What is Guano? - The Benefits of Bat Guano
Mar 1st 2023
You may have seen the word "guano” on packages in local nurseries or online. Maybe you have heard fellow gardeners and growers chatting about it.
But what is guano? We here at DripWorks are glad you asked. The long list of the benefits of bat guano can help you grow practically anything better, from flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables to cannabis.
Originally a Spanish term, the word "guano” eventually was adopted by English-speakers. It is said to derive from the Quechua word "wanu.” For centuries, these indigenous South Americans mined piles of bird excrement from rocks to use as fertilizer.
Although bats are flying mammals rather than birds, they are social creatures that congregate in caves. Over the years, gigantic mounds of bat guano will develop. This bat poop is mined, principally in Mexico, Jamaica, and Indonesia, for use as fertilizer.
The Benefits of Bat Guano as a Fertilizer
Why would anyone go to all that trouble to gather bat dung? It is actually a very valuable product. There is a strong market for it among folks who love to make things grow. Savvy gardeners and growers understand that bat guano fertilizer benefits are outstanding.
This is an all-natural, organic fertilizer. It is high in nitrogen; which greens plants up. This is particularly good for the vegetative phase of cannabis.
Bat guano also contains phosphorus, which benefits root growth and flowering, another big plus for cannabis and other plants. The potassium in this fertilizer helps create healthy, strong stems.
Besides the healthy N-P-K of bat guano, it contains micronutrients that help plants thrive. Bat guano is a slow-release fertilizer that does not quickly wash away, so it can nourish plants for a long time. Unlike many manmade fertilizers, it will not burn plants either.
Improving Soil and Plant Health
In addition to its nutrients, bat guano contains beneficial microbes. These can help ward off soil diseases and pests like nematodes. They can help heal sick soil too. When sprayed on plant leaves in liquid form, bat guano can deter fungus and disease.
Bat guano can also improve the condition of soil. It can help break up heavy soils like clay or give body and texture to light, sandy soils. As a soil amendment, it can help boost growing conditions for plants.
How to Apply Bat Guano
Guano from bats typically comes in powder or pellet form. In these forms, it can be dug into the soil or top-dressed. Some gardeners use bat guano alone, while others combine it with other types of fertilizers, such as chicken manure.
Bat guano can also be mixed with water to make a tea. In this form, it can be applied to leaves and other parts of plants with a sprayer. In a drip irrigation system, liquid bat guano can also be used with fertilizer injectors.