Useing llama manure in your garden

Published: 06th April 2011
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Most gardeners don't realize that llama manure makes a great plant food. It won't burn the plants, attract flies or smell. Llamas and alpacas are still fairly rare in North America so most gardeners have not been aware of what a great all natural addition it is to compost piles or gardens. You can even make a tea for you indoor plants. Because it is an all natural product, organic gardeners will find this manure useful as well.



Breaks Down Fast

Llamas and alpacas are cousins and their dung is virtually the same. It is safe for trees, vegetables and indoor plants. These ruminants have three stomachs which break down the manure to the point that weed seeds and other undesirables are no longer viable. The manure starts out as pellets which quickly decompose into a fine grained powder. This process happens much faster than the breakdown of horse apples or cow patties. This can easily be mixed into potting soil. While in palletized form it can be spread under trees or in gardens. There is no smell and the pellets are dry so they do not attract flies. The composition of the dung is such that it does not burn plants.



Plant Tea

To make a tea for plants it is just a simple matter of soaking the pellets in water until it turns a dark brown. Use this to water indoor plants and small gardens where you do not want to use the pellets full strength. One cup of pellets will make ten or more gallons of tea.



Composting and Applications

When added to compost piles it quickly turns to a fine dust that mixes easily with the rest of the compost. The same is true when the pellets are worked into the dirt in preparation for planting. Latter in the year it can be sprinkled directly on the soil surrounding the plants. It will be absorbed over time.



Llama manure has an added benefit for people living in the mountains where elk are a problem. To keep elk from eating the trees, the pellets are sprinkled on the ground a few feet out from the trees. The elk tend to avoid trees that have been so prepped. Then, over time, the nutrients from the pellets soak into the ground providing fertilizer. Unfortunately, this does not help to keep deer from nibbling on your trees. Only Elk.



Llama and alpaca manure can usually be obtained for free from ranches and farms scattered throughout the country. In most cases you will be expected to shovel it yourself. For a list of ranches near you, contact llamas@skybeam.com. Since the pellets are quite light weight when dry, they can be shipped to you for a relatively low cost. See www.llamanure.com for specifics.




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