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Belinda Says Hay: “The One About THE LOO”

Belinda the spokesrabbit blog: The One About THE LOO

Hello. It's Belinda.

Today is the day. This is my special "Earth Day” blog.

I'm sorry it took so long but I had to do extra research.

I'm also sorry if this blog offends anyone. The topic is very sensitive and personal. "To put it mildly."

That's because it's about the litterbox.  Which I call the "loo" to be polite.

And it's the reason I asked to see photos of yours last month. 

I wanted to see what type of litter you use.

We use soft paper bedding here. Josh ships to us from the warehouse. It looks like crumpled up brown paper.

Soft paper bedding

My roommate orders it because it's good for the garden.

That's right. We give our used litter away. To a gardener.

My roommate dumps our litterboxes into big bins in the garage. Every few weeks, the gardener takes it away in his truck.

I told you this was a sensitive topic. 

In fact, I had so much trouble trying to explain this in a "professional" way that I eventually gave up.  

I decided to let the gardener do the talking. I emailed some questions to him and here's what he sent back.

By the way, he calls it "manure." 

After you pick up the rabbit manure , what happens next?

The manure gets dragged up the hill to my two-part composting area. In one section, I put fresh materials (manure, kitchen waste, leaves, some weeds from the garden). I occasionally turn this to speed up the composting process.  

In the spring or early summer, after I have used up all of my finished compost, I move material from that first section to the second, where I have material that is partly composted and very full of worms. 

The process of moving the material mixes it and speeds up the composting process. Next spring, this is the compost that will be mixed into the soil to encourage a healthy garden. New fresh materials are added to the first section and the process starts all over again.

What's in your garden? 

I plant beets, swiss chard, lettuce, peas, beans, basil and parsley, as well as some flowers to encourage more visits from the bees.

Why do you like the paper bedding for compost? 

Paper is a favorite of worms, and it adds carbon material to the compost pile.

There's a lot of hay in my litterbox. Is that OK?

Hay is good in the compost pile. The paper is a "brown" and the hay and manure are "greens."  A proper compost pile needs a balance of brown and green to produce a quick and high-quality compost.

My roommate told me you used my litter to "fluff up" the dirt. What does that mean?

Western PA has very dense soil with lots of clay.  Plants can push roots through the clay, but it's hard.  

If we can increase the amount of small bits that are not clay--called biomass--we can fluff that dense soil so the roots can push through more easily, and so can water and worms.

The nutrients and water become more available to the plant and you get a healthier garden.

What else should my friends know?

Composting is very simple and can be done in a two-stage process like mine, or directly into an unused (fallow) gardening bed. 

If you use the direct method, dig a hole, put the litter box contents in and cover it back up. In a few months, you can plant in that spot. No work.

Could you please send a few photos?

I would be happy to. Thank you for all the manure over the years. 

That garden looks so peaceful. I wish I could go there.

Well I guess I am there.

If you know what I mean.

Sincerely,

Belinda

SpokesrabbIt, Small Pet Select

Belinda@smallpetselect.com

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Would you like to read more of Belinda's weekly blogs?  See them all HERE.

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