysters from predation. If you receive spat less than 1/4 inch, please follow these instructions:
Taylor Float. Set both mesh bags in your Taylor float, and leave them there for one to two weeks. At that time, cut open the bags, spread the seed out in your float, and discard the bags.
Oyster Cages. Place one whole bag of spat in each of two cages (leave the other two cages ashore for the time being). Deploy the two cages that have spat in them, and leave them in the water for one to two weeks. At that time, cut open the mesh bags, divide the spat equally among all four cages, discard the bags, and deploy all four cages.
Do not leave the spat in the mesh bags too long, or they could begin to grow through the mesh making them difficult to remove. In addition, spat left in the bags too long may suffer high losses due to predation from flat worms (see Controlling Oyster Predators).
This page was last modified October 17, 2012
The Oyster Gardening Program is a cooperative effort of the Oyster Alliance
Chesapeake Bay Foundation ~ Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science ~ Oyster Recovery Partnership
This page is part of Maryland Sea Grant's Oyster web site.
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