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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Pet tortoise poop for the garden

Anonymous added on November 30, 2014 | Answered

I have a small pet tortoise in a small basin. Water needs be changed often. Can the water be put straight in the vegetable garden? I feed the tortoise with leafy veggies such as lettuce, cabbage, etc.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 1, 2014

Please do not put this directly into the garden. It is much better (and safer) to compost this instead. While the fact that your tortoise is a vegetarian, the chance of any dangerous bacteria being spread around is greatly decreased. If you HOT compost, there's almost no chance. There is also a slight risk of salmonella, though this is also true of chicken manure. In fact, chicken manure is riskier than the tortoise's; however, both risks are small. The only other concern is that tortoise droppings contain high amounts of ammonia, which increase the likelihood of nitrogen burning the plants. As long as you have a balanced compost pile and allow it to age properly, however, this shouldn't pose a problem. So yes, you can go ahead and use the tortoise poop but compost it first.

For tips on heating up a compost pile, this article should help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/basics/heating-up-compost-pile.htm

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