How to make high quality organic fertilizer for your bonsai. 

This post begins here: 

 This is the closest highway overpass to my nursery. I won’t say where it is because it’s my secret honey hole. 

This isn’t just any highway overpass. 

Look here! 

 I do apologize for the blurry pics, I took them during a drive-by. You see, my usual visitation time is about midnight. Pictures don’t come out well in the dark and I don’t want to draw attention to myself with a camera flash or a light. I’m here for this: that, my bonsai friends, is the highest quality guano in the avian world. It can be used fresh (unlike chicken poop, which must be composted for a year) or dried. I prefer to dry and pelletize it. If you were to buy it commercially it is three to four times the cost of any other guano. 

Chicken guano has an NPK of 1.6/.5/1 generally (rounded). Duck is not much better. Pig? Don’t even bother. Cow manure only has 2/0/0. 

So the stuff I have been collecting (4.9/2.25/1) is literally liquid gold. From poop. From whence does this miracle organic fertilizer come from? Why, the humble pigeon, of course.  

 

Not to get too graphic, I basically collect the guano, dry it, break it up, add dry gelatin (whatever flavor you prefer, lemon is my favorite). I add water until it’s the consistency of playdough and roll it out. Let dry, and crumble. It’s usually a good idea to wear gloves when performing this. Here’s the end product: 

 It has a lovely, lemon scented poop quality to it. 

Now, this isn’t something I just made up. Most people think of pigeons as being a wild bird but they are actually one of the oldest domesticated species. For thousands of years man has kept pigeons for fertilizer, carrying message and food. Those in charge actually classify wild pigeons as feral, meaning they escaped captivity. This feral designation leads me to a slight digression: pigeon hunting. 

Oh, yes indeed. There is no “season” for pigeon hunting.  Which means that, if you get hungry, bag a few birds and have a feast. Here is a Link to a Wired article extolling the advantages of the pigeon for food idea. And this Link has about twenty recipes for pigeon. The Egyptian grilled pigeon is tasty. Exotic. 

After reading through the second link you’ll notice that the word pigeon and dove are interchangeable. And it’s simple why, a dove is a pigeon that has been bred for its whiteness. Like I said, they are a domestic animal. Which brings us to Mike Tyson. He keeps pigeons. In fact, he sells a brand of pigeon fertilizer he calls, of course, “Knockout” brand. 

  

So, instead of cursing the “flying rats” and hoping they don’t poop on your car….  

 ….have some respect for our feathered friends that western civilization has forgotten and set free to fend for itself in the harsh cities of the world. Imagine if dogs were treated this way. 

  

************************

Ok…..the day I published this just happened to be the First of April. In the United States this is a holiday we call April Fools Day, the day we play tricks and stage elaborate hoaxes on one another. And, although everything I wrote about concerning pigeon shit is 100% true (except the “Knockout” brand sold by Mike Tyson, though if he does try to sell it, I have the name copyrighted and he’s gonna have to pay me….) I am not making my own fertilizer out of pigeon shit, I am not climbing under highway overpasses, and, therefore, I am not at risk for all the diseases that pigeons could possibly carry. 

After all the hubbub and flak I got, I wonder if, having just changed the bird to a chicken, people would have even brought up the pathogens present in manure fertilizers (of any animal for that matter).  

And I would not hunt a city pigeon, there’s too much lead and such that they absorb from all the autos that pollute the city’s ecosystem. I would eat a farm raised one though. 

So, to you all……APRIL FOOLS!

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in Horticulture and growing, rare finds, tips and tricks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How to make high quality organic fertilizer for your bonsai. 

  1. I just got turned onto rabbit and deer droppings. Much easier to collect and already pelletized. Both have an NPK of 3/1/2. Perfect for bonsai usage.

  2. billsbayou says:

    I’ll keep your secret, but here’s a slightly better photo for you:

    It’s almost panoramic; pigeonramic; pooperamic; guanoramic.

  3. Reid Parham says:

    Not sure if April Fools joke…

  4. Vaughn Golden says:

    :-D. I almost got myself a bunch of #$%$ birds. jokes on me!

  5. JimT says:

    My dad raised Homing Pigeons for his entire life. See if there is a club in Orlando and I am sure the members would be glad to give you all the poop. We used it for everything that grew.

  6. OceanKin says:

    Finally getting around to reading this post. I was ready to ask for proportions: scat to gelatin. Fun post!

  7. Tony DeWald says:

    Adam Since i’m allergic to pigeon poo, *cough* do you have any other Suggestions for either making my own or something I could buy? Prefer something I could buy.

    I’ve been using a product made by Ecoscraps that is an all purpose plant food with a 5-5-5 number.
    Seems to be okay as it hasn’t killed any of my trees or plants.
    This one…

    http://ecoscraps.com/products/natural-organic-all-purpose-plant-food

  8. granolagirlatheart says:

    Can’t stop laughing.

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