Organic Gutter Matter
After a hard days work on the roof you may be left with sparkly gutters and lots of debris and leaves. I would like to discuss what exactly this organic gutter matter is, before assessing what should be done with it. We will go for a deep dive into typical trees you are likely to find around Sydney and your home and the implications of them for your gutters.
Gutters in Sydney Australia can be assumed to have a certain type of tree dropping in them. Since colonization logging has decimated forests across the country. This logging has taken a toll on our landscape. In response, many people and councils have replanted native trees which thrive in their natural environment and are great for it.
What Are Trees Dropping Into Your Gutters?
We will look at one particular tree that is very popular the Acacia or wattle. This tree has 1350 different species, it is great due to its low maintenance and beautiful flowers. So what do we need to know about Wattles?
Due to the strong smell of the Acacia trees, they attract birds, bees, wasps, and beetles.
Here is a list of birds and animals we can expect to hang around an Acacia Tree:
- Crested Pigeons
- Rufous Whistlers
- Grey Shrike-Thrushes
- White Winged Trillers
- Singing Honey Eaters
- Sugar Glider
- Squirrel Gliders
- Black Cockatoos
- Gang Gangs
What Should We Do With Animal Poo From Our Gutters?
So let’s get into the fun part! We’ve discussed which animals we might find lingering in our yard/gutters and we want to understand what we should do with this organic gutter matter there after cleaning. Therefore let’s go for a dive into poo to find the answers we need!
It is known that animal droppings make a great fertiliser for the garden. Unfortunately, the mass-produced fertilizers from big companies can be full of chemicals that are not as good for your garden compared to animal poo. Why is animal poo so good!? Well, animals feed off plants (such as our native trees) which makes them rich in nitrogen. Nitrogen requirements are extremely important to a plants health. Microbial activity in the soil is another result of animal poo that improves drainage in sandy soil.
The Two Main Kinds Of Animal Droppings
The kinds of poo you will find in your gutter will typically come from small mammals like possums and birds. The deposits from birds are very high in nutrients, nitrogen, and phosphorus but can burn plants if used straight away. Because the organic gutter matter sits for ages in the gutter, it has a chance to settle down. It is therefore ok for your garden and a much better alternative than commercial products.
The kinds of droppings to be cautious of, when turning droppings into organic gutter matter fertiliser for the garden, are those that come from meat eaters as they may contain bacteria and diseases. Lets look at possum facts to find the diet of a possum. Possums mainly consume plants. They will also eat insects, moths, grubs, snails birds eggs and babies. The droppings can still make good fertiliser however they should be dug a little into the soil so the bacteria is not on the surface if sued in a vegie garden or where children play.
Compost From The Gutter For Your Garden
The main trees you will find around your home include Banksia, Boronia, Eucalypt, Melaleuca, Grevillea, Australian Conifers, Casuarina, and Baobab. The organic matter from these and the types of birds and mammals will be very similar to those we found when looking at the Wattle Tree. Taking all of this into account, the organic matter is great for your garden, better even than what you might find on a farm. Let me explain. As discussed earlier, the matter may need time to compost properly before being added to the garden. The gutter is the ideal environment for this matter to start decomposing. Successful compost for your garden needs heat, moisture, and aeration. The great thing is when you reuse the organic gutter matter in your garden you are saving it from going into landfill.
To answer the question, what to do with the dirt from cleaning your gutters? I think the answer speaks for itself. Use it for your garden or your lawn. Why not even bag it and sell it? You could plant trees that drop significant amounts of debris and in 15 years you could have a booming compost business! I’m getting away from myself here…. Ask your local gutter cleaner if you can have some of the nutrient-rich soil for your garden. They might even take something off the price. If you would like a deep dive into any other trees or anything else let me know in the comments. I’ll be pleased to write something about it. Don’t forget to keep your gutters clean!