Corn Cob bedding for roses and plants?

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)July 21, 2009

I have 3 birds and use that corn cob bedding. I don't know if anyone else does, but I was cleaning out their cages today and thought to myself...

I wonder if I could use some of that for helping with drainage or just for adding some OM to the soil? I have to throw so much away after they use it. I don't necessarily mean "the used stuff" but even the new from the bag.

Anyone ever use it? Just curious. :)

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Undecayed organic material is not suitable for mixing into the garden soil but is good for mulching.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 5:04PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

The used stuff would be even better. Don't throw it away!Just compost it first. If you have a trash can that has been better days, cut the bottom off, put it somewhere on bare ground, pile the stuff in there and let it compost. Your roses will be deeply grateful.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 5:06PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Use it from the birds after they do their thing in it. The original clean product will absorb nitrogen from the soil as it decomposes. Any bird droppings in it will help the nitrogen content soless will be taken from the soil. Guano, bird/bat crap, is collected from caves and bird rookeries and sold as fertilizer. It's higher in nitrogen content than animal manures. Mixed with the corn cob bedding it'll make a good organic soil amendment, helping drainage and water retention. You could even use it as a mulch but it'll probably tend to blow away in high winds, although once it settles it should stay where it is.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 5:24PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

As long as it's ground up cobs.

When we bought this farm and were cleaning out a barn that hadn't had mules or anything else four legged and equine in it for at least 40 years, we found corn cobs that were ancient and they hadn't broken down, even in contact with relatively dry soil.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 6:44PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

If they resist decay, ground cobs might be good to use in potting soil to add bulk, drainage, and water retention.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 10:12AM
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susz52(5a Ont Ca)

Nothing wrong with the used stuff Just don't use it fresh as others mentioned. Bird doo-doo is very hot. Ground cob is okay for mulch and will decompose in that form.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 11:30AM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

I used to use the ground corn cobs in our bird cage and for our late bunny's litter box. I like the idea of using it in the garden.

If it is leftovers from the birdcage it may contain some birdseed that could sprout -- composting it before putting it on the beds is a good idea.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 2:16PM
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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

The NPK of chicken manure 1.1 0.8 0.5, not really that high in nitrogen, but unlike other manures it's fast acting and breaks down quickest of all manures.
Because of this use it carefully as it may burn.
It also, stinks like hell so composting it first is definitely recommended.
That said, If you don't have that much of it, you can scratch it in sparingly outside the drip line. By the time it breaks down and reaches the root zone, it should have aged enough so as not to be a problem.
Or, you could place it in a barrel of water and use it as a tea. That should soak the corn cob residue which would help it break down faster. Only problem, it would really smell. You'd probably have to wear a gas mask when you applied it.
We have a chicken ranch/egg operation in our area. When they clean out the chicken houses, it can be smelled for miles around.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 2:46PM
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