Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Manure, Beautiful Rabbit Manure!

The other day there was a message on the fridge that the call I always wait for had come.  The caller, a man with an immediately recognizable voice; gruff, yet at the same time, friendly and laughing, as he says, "I've got something for you."  That something?  A truckload of rabbit manure.  Why, you ask, would anyone want a truckload of rabbit manure?  The answer is simple. It is the best thing ever for the garden!  Well, with the possible exception of bat guano, but I do not know anyone who raises bats.

Rabbit manure has more nutrients than other manures (typical N-P-K ratio: 2.4 - 1.4 - .60), but does not burn plants if applied directly to them without composting it first.  It also adds lots of organic matter to the soil which improves the texture.  Gardens (and worms) thrive on it!  Needless to say, the results of rabbit manure added to the compost pile are beautiful, too.  While some rabbit breeders package the manure to sell for extra income, many are happy to just have someone haul it away for them.

Today's manure haul.

If you do not have access to rabbit manure, a good alternative is rabbit food.  It's main ingredient is alfalfa, which contains a natural growth stimulant.  Simply throw a handful in the planting hole or spread on a lawn and you will soon see an amazing difference.  There is actually an organic fertilizer that is made by a well known feed company that smells amazingly similar to rabbit food. It used to look like it, too, until they started grinding it into what resembles the dust at the bottom of the bag.  While rabbit food is going up in price, a fifty pound bag is still cheaper than other organic fertilizers or alfalfa meal, which many gardeners use, especially for roses.

Another advantage of a truckload of anything is the workout it gives.  After loading and unloading a load of wet rabbit manure, you realize the truth in gardening being the equivalent of weight lifting.  I would be willing to bet that there is some cardiovascular in there at times as well.