Top Dressing with Poop around new plantings?

drrich2(6)March 1, 2014


Live on a 1.4 acre lot and have planted a few trees. Our backyard is fenced in & we've got 4 dogs that crap out back. I am not inclined to engage in the hassles of composting.

What I do is walk around the backyard with a plastic hand trowel (scoop, whatever you call it) & move turds over near the bases of fairly small trees that've been planted in the past couple of years.

I figure that putting the stool on top of the ground isn't likely to burn the roots with excessive nitrogen (soil appears to be clay; we're in southwestern KY). I hope it will work into the soil naturally and slowly.

I wonder whether the nutrient rich dung will draw earthworms? This would not only provide further breakdown for nutrients, and aerate the soil, but also provide worm tunnels which might help roots to expand outwards from the original root ball.

Online searching indicates drawbacks include animal waste harboring potentially harmful bacteria and parasites. Also, some rodents eat dog stool, so there's that angle to think about.

I cannot be the first person it ever occurred to to do this, so I thought I'd ask about others experience with it, and what might be known.



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I see no problem with your plan, if the dogs are gonna be defecating there in the yard, anyway. Should cause no issues for the trees - there's a lot more N (and salts) in the urine than in their feces.
I wouldn't put carnivore feces in my garden, but around trees...not a prob - especially if they're not fruit trees that you're gonna be picking up 'drops' from and eating without washing.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:23PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

I've found dog poops to be helpful as far as keeping dogs from messing with the trees.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:10PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

crap ... turds ... stool ..... dung ...... stool

==>>> boy.. that is one good thesaurus you have.. lol .. though it failed you near the end... lol ...

trees dont need all that much fert ... so i am wondering.. if 4 dogs might overwhelm such ... over the years???

might depend on age and size of tree... you noting.. they are recent transplants ...

just speculating..


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Yes, I just couldn't quite bring myself to go with 'feces.' There are probably a few more terms I didn't think of off-hand!

We do have 3 dwarf plum & 1 Bell of Georgia peach tree out back. Then again, the dogs have a doggie door and spend more of their time in the house, and they get Heartgard for heart worms (which also kills a number of other worms) so parasite loads should be limited. And the grassy field up the hill probably has raccoon, opossum, fox and coyote turds that could wash down into our yard, so I don't sweat the doggie doo a lot.

Once the trees grow a bit, I think the root beds will be large & spread out enough that the 'extra fertilizer' load won't do any harm.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:32PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

please review the link .. especially in regard to such around food plants...

and then contemplate other forums... such as the one at the link ..

asking tree peeps about ... wait for it ... crap ... turds ... stool ..... dung ......

just might be the wrong audience ...

the greater issue might not be the tree.. but rather the soil.. and the pathogens..

good luck ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:59PM
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Here's how I explain it to students, in my simple veterinary terminology... It's feces inside the animal, manure on the ground, and s**t when it gets on you!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:03PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I was under the impression that canine feces doesn't provide any nutrients to the soil/plants.

I actually toss it over in the mulch just because it dries out quick and its an easy toss from the grass into the mulch vs sticking it in a bag and carrying it around.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 5:25PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Whaas, I'm glad I don't have to weed your flowerbeds.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 5:29PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I aim for the weeds!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:41PM
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I like to look at my "flower beds" as Bermuda sod gardens with the occasional shrub/tree. It is less depressing than the alternative...

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 21:16

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:05PM
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I've whipped it under trees, not sure of the benefit but organic matter is a good thing, worms love it too.
One concern... Leaving poo around creates poo eating dogs. Once they start it becomes a pain, maybe throw them under trees that are out of the dogs reach.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:48PM
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