I live in the middle of pasture land. Lots of free cow patties. My wife
seems to think that this would make good fertilizer, or at least good mulch
if tilled in.
Other than using fresh dung for the production of food, are there any
downsides to using manure? I believe I once read that stall manure had high
levels of urea, and would not be good to put on plants. This is pasture
manure, so it would not have as high urine level as stall manure.
Yeah, I know I can go buy fertilizer, too. But I can also take the money I
save and go fishing a few times.
Tips and caveats on manure use? Good/bad for flowers or areas where I am
going to put lawn?
Why not use it if its free and save the petrochemicals that typically go
into synthetic fertiliser.
Cow pats are good for gardens. Cow and horse manure both provide beneficial
organic matter and nutrients. There is little in the way of harmful
pathogens in them and once dried out or composted briefly they are fairly
inoffensive. I would say go for it, there is much to gain and little to
Look at chicken info here IΉd hazard a guess it is hot aka rich in N2
which can burn plants. That is why aged and composting is the way to
go. 1-1-1 or close to it.
It's excellent but more as a source of nutrients than organic matter. It is
quite high in nitrogen, especially when fresh, so it should be mixed in with
other material, or added to compost, or risk burning your plants.
I've been told that cow manure is full of seed ready to sprout wherever you
use it. Horse manure is a better solution.
Chicken manure is okay if you leave it exposed to the weather for one
season, and use it where the soil is high on the alkaline side. An easy
route to this is use of range chickens (not stuck in a coop all the time).
Confine them in an area to range, then move the ranging area to some other
location the followiing season.
Some of the nutrients in fresh chicken manure are quite volatile and others
are very soluble in water. Leaving it out exposed will release these into
the environment, which will indeed reduce the chance of burning plants due
to excess. However these useful substances will be wasted, unless you want
the grass downhill from the heap to be nice and green. A better solution is
to mix it in with compost where at least some of the nutrients will be
absorbed, or dig it in when preparing a bed and leave it a couple of weeks
I am not sure why you are saying to use it where the soil is too alkaline.
I cannot see that you would be adding enough to alter the pH of soil very
much (especially clay-based soil) and I would expect it to raise rather than
My parents turned virtually all-caliche soil to something viable for St.
Augustine grass that thrived on it by using the rotation method I mentioned.
Exposed to weather/sun chicken feces tends to stay put unless there's a
downpour from my own observations. The chickens tend to spread the fresher
stuff around as well while ranging. (ever get any animal poop between your
toes?). Beneath the soil surface, earthworms abound on the stuff and break
up the soil. Earthworms don't normally inhabit this type of caliche. The
type of caliche they had was the virtually bright while and color, and you
could draw on the sidewalk with it. At least that' what we saw.
Regardless, I can't argue the results with "science" as the results speak
I would not dispute the result that you observed - in science evidence
always trumps theory. It may be though that the method added organic matter
and nutrients which over time improved the texture and growing properties of
the soil not a change in pH. But not having worked with caliche that is
just a theory :-)
Cows actually have one stomach but it has four compartments.
horses have one. I used
When manure is properly composted it will attain temperatures that kill
seeds. Manure should always be fully composted before being used for
gardening. Do not use manure from carnivores and omnivores, those need to
be processed by specific means (as raw sewage) or they will introduce
Generally, poultry manure is highest in nitrogen content, followed by
hog (an omnivore),
steer, sheep, dairy, and horse manure. Feedlot, steer manure requires
fairly high rates to meet first-year nitrogen requirements because of
its lower nitrogen percent and gradual nitrogen release characteristics.
Worse case scenario, gardening over a leach line.
Do not plant root crops over drain lines. Leafy vegetables could be
contaminated by rain splashing soil onto the plant, so either mulch them
to eliminate splashing or don't grow them. Fruiting crops should be
safe; train any vining ones, such as cucumbers or tomatoes, onto a
support so the fruit is off the ground.
Down and dirty.
If you do intend to use raw manure as a soil amendment or fertilizer
source on your garden, follow these guidelines:
Apply raw manure at least 120 days before harvesting a crop that
has the potential for soil contact (leafy greens, root crops, etc). The
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards allow a 90-day period
between manure application and harvest for crops that donΉt have direct
contact potential with soil.
For some gardeners in Maine, the best time to apply raw manure to
your garden may be in the fall after harvest; incorporate it into the
soil and plant a cover crop to hold nutrients over the winter. This
should be done before October 1 for good cover crop establishment.
Never use raw manure as a sidedress to growing plants. Manure that
is incorporated and distributed throughout the soil has a much lower
risk of passing pathogens to the growing crop.
Consider the source if you still want to use raw manures in your
garden. Are the animals in the herd or flock healthy? Is there a
parasite problem that requires regular deworming? Does the farm use
antibiotics as a regular component of their feeding program?
Ain't Google wonderful?
Uh-huh. Vinegar, though, won't deliver the Dionysian promise of freeing
the body from the tyranny of the mind.
The only thing that I use apple vinegar for is "chicken and dumplings".
There are no lobbyists for cover crops and crop rotation. Why?
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