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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Are bird droppings and seed husks beneficial for garden soil?

Zone Las Vegas, NV | snakeskins added on January 20, 2015 | Answered

We have multiple bird feeders hanging particularly over our oleanders. As a result, there is finch, dove, pigeon, and I think sparrow droppings and seed husks left behind in the soil. Assuming that this makes the soil more fertile, I plan on transferring some of it to the fruit trees (grape, pomegranate, apricot) in my garden. Would this be a mistake or would it actually help enrich the soil with added nutrients?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 25, 2015

So there are a few factors going one here, so let's start with the bird droppings.

Fresh bird droppings are very high in nitrogen. Because of this, the fresh droppings can create a toxic situation in the soil. When using say, chicken droppings, it is recommended that you allow the droppings to mellow in a compost heap for awhile before adding them to the garden. That being said, song bird droppings from a feeder will be less concentrated. I would recommend that you take a soil sample and have it tested. Your soil may be fine, but you may also find it has very high nitrogen, which at best inhibits flowering and at worse can kill the plants.

Second, regarding the bird feed. It really depends on what kind of bird feed you use. Any bird feed that uses sunflower seeds is bad for the soil and surrounding plants because sunflower seed shells are allelopathic, which means that they produce a chemical that prevents other plants from growing. But, if you use feed that does not contain sunflower seeds, then it can be beneficial to the soil.

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Answered on April 6, 2018

When I lived out on the farm we had gardens that were pretty high in pea sized to 3/4" sized gravel. We added compost to that soil along with aged cow manure and worked it in. We were able to grow sweet corn, carrots, radishes, potatos, turnips, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes and such just fine. We found that the gravel not only helped with good drainage for the soils but also helped allow oxygen paths to get some oxygen down into the soils. Thus when we got the heavy rains, the soils did not become so soppy that it caused them to lock out the oxygen movement to the root zone that can cause many a problem. If the gravel mix added appears high on a ratio of mix of the gravel side, add some top soil along with the compost and mix it in as best you can. That should get the ratio to where the soils and compost ratio of the mix is back to the higher side which is where you want it. Something like 60-40 ratio with gravel being the lesser. Refer: five nights at freddy's http://fivenightsat-freddys.com free online

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