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Paul Lutz
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I have a bunch of cats that produces a LARGE amount of cat litter (naturally saturated with cat pee/poop). Disposal of litter is an ongoing problem. I have tried many litter options (wood/paper/chicken feed/ etc), but clay works best, so switching to something else is a last resort.

Currently, I put the litter in a wheelbarrow, haul it to an area with no current garden beds, and broadcast it (hurl via shovel in every direction) into a thin spray across the landscape. My thought is that the organic matter will join the food chain and the clay particles will be incorporated into the soil as long as I don't put much in any location. (I also selectively deter wildlife from eating new trees by placing cat poop around them.)

Is this a viable option? Will my foot deep weedy lawn incorporate a grain of litter every sq inch? (no idea how thick it goes on, but that's the right ballpark). Someday this area will be a garden or an orchard and I don't want to screw it up.
 
Erwin Decoene
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Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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I used to mix biodegradable cat litter and dog poop with wood chips, compost, nutt shells into the ground. I dig down about 20 cm from level and build up to about 60 cm above the original groundlevel. Everything is kept together with cut willowbranches and such. The ground itself consists partially out of the material from the exact spot AND out B-horizont soil (clayrich, rustycoloured stuff without any organic matter).

The first year we seed it with bee and insectfriendly flowers. The second year i shift the soil into a raised bed. Earth worms come on masse to decompose the stuff.

That seems to work fine for  us. The raised bed is home to a collection of red, yellow and black currants, raspberries etc.... seems to work fine.


One of the reasons for doing this, is the risk that your animals may carry parasites that could infect you or your livestock. I have of course the benefit of increased organic matter and minerals in the soil. Better structure in the displaced soilmixture, increased woody material in the soil, ....

I should add that part of my soil is laced with building materials that i'm currantly removing so i have soil that is reduced to a structureless dust. The above practive gives the displaced soil sort of a structure and a good base for fungal growth.

 
Paul Lutz
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So, to partially answer my own questions... Yesterday was in the low 90s, and last night I walked through the most recent area with dispersed litter. I have apparently managed to burn everything in areas where it went on thicker. I suspect this is a consequence off too much Nitrogen in ammonia form but that's just a guess. Previous cycles of doing this in other areas did not have this result, but my material did sit outside for several days agd the wheelbarrow got rained in a few times. Pethaps the ammonia evaporated, was more dilute, or spread more thinly? Probably all three. Ultimately I don't care if I fry some grass with N. My concern is that the clay becomes incorporated into the soil and does not create a lifeless crust across the surface. Attempted to attach a picture.
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Erwin Decoene
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Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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At the rate you're spreading clay - you wil be at it for a while before you have a really noticable rise in Clay-particles in your top soil. Even if you use a truckload per annum. You need a lot of big cats for that

An example.
My parents have still 5 or 6 cats. They use about 2 15kg bags of cat litter a month. 2*15kg*12=360 kg/year. Say you spread it over 1000 m². 360/1000 = 0.36kg/m²/year. That's less than a pound/m² ~ Even if you have more cat litter and less garden, you can adapt the figures here. My metric-conversion might be off a bit but you get the ball park figure.


At that rate a healthy soil can absorb the clay without problem. Soil life will even disperse it in the deeper soil (bioturbation effects). Natural clay (there's the rubb) is no problem for most soil types. What soil do you have ?

MIND we did not speak about N and P and medical residus and harmfull criters in the poo. You want to give nature maximum chance to absord those. That's one of the reasons why i prefer to concentrate my approach. Of course - we have small gardens here.
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