What the frass?

While checking out the feeds of some of my favorite blogs I see one with the headline, "Can you believe this frass?" Carol, at May Dreams Gardens has my picture of insect frass in a bag. Seems Carol wrote a post back in 2010 titled, "Frass" in which she asks, "You know what frass is, don’t you? It’s a fancy word for insect poop! I've been looking for opportunities all week to use “frass” in a sentence…"

Imagine Carol's surprise when she see's Insect Frass being sold in  a bag. She asks, "can you imagine?  How in the world does a company get enough frass to fill not just one bag, but enough bags to market and sell it as plant food? Who came up with the idea of collecting insect poo and using it as fertilizer, anyway? In all my wildest gardening dreams, which include dreams of someone delivering and spreading a wonderful well-composted, odor free load of manure on my garden, I never dreamed of collecting insect frass for fertilizer."

What's really interesting about Insect Frass is an ingredient called, "Chitin".  According to EPA fact sheet #128991, "Chitin appears to control pathogenic nematodes by stimulating the growth of certain naturally occurring microorganisms in soil, which, in turn, release substances that kill the pathogenic nematodes and their eggs." The EPA fact sheet also say's, "Chitosan is used primarily as a plant growth enhancer, and as a substance that boosts the ability of plants to defend against fungal infections. It is approved for use outdoors and indoors on many plants grown commercially and by consumers. The active ingredient is found in the shells of crustaceans, such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp, and in certain other organisms. Given its low potential for toxicity and its abundance in the natural environment, chitosan is not expected to harm people, pets, wildlife, or the environment when used according to label directions."

Much like mychorizzae, the beneficial plant fungus, Insect Frass may sound weird and exotic now.  Sometimes weird and exotic only stay that way for awhile. If you interested in finding out more, or purchasing some to try visit our online store at Amazon, The Golden Gecko Garden Center