Poop & Mulch Tires
Here's the experiment. This year I am trying my hand at growing potatoes in tires. We had the tires, I researched the chemical leaching and feel secure that we aren't going to eat toxic potatoes and it required very little extra work compared to my normal potato planting routine. SO I grabbed the tires, filled them with compost and garden soil, planted my potatoes and then covered them in fresh mulch.
Screeeeeeeeeeeeeech -- wait aren't you supposed to let mulch age before you use it? Doesn't fresh mulch leach nitrogen from the soil and turn your plants yellow?
Mulch doesn't leach nitrogen from the soil, but rather the mulch USES the nitrogen in the soil to decompose where the mulch touches the soil. Therefore, that potato planted way down deep in the tire is not affected. However, when that potato reached the top, I don't want it to be hungry. The solution? Well, if the fresh mulch is taking away nitrogen, then I need to add a bit. What has a bunch of nitrogen in it? Chicken poop!
Think of it this way. The tire holds soil. Then a tree falls (and magically shreds itself) on the forest floor. Then an animal comes along and poos on it. Such is the cycle of nature. We're just joining the party a little more quickly than nature proceeds.
One thing to note...fresh poo will "burn" the stems and foliage of plants, so I put the poop aside from the actual plants and when it rains the poo slowly moves down through the mulch to the soil and composts and then makes the potatoes grow big and strong and delicious.