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Guano, worm castings, and Manure

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by BostonBull, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    I watched Modern Marvel history of fert this past week.

    After doing some research, it seems that ANY soil would benefit from the addition of Guano, and manure of some sort. I also like the idea of worm castings/poop. ( http://www.wormpower.net/worm-castings/index.php ).

    Is this something that a LAWN would benefit from or do you think my perennial/woody plants would be the best beneficiaries of this sort of thing?

    Would a thin (1/2") top coat of one of he above mentioned products be enough, say 1-2 times (spring and fall) a year?

  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    What is that smell, peeeewwwww
  3. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Worm castings don't have a foul odor, and would definitely help your lawn and shrubs.

  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

    Good worm castings have the same consistency and earthy aroma of good potting soil but with huge benefits of active biology.
    Google, the ohio state university vermicompost
    for some of the studies they've done with vermicompost & vermicompost tea.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    For ease of handeling as well as cutting down on the smell and possible pathogens, compost the manures first. You can mix other organic materials in the compost pile at the same time to increase volume as well as influence nutrient values.
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    phasthound has a lot of experience on vermicompost he has been using it for years and has had excellent results, he even has people sending him thank you letters for the great job that it does for soil and plants. Barry how many times have you heard how good the tomatoes are from that stuff, 100's?

    Muddstopper brings up a great point about composting the guano first. I believe this practice is used for almost all macro and micro nutrients and has great success. I keep thinking about the examples of composting calcium in the pile and the great results of being able to balance soils. It is a more effective way of doing it than putting it down on top of the soil.
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

  8. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    I got a quote from http://www.wormpower.net/ they said 1 yard will cover 12,000-16,000 sq. ft. It is $375 per yard plus $250 for shipping. Is this a good price for the product? My lawn is only 6K sq/ft, and I have another 1500-2000sq/ft of trees, shrubs, and perennials. So 1 yard would be perfect.

    Is there cheaper, but still as good of a product out there?

    How often should I add this to the soil? 1 a year, every other year, every 5????

    Is it best to add before or after aerating in the spring?

    Thanks guys!!!
  9. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    If the worm castings are good (do they supply test results?). Then this is a great deal. typically a yard weights about 1200 pounds and you can get 2000 pounds of Worm Gold for $550 to $600 but then you have to add the shipping and that could be another 3 or 4 hundred bucks. They have great castings. so if the quality is there it is a good deal. But spreading it like compost may not be the best use of the product. you may consider mixing with compost from a local supplier @ $15 to $25 a yard or better yet getting a compost tea brewer from KIS for $150 and using this to make hundreds of gallons of teas which could be applied every day for a year (just kidding) but every few weeks or months and you would probably get more bang for the buck! But my point is you could make a bunch of tea with 1200 pounds of castings.
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,149

    Go to the sponsor page, click on my banner and feel free to contact me privately.

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