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Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#1  Unread postby ipoGSD » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:01 pm


Quick question. Doing a big garden this year for our bunnies. Since last fall I've dumped some rabbit poop/bedding (hay, straw and some wood chips from indoor bunnies) in the garden area, lots of shovel fulls of straight bunny berries also besides the mixed stuff. Also added about a trashbag full of leaves recently.

I was talking to my neighbor and he is alwayssss composting, teaching me about carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. He said that spot wont be ready to plant until next year. (Talk about bumming me out big time) (btw I do want to start composting because I get so much bunny waste (hay and wood chips) that it takes up lots of space in the trash can)

I wasnt really trying to compost in the garden per say, just figured "hey, this stuff will add some nutrients to the soil for the spring" I used my rototiller today and mixed it all in the soil. It looks pretty nice, dark and rich with some pieces of broken leaves and hay mixed throughout. Will this work or kill off any seedlings I try to transplant in the garden bed?

I just planted some seeds indoors last night, they're still germinating. So I do have some time to til the soil over 4 days or so to keep letting air get to it. Tho it's not that warm so it won't break down as fast as it would during the hot months.

But will this be ok? I know bunny poo is a cold fertilizer but because of the hay, straw, wood chips and leaves.. will this mess up my idea of a big garden??

Btw the seeds I'm starting are;
prize head lettuce (looks like a red leaf)
Sweet basil
Paris island COS heirloom variety lettuce (a type of romanine)
Swiss chard
Cilantro
And burpee bibb lettuce
I plan on planting a blackberry and raspberry bush and a few strawberry plants for the greens. They love strawberry greens!!!

Anyway, some info on if I messed up this years garden would be appreciated. Ty :)

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#2  Unread postby AmberRae » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:55 pm


I would think you could plant in it now. Those are all things that break down easily and quickly. People grow plants right into hay bales. Maybe it would be optimal next year but you should be able to grow a very nice garden in it this year.

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Rainey » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:02 pm


Most of what you added should be fine to plant in this year. Wood chips or sawdust are good for building soil but usually are aged before putting into the garden because they use nitrogen to decompose so can leave a deficit. But if they are a small part of what you've added it shouldn't be a problem. I would suggest you not till it again--garden soil isn't really meant to look like a bag of potting soil. Soil structure improves when it isn't disturbed too much. We've been doing no-till beds for a number of years now and are pleased with the organic content of the soil and the health of the plants. Just my opinion--I know some folks like the soil to be fluffy and without lumps, but I like it full of earthworms and they like roots and clumps.
Happy gardening--however you decide to do it.

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ipoGSD » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:02 pm


Yay ty amber and rainy!!! I appreciate the info!!!

And yes, very little wood chips have been added. Good to know I don't need to til it again. My neighbor is going to give me some red wriggles. So I'm sure that'll help with soil conditions too.:)

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#5  Unread postby WVForestGirl » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:45 am


I agree with amber and rainey, go for it, you might have better years in the future but surely you'll get something if you start now.

Just wanted to add that you might want to plan to reseed your lettuces throughout summer, they tend to like to bolt when it gets hot.

Have fun!

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#6  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:30 am


you can get a cheap test kit , and test your soil to see what your available nitrogen is-- if it is low you can add nitrogen [bunny berries, blood meal etc. ] -- just because wood chips etc: tie up nitrogen ,doesn't necessarily mean you will be too short to raise a crop- it just depends on how much poop you added in comparison to other materials that take longer to break down.
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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#7  Unread postby UFCreel » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:18 am


As the previous poster suggested. Get your soil tested. Truly is the only way to know what is truly going on with it. But what you added cannot hurt it. Rabbit poop can be added anytime as it is not considered a hot fertilizer. I always find my lettuce does better when i sow it directly into my garden.

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Marinea » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:08 am


Till it up and go for it.

We add the rabbit leavings to our raised beds all year long, only throwing it into our compost bin when the beds are full.
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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#9  Unread postby ipoGSD » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:26 pm


Depending on the price to test the soil I might do that. Otherwise I'm just gonna go for it. :)

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#10  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:36 am


ipoGSD wrote:Depending on the price to test the soil I might do that. Otherwise I'm just gonna go for it. :)


I would go for it- and watch- if the color of greens is a little light- I would make manure tea and pour it down the row-- but- that's just me--

{I Planted potatoes finally,-- must be spring here--]
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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Marinea » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:57 am


I same here Michael, potatoes planted. Finally!
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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:12 am


ipoGSD wrote:Depending on the price to test the soil I might do that. Otherwise I'm just gonna go for it. :)


I know the advice is to get a soil test but I just haven't usually gotten around to it. Ding one was always complicated by having beds and paths so each was almost like a separate garden. (The up side of the beds and paths was that we're never walking on the area we'll be planting and that all the compost and other soil amendments go on the planting area, not the pathway) So I've mostly judged how the soil is by looking for earthworms and seeing how things grow. Seems to me that where there are lots of worms, things grow well. And I think I remember something said earlier about putting red wigglers in the garden--my understanding is that they thrive in compost, manure piles etc but not so much in garden soil. Not sure if that is accurate but know the worms we see in the soil are different from the ones we see in the compost piles. Lastly, we used to scrupulously clear all the beds but have found so many more earthworms in spring when we left some roots in the ground--and we don't see any increase in disease.
As with rabbit raising (and childrearing and most anything that matters) opinions vary as to the best way to do it. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#13  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:10 am


Rainey wrote:
ipoGSD wrote:Depending on the price to test the soil I might do that. Otherwise I'm just gonna go for it. :)


I know the advice is to get a soil test but I just haven't usually gotten around to it. Ding one was always complicated by having beds and paths so each was almost like a separate garden. (The up side of the beds and paths was that we're never walking on the area we'll be planting and that all the compost and other soil amendments go on the planting area, not the pathway) So I've mostly judged how the soil is by looking for earthworms and seeing how things grow. Seems to me that where there are lots of worms, things grow well. And I think I remember something said earlier about putting red wigglers in the garden--my understanding is that they thrive in compost, manure piles etc but not so much in garden soil. Not sure if that is accurate but know the worms we see in the soil are different from the ones we see in the compost piles. Lastly, we used to scrupulously clear all the beds but have found so many more earthworms in spring when we left some roots in the ground--and we don't see any increase in disease.
As with rabbit raising (and childrearing and most anything that matters) opinions vary as to the best way to do it. Best of luck with whatever you decide.


I also gauge fertility by earthworm count, and have a saying "I feed the worms , they will feed my plants" .. I make sure there is always something in the garden for worms to eat..
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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Homer » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:48 am


Be sure and plant some radishes too GSD. Bunnies love the tops and I get more radishes than I can eat. They come up fast as will all of the things you have on your list. Basil is the only thing I start indoors. The rest I direct seed and they do great.
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Re: Hey fellow gardeners...

Post Number:#15  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:23 am


always plant toscano kale [dinosaur kale] for rabbits , and people..
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