All ruminant animal manures are very good organic sources of plant
nutrients. But with very few exceptions, they should never be used
fresh. They need to be aged at least 6 months or preferrably, properly
composted. This will allow the high concentrations of ammonium (urine)
to volatize and dissipate and reduce most weed and pathogen issues.
Once they achieve this state (proper aging or composting), they can be
applied as a mulch over any garden area or worked into the soil.
I think this is going too far, I use horse after a week or two with no ill
effects, it isn't really very strong.
I am not trying to be cantankerous but there isn't any urine in ruminant
manure. They do it separately unlike birds. There may be urine in straw
that has been used as bedding but that is another matter.
There is not much volatile material in ruminant manure and why waste it? To
get rid of weed seeds you would need to compost it or turn it so that the
seeds are killed by heat or germinate and die in the heap.
And I've used it fresh and steaming straight from the horse's bum.
It really is just all about 'where' you use it. If it's still steaming, ya
don't put it on seedlings, but a fully grown bush doesn't care two hoots
about how fresh it is as long as the steaming poop isn't laid on 6 inches
deep and right up to the trunk of the bush.
I read something about the difference between cow and bull poop once.
Apparently cow poop is 'richer' (for want of a better description) than bull
poop because of the differing physiology of the animals. Cows can pee right
onto their plop, whereas bulls/steers can't. Made sense to me having
watched then doing their business quite often - only trouble is, I can't
recall now what ingredient it was in the cow poop that made it 'richer' but
it would make sense if it was more ammonia maybe. and how do people
likeyou and I segregate our poops. Do I go round asking the bulls/steers to
put tags on their poops or to only poop in a particular spot?
I'm with you. Put the nutrients where they should be and don't waste them
in a pile becoming 'well rotted manure' (a ridiculous phrase that).
You are lucky to have cow patties. Used fresh, cow patties can
quickly burn a plant. Collect your patties, compost them for 6
months, then use on bedding plants, some vegetables, trees, shrubs,
roses, lawn, etc. If you can till the composted manure into the soil,
all the better. Some plants should not have any manure at all, it
can be too rich for herbs, peppers, etc. Horse manure, unlike cow
manure, can contain a lot of weed seeds. It needs hot composting to
kill the seeds. Also you can make manure tea for feeding plants.
everyone's basic information is spot on. I continually went "cow pie
pickin'" when I had a pasture right next door just over the electric
wire off my driveway at the former Faerie Holler. I loaded up a 5
gallon bucket, and carried it to my two wheel garden cart until it was
heaped up with both dry pats and fresh ones. No weed seeds because cow
heats up better than horse. Horse is weedier. I got to where I could
tell the bull's pats because they were clumps and balls of black
manure, and the girls were patties. If the pats weren't dried out and
not spanking fresh, I would find beautiful fat red worms just writhing
underneath all that poop. wonderful!! bonus worms to work my manure
pile! I'd dump the whole 6 cubic foot cart into the space beside the
working compost pile and then put two bags of scrounged leaves from
curbs on top and water the leaves in. The pile would heat up. I
added fresh if there were more pies to gather. I never turned it. It
worked better if I did this in fall and had fresh usable manure for
spring top dressing. We actually looked at a house yesterday and I
was thrilled to see cows across the lane and fresh pies in the narrow
pasture......alas, we are still looking. it WAS a perfect place.
THere will be others.
maddie (madgardener) gardening in the green bowl surrounded by the
Cherokee National Forest and Appalachian Mountains zone 7a, Sunset
zone 36 where those mountains are picturesque with snow on them right
By all means. I use as much as I can get. You will get some weed seeds in
the manure, but if you stay on top of them, they'll eventually be gone.
It's worth it as manure is good stuff.
Robert in the hills of Tennessee
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