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Beginner Gardening Questions: Kitty Litter Biochar

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 1, Views: 36
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spunorthodox
Tildenville, FL

February 6, 2013
6:16 PM

Post #9410681

So we've all heard that carnivore/pet poop is generally not a good thing to add to compost or garden beds. Mostly because it may contain bad microbes and parasites like Toxoplasma gondii; and also because it can burn the roots of the plants that you bury it near in garden beds...
...but what if... you burn it all... the pee, the poop. All of it.

Cat pee is made of uric acid (-->ammonia), electrolytes, and water. Ammonia is considered a green fuel, that although "caustic" is still cleaner than gasoline. It's bi-products are Nitrogen and water. Electrolytes are a fancy way of saying minerals.

Cat Poop is undigested cat food (bacteria included) with Nitrogen, phosphate, and potash...and carbon of course.

I use the 3-tiered paint can, tomato can, soup can contraption (goofy pic attached) to burn my woody yard debris, which turns wood into soil nourishing char coal instead of ash.

I rent an apartment so I have to go somewhere remote, like the camp grounds of a public park, to burn the wood. I'd love to try also burning the cat pee and poop that I get out of the litter box, but I'm already getting stink eye from the park rangers. The last thing I need to reassure them of is that "it's only cat excrement that I'm burning, don't worry".

So I'm wondering, has anybody tried burning cat stuff? That's my more pressing question...how does it smell? Would I have to burn my clothes too if I ever attempted it? Then the secondary question is, what effect has anyone innovative (crazy) enough to do this noticed in their garden?

Any feedback is good feedback. Even if it's "you're stupid"...because I'm rubber and you're glue :)

Thanks!
Keith


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themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

February 7, 2013
10:30 AM

Post #9411187

No honest question should ever be considered stupid.

Here is a bit of info for you

http://www.earthineer.com/content.php?blogid=11276

http://www.loyno.edu/~katc/documents/manure.rtf

from the above link to pdf this is in reference to most common manures, but the burning would apply to all forms.

"3.5 Do not burn animal manures!

Burning manures is like setting fire to soil fertility! Zambian soils are very poor in organic matter, which is the driving force of soil fertility, and animal manures are an excellent source of organic matter. By burning manures, all of the benefits of increasing soil organic matter go up in smoke and all that is left are minimal plant nutrients, which have only temporary effects on crop growth.

Burning manures is practised to eliminate diseases. However, composting animal manures will also reduce the risk of any plant or animal diseases remaining in the manure - and the precious organic matter will be retained."

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