Being a new (and slightly curious) gardener, I had a thought about possibly using dead tadpoles as fertiliser for my upcoming vegetable garden. I tried to do some online research and couldn't find anything. Is there any way I can use them to help fertilise the soil?

Thanks! - Nate

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    Why do you have access to dead tadpoles? <leans back, expects a story> – Stephie May 4 '17 at 12:48
  • So be it! <cracks knuckles> It all began one dark stormy night in a small Texas town. A family of seven sat around a table worrying about what to do with the swimming pool this fall-to-spring since they couldn't swim in it. "With seven mouths to feed, I reckon we can't afford to keep this here swimmin pool clean all winter" said Tim "Let's just put a cover on the pool all winter and then drain it and refill it in the summer!", "That's a stellar idea!" Shouts everyone else. (To be continued) – Epicality May 4 '17 at 15:28
  • [Camera sweeps away] Here we are 3 years and 6 months later and just about to drain the turned green pool again for summer. Only this time, we notice that there is an entire civilisation of amphibians living in our pool! [Dun dun daaaaaa] Hence the reason for all the tadpoles. Be sure to come back next week for another episode of "Story Time with Nathan!" – Epicality May 4 '17 at 15:29
  • @Stephie Does that suffice? – Epicality May 4 '17 at 15:33
  • Thanks! I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys a good story ;-) – Stephie May 4 '17 at 15:59

Well, you could, when planting out, dig a deeper hole than you need, throw the tadpoles in, put a layer of soil on top and then plant whatever you want over that. A fish head or half a dead fish is sometimes used in the bottom of planting holes in this way as a form of direct composting, usually for food plants - as the fish remains break down, they fertilize the soil for the plant above, but I wouldn't have thought tadpoles would do the same job as effectively, although it is a way of disposing of dead tadpoles and 'recycling' them, and shouldn't do any harm. Info on this and direct composting here http://www.veggiegardener.com/use-direct-composting-in-your-garden/

I'm more curious as to why you've got dead tadpoles at all...

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We are taught to never use protein, meats, fats, poo poo in our composts. Tad poles would fit in that category. Not a big deal my opinion unless we are discussed 100's or even more. They are NON decomposed organic matter for one thing. Non decomposed matter that used to be alive will be immediately into decomposition. What killed these tadpoles?

They will offer zip for 'nutrients' or chemicals necessary for photosynthesis. Decomposers will actually NEED nitrogen to fuel themselves to do the work of decomposing. A few tadpoles no big deal. 100's I would put them in a little 'grave' somewhere.

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    Awesome! This is very helpful! – Epicality May 4 '17 at 2:58

What a funny question.

How many do you have? Do you realize that a single one will make a very small amount of fertilizer. Of course you can bury the one you have in your yard if it is of sufficient size. I would better put it in a large composting pile to allow quick decomposition, but you probably don't own one.

Surely, I would avoid use them if you want to do this in a flower pot - it will take much more time to discompose and would stink a little - its dead meat after all.

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  • We have about 100-200 tadpoles. Also, we do have a decent sized composting pile. Would it be best to let them decompose in a compost pile, then attempt to transfer to remains into the soil of the garden? – Epicality May 5 '17 at 6:12
  • I guess so. If you bury the poor ones, let's say 3-4 inches, the smell won't be significant at all. Then wait the whole pile to be ready before using on your flower beds. – J. Chomel May 5 '17 at 8:13
  • @Epicality - do not compost these, bury them as soon as possible, either as direct composting as described in my answer, or just a grave. Protein based stuff on compost heaps is a really bad idea. – Bamboo May 5 '17 at 9:18
  • @Bamboo, We've got good records about people putting anything with proteins( most plant contain proteins anyway) including meat in their composting pile. As long as you bury it carefuly to avoid stinking and pests attacks. – J. Chomel May 5 '17 at 9:47

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