Table of contents:
- Horn chips: natural fertilizer
- Horn meal, horn semolina or horn shavings?
- Where do horn shavings come from?
Video: Horn Shavings
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 03:36
Horn shavings consist of the ground hooves and horns of slaughter cattle, mostly cattle. What may sound a little unappetizing at first makes ecological sense. While mineral fertilizer is adding more and more nitrogen to the global nitrogen cycle, the element is already contained in horn chips to 12 to 15 percent. The nitrogen is therefore recycled. This is particularly beneficial for the environment, since too much nitrogen, the nitrate content in drinking water increases, algae sprout in ponds and displaces plants that require little nitrogen. But even in your own garden, fertilization with horn shavings and horn meal offers many advantages.
Mineral fertilizer is cheap, works quickly and pollutes the environment just as quickly. Organic fertilizer, however, contains animal and vegetable …
Horn chips: natural fertilizer
Gardeners always want to do something good for their plants. But the motto "a lot helps a lot" is often out of place in the garden. Anyone who permanently supplies their plants with NPK fertilizer will soon find that some plants are more likely to suffer from the bombing of nutrients. All the better that horn chips contain a lot of nitrogen, but the proportion of potassium and phosphate is negligible. In German gardens, these two nutrients are usually already more than enough in the soil. Over-fertilization with horn chips is therefore almost impossible.
Horn chips are also pH-neutral and therefore also well suited for lime-sensitive plants. The chips are also easily degradable and, depending on the grain size and soil conditions, are broken down within a week to a year.
Horn meal, horn semolina or horn shavings?
However, not only horn shavings are available commercially, but also horn meal and horn semolina. The main difference is in the grain. Horn flour with a grain size of less than one millimeter is the easiest for the plants to absorb and can therefore be given at short notice. Horn chips, on the other hand, have a grain size of over 5 millimeters. The effect develops more slowly, but then lasts for about a year and is comparable to long-term fertilizers. You should therefore always fertilize with horn shavings in autumn so that the plants are supplied in spring. Horn grit has a grain size of one to five millimeters. Its effect lies between that of horn meal and horn shavings.
fertilizer calendar: when to fertilize?
Which plant needs how much fertilizer when? Our fertilizer calendar knows the answer
Practical tip: So that horn shavings, corn grits and horn meal can develop their effect, you have to work them into the soil. This will break them down more easily.
Where do horn shavings come from?
Horn chips come mainly from the horns of South American cattle. The animals are allowed to grow their horns there because they have been standing on huge pastures throughout their lives, while the cattle in Europe are dehorned very young due to the safety risk in the narrow stables. For some years now there have been manufacturers from Germany again. In terms of a good climate balance, you should therefore pay attention when buying whether the horn chips were flown in from South America or come from Germany or the EU. Otherwise you do something good for the nitrogen cycle, but you contribute negatively to the carbon cycle.
Practical tip: With regard to BSE, horn chips are currently classified as harmless. They do not contain nerve tissue and therefore cannot directly trigger the disease. However, whether the pathogens can spread through horn fertilizers cannot be completely ruled out.
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