There are several organic fertilizers that gardeners can use in their yard and garden. Even dog poop can be composted and made to aid in certain plants’ growth. But what about using dog poop as a fertilizer for fruit trees?
Dog poop fertilizer is NOT suitable for fruit trees. This is because dog poop has a high likelihood of containing parasites that may pass to humans through the fruit of the tree. Also, dog poop contains high levels of nitrogen and protein, which will cause your plant’s roots to burn.
In the rest of this article, I will discuss how dog poop reacts to plants, why you shouldn’t fertilize with it, frequently asked questions, and how to make dog poop fertilizer for specific plants. So if you would like to learn more about using dog poop as a fertilizer, read on.
Does Dog Poop Hurt Plants?
First, it’s essential to understand precisely how dog poop interacts with plants. Of course, if you own a pup, chances are they have left tiny presents all over your yard, and your plants have been unbothered by the poop. But what happens when you use dog poop directly as fertilizer? Will it hurt your plants?
Dog poop doesn’t hurt plants unless too much is applied, resulting in nitrogen burn to the plant’s root system. However, using dog poop as a fertilizer is not a good idea due to the parasites it could contain. Therefore, dog poop fertilizer should never be applied to edible plants.
Technically, you can use dog poop as a fertilizer as long you apply it to a plant that doesn’t produce a crop. However, composting dog poop requires caution and care as it can contain harmful parasites. Be sure to wear gloves whenever you are handling it.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Dog Poop As Fertilizer
It can be tempting to use dog poop as a fertilizer since it’s a free resource and readily available. However, there are many reasons you might want to reconsider using it on your garden plants, especially plants you plan on eating.
Why you should avoid using dog poop as a fertilizer:
- Dog poop could contain parasites. Canine feces may contain parasites like Roundworm, Tapeworms, Cyclospora, and Cryptosporidium, all of which can make a person incredibly ill.
- It lacks vital plant nutrients. Dog poop is high in protein and nitrogen but lacks other crucial nutrients and can even end up burning your plant’s roots.
- Dog poop takes a long time to decompose. This means that the composting process will take much longer, and you will be stuck with bits of dog poo for 8-12 months.
- It doesn’t smell good. Dog poop has a very distinct foul odor, and when you use it on your plants as fertilizer, that smell will linger and possibly attract pests.
As you can see, there are a few reasons you might not want to use dog poop as fertilizer. With that said, plenty of people use it every day, just never on edible plants and only after it has been properly composted. Another organic fertilizer, such as banana peel fertilizer, might be better suited for your garden.
What Animal Poop Makes the Best Fertilizer?
Humans have been using animal waste as a crop fertilizer for over 8000 years. So it makes sense that you might consider using your dog’s excrement. However, there are a number of animals that make far better fertilizer. So what animal poop is the best for your plants?
Cow and chicken poop makes the best fertilizer. Cow manure is more widely used to fertilize since it’s easier to acquire in large quantities. However, chicken manure has a better range of nutrients and is less likely to burn your garden plants. There are many types of poop to use as fertilizer.
Several other animals make excellent fertilizer. The best part is you won’t have to worry about getting parasites from these animals, and their poop does a great job nurturing your garden.
Other animal poop that is good for fertilizing plants:
- Horse manure
- Sheep manure
- Rabbit manure
- Goat manure
Ultimately, most plant-eating animal poop can be used to fertilize your plants. Just be sure to test the soil’s nutrient content before adding any sort of manure to the soil. Too much nitrogen can lead to over-fertilization and burned plants.
If you don’t already own a soil test kit, I personally recommend Luster Leafs 1602 Soil Test Kit (available on Amazon). This kit is great because it delivers practically instant results, and it comes with multiple tests. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
How To Compost Dog Waste for Plants
Finally, if you are set on learning how to compost dog waste for your plants, there are ways to do so safely that I will be going over. But, to reiterate, it’s imperative to note that you should NEVER apply dog poop fertilizer to any plants that produce consumable fruits or vegetables.
However, shrubbery and regular trees can significantly benefit from dog waste fertilizer. So if you have a lot of dog poop to get rid of, this is a great way to recycle it.
You will need:
- Dog poop
- A bucket
When selecting a vessel for your dog poop compost, it’s a good idea to use something with a sealable lid, preferably a bucket or something deep. You don’t want to get any of the mixture on yourself.
How to properly compost dog waste for plants:
- Add two parts dog poop to one part sawdust into a bucket.
- Add water to cover just above the poop and sawdust.
- Mix the water, poop, and sawdust until it’s well combined.
- Cover the bucket and allow the dog poop compost to sit.
- Mix the pile regularly over a 6-8 week period.
The overall process is simple. Just remember to take precautions when handling dog poop, like wearing gloves and a dust mask so you don’t inhale any harmful particles. As I previously stated, dog poop can contain harmful organisms that can make you sick. So be sure to use caution.
If you are more of a visual learner, Tumbleweed has an excellent video on how to compost your dog’s poop using worms and a bucket in the earth. They do a fantastic job of walking you through the process and explaining the science behind the poop recycling process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Can’t You Use Dog Poop As Fertilizer?
You can’t use dog poop as a fertilizer because it contains parasites that can be ingested by humans, causing severe illness. Dog poop also has high nitrogen levels, which can cause root burn. This can prevent plants’ root systems from absorbing nutrients from the soil.
Is Dog Poop Good for Vegetable Gardens?
Dog poop is not good for vegetable gardens because it contains parasites that can easily infect humans. Canine feces also contains too much nitrogen and protein, which, if composted incorrectly, can lead to over-fertilization and end up burning your plants.
Does Dog Poop Attract Rats?
Dog poop does attract rats, especially if you are using it to fertilize your plants. Rats enjoy the high protein content of canine feces and the smell attracts these pests. As such, it’s best not to leave dog poop around your yard or use it as fertilizer in most cases.
Ultimately dog poop fertilizer is not suitable for fruit trees or any sort of garden plants that bear edible fruits or vegetables. This is because canine poop carries harmful parasites that can end up being ingested by people, making them sick.
However, many people still use dog poop compost on inedible plants like shrubbery, grass, and non-fruit-bearing trees. If you decide to compost your dog’s poop, be sure to be careful not to contaminate your gardens or fruit trees.