Do you have a backyard rabbit hutch? If so, you’re sitting on a goldmine of natural fertilizer! Rabbit manure contains an impressive lineup of nutrients that plants crave. The high nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micronutrient content makes rabbit poop a premiere organic fertilizer for gardens. Best of all, rabbit manure is easy to handle, fast-acting, and odor-free. By properly composting or applying the manure, you’ll nourish your plants and enjoy bigger, healthier harvests. In this article, you’ll discover why you should use rabbit poop to supercharge your vegetable and flower beds. We’ll explore the ideal NPK ratios, safe application rates, and methods to unlock the potentials of this underrated superfood for your plants. Let’s dig in!
Is Rabbit Poop Good Manure for the Garden?
Rabbit manure can make an excellent organic fertilizer for the garden. As an animal-based manure, rabbit poop contains higher levels of nitrogen than plant-based composts and manures. The relatively high nitrogen content makes rabbit manure ideal for vegetables, flowers, herbs, and other plants that need a nitrogen boost to thrive.
Rabbit manure provides plants with macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as a range of micronutrients. These nutrients feed soil microbes and help plants grow. Rabbit poop also contributes organic matter to the soil, improving soil texture and water retention.
Unlike manures from cows and chickens, rabbit manure has almost no odor. This makes it easier and more pleasant to handle and apply directly to the garden. Rabbit manure is usually in the form of dry, easy-to-spread pellets. The small size allows the nutrients to break down quickly once added to soil, providing rapid nourishment for plants.
Overall, rabbit manure has many characteristics that make it an excellent organic fertilizer option for home gardens. The high nitrogen content, complete nutrient profile, ease of handling, and fast nutrient release check off many boxes for an ideal manure.
Rabbit Manure NPK Values vs. Other Manures
The NPK values refer to the percentages of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in a fertilizer. This shows the nutrient ratio and makeup. Here is how rabbit manure stacks up against some other common manures:
Rabbit manure has an NPK of 2.4-1.4-0.6, meaning it is 2.4% nitrogen. This is higher than horse (0.7%), cow (0.6%), sheep (0.9%), and chicken manure (1.1%). The relatively high nitrogen content is one of the key benefits of using rabbit poop as a garden fertilizer.
At 1.4% phosphorus, rabbit manure contains a moderate amount of this important macronutrient. Horse manure is slightly higher at 1.9%, while chicken manure is lower at 0.8%. Overall, rabbit manure can provide a good level of phosphorus for optimal plant growth.
With 0.6% potassium, rabbit manure has lower levels than most other manures. Horse manure has the highest potassium at 2.2%, followed by chicken at 1.4% and cow at 0.5%. While lower in potassium, rabbit manure still contains this essential nutrient.
How To Use Rabbit Poop In Your Garden
There are several easy ways to use rabbit manure to fertilize your vegetable garden, flower beds, and other areas. Here are some options:
From Pan to Garden (Direct Method)
Fresh rabbit droppings can be taken directly from the rabbit hutch and scattered across the soil around plants. This direct fertilizing provides an immediate nitrogen boost. Just be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards.
Composting Rabbit Poop
A simple compost pile or bin works great for composting rabbit manure with other organic materials like leaves, straw, and food scraps. After composting for several months, the finished compost can be dug into garden beds or used as potting mix. Vermicomposting (composting with worms) is another good option.
Giving Transplants a Boost
When transplanting seedlings, add a small amount of rabbit manure to the planting hole to give the new plant an extra nutrient boost right from the start. Mixing a few tablespoons of rabbit poop into potting soil can help container plants as well.
Rabbit Manure Tea For Larger Harvests
Steeping rabbit pellets in water creates a nutritious manure tea that can be diluted and used to water plants. Manure tea adds beneficial microbes along with a dose of nutrients.
Food For Worms
Worm farms thrive when rabbit manure is occasionally added as feed for the worms. Vermicomposting is an efficient way to process and concentrate the nutrients in rabbit poop.
How Much Rabbit Manure Can I Use In My Garden?
It's important not to overdo it with any fertilizer, including rabbit manure. Here are some general guidelines for safe application rates:
A light dusting of up to 1/4 inch of rabbit manure can be applied as top-dressing around plants. Repeat every 2-3 months as needed during the growing season.
When making potting soil, limit rabbit manure to no more than 20% of the total mix by volume. For established container plants, a light sprinkle once a month is sufficient.
Making Your Own Potting Mix
A good rule of thumb is to mix no more than 30% composted rabbit manure into 70% soil when making DIY potting soil. Excess nitrogen can burn plants.
While an excellent fertilizer, some precautions should be taken when using rabbit manure:
Always wear gloves when handling fresh rabbit poop. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
Don't overdo it. Too much can burn plants. Start with light applications.
Don't use fresh manure on seeds or seedlings. Compost it first.
Wait 1-2 months after applying manure before harvesting any edible plants.
Following basic safety guidelines will allow you to reap the benefits of using this often overlooked but very effective natural fertilizer. Give your garden a boost with rabbit power!