half life of dog poop (no, really)

steviewonder(4)May 15, 2008

Hello all,

Last month I lost my last dog- a wonderful special German shepherd. After I plant the lily-of-the-valley under the hydrangea where she used to lay in the summertime, I'd like to do something about the volunteer lettuce by the deck. I'm sure its little patch of soil has been peed and stepped on by her and her 2 brothers before her. My question is, now long do I need to wait before planting vegetables in, or eating vegetables growing in, that bed?

Steviewonder

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bullthistle

It depends on the rain. If you've had more then your fair share this spring I see no problem to planting this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 1:41PM
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digit(ID/WA)

Stevie, it's good to see you posting and I'm sorry about your loss. This is a rather strange question but I'm sure it has occurred to all of us at one time or another.

Can you utilize the soil for an above-ground crop like sweet corn this 1st year?

I might take a rather "extreme" approach and cover the ground with wood ashes. If your soil is naturally alkali, you should be able to bring it back to a more neutral pH (in, say, a week) by working in a good amount of peat moss. The lye in the wood ashes may kill any pathogens after a few days. Peat is naturally acidic and bouncing from one side of neutral to the other would probably make it difficult for most organisms to survive.

just a wild guess . . . .

digitSteve

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:39PM
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jclepine(8b)

Stevie,

Last year I did that. The dogs pooped and peed where I wanted to plant so I scraped off the top few inches of soil, after making sure everything was cleaned up, then dumped that dirt into a fill area where nothing special goes or grows. After that, I shoveled and churned the remaining soil, going a couple feet down, and added compost and top soil. I think I added fertilizer too but I've forgotten.
I put the produce in giant pots last year, just in case, but the flowers that I put in the formerly-contaminated plot turned out very happy!
I am sorry for your loss, too. We have three dogs and they love to eat what I plant.
Good luck!
Jennifer

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:52PM
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michelle_co(z5 CO)

I'm very sorry about your dog. :-(

I would do what Jennifer suggested owing to the ick factor of dog poop.

But I do see the irony in scraping out the little bit of dog poop that might remain and putting down a bushel of cow poop.

You could just solarize it - cover it with clear plastic for 30-60 days and that will kill just about every microorganism that might be lurking.

Cheers,
Michelle

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:59AM
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