can anyone advise me of a suitable compost/fertiliser for rhubarb. My wife
will not let me put down dung as the rhubarb pastch is near her kitchen
window. The rhubarb is 2 years old but can I think do with some feeding.
Unless you're going strictly organic, a cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer
sprinkled in a circle around each plant in the spring will work well.
If you use compost, be sure you don't cover the plant's crown or it
Home grown or commercial (eg spent mushroom) compost is good.
Have you tried to age your manure away from the house before applying it? I
mainly use horse (but the same applies to cow and other herbivorous mammals)
and after a couple of month it smells clean and earthy, you would have to
have a very delicate nose or be caught on the *concept* that manure is
"dirty" to object to it.
I'm of the view that anything that is going to produce good rhubarb I'd want
to eat might just be a bit on the pongy side, but then I don't object to the
pong of manure of blood and bone but I do object to the pong of chemical
chemical ferts make my nose itch and stink and all animal manures do is to
produce a sense of satisfaction in feeding the garden and then I also like
feeding people, gardens and animals.
As David said, aged manure has little smell. You can add mulch, if your
wife thinks it is unsightly or apt to draw flies. Or, you could apply
your mulch, and then apply fish emulsion over the top of it.
The last thing I would tell you to do is to use chemical fertilizers.
They will kill the ecology of the soil. If you have top soil now, you
will lose it. As your soil dies, you will need to buy, and add, more and
more chemical fertilizer to your soil to maintain the productivity of
your soil. The nitrates in chemical fertilizers will contaminate the
water that you and your neighbors drink (can turn babies blue), and if
it ends up in a river, it will go to the sea to add to the oceans "dead
I suppose that you could join the "Ugly Americans" and splash it around
with complete disregard to the environment, but we've probably had
enough of that sort of thing.
By gardening organically, you not only grow clean food, but grow top
soil as well.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
Mixed your aged (at least 2 years old, or you will have a bunch of extra
seeds sprouting in your yard) manure with compost or other purchased "manure
that you got from Wal-Mart or other plant nursery outlets. I would mix it
about 50/50. You could include some peat moss or sand (about 25 percent)
and that way it wont look like manure either.
Most manure used in gardens comes from chickens, cows, horses or sheep.
They all eat seeds from grass, weeds, grains, etc and they in turn will
sprout in your garden. When I used it fresh, I really had a problem.
Mostly to disguise it and change the smell (if it doesn't look and smell
like manure, his wife might not object to using it), but doing it this was
will increase drainage, will help overcome clay in the soil, and it enriches
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