Using Manure to Fertilize Your Garden

comments (9) July 30th, 2008

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Manure from barnyard animals can do wonders for your vegetable crops. Once youve found a source for animal manure, collect it, compost it, and spread it on your garden.
Manure from barnyard animals can do wonders for your vegetable crops. Once youve found a source for animal manure, collect it, compost it, and spread it on your garden.Click To Enlarge

Manure from barnyard animals can do wonders for your vegetable crops. Once you've found a source for animal manure, collect it, compost it, and spread it on your garden.

Photo: Ronald Lipking

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Let manure mellow in your compost pile
Commercially packaged manure comes composted, but if you collect fresh ma­nure, you’ll need to do some composting before applying it to your plants. How long depends on the type of manure and the season. Add the manure slowly to the compost pile over several days or weeks, allowing plenty of air to circulate in the compost bin. Add other organic matter like grass clippings and leaves to break up the manure and speed curing. Turn the compost regularly as you add more manure. Stop adding the manure two months before you plan to use it in the garden. You’ll know the manure is well composted when it produces no heat and loses most of its objectionable odor when dry.

While it’s okay to add manure directly­ to garden soil in the fall (farmers do it all the time), I’ve found that cow, horse, and bird manure are best if composted first. On the other hand, sheep, goat, and rabbit manure are easy to spread directly. Broadcast the pellets evenly and work them 1 in. to 2 in. into the soil. Then add another layer on top of the soil. This keeps the manure distributed, an important step in curing manure because it creates a larger surface area and combines the manure with the existing soil. This allows for easy decomposition over the fall and winter months.

Barnyard friends

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posted in: organic, fertilizer, animals

Comments (9)

Rettaewart writes: You're the genius!
Posted: 2:26 am on September 17th
Blaizesampson writes: That's great buddy!it's incredible you think effectively
Posted: 3:19 am on July 30th
JardaeKeeley writes: That's really great info for gardeners!!!
Posted: 12:16 am on May 14th
Melanie1026 writes: Hello, I was wondering how often do I need to put manure in my vegetable garden? Every year? Every other year? My husband and I used a good amount last year and our garden was amazing. So now I'm wondering if we need to do that every year or is it good for a few years. Thank you!
Posted: 3:12 am on May 9th
shawnwagner writes: Great Man, you're really genius. It's a good sense you have made here. Instead of using chemical fertilizers, manure is a good replacement and also it's free from any chemical composition and it's also freely available for you. The new fertilizers introduced these days are just a mixture of chemicals with different ratio hence people are more interested for using organic fertilizers. Apart from using animal dung, you can also go organic.
It is what I prefer but I also try using manure for my farm. Thank you.
Posted: 1:19 am on September 1st
iceni writes: I am about to make large raised beds and I can get as much rotted manure I want from the farm next door. (the manure is years old and looks like soil) How much of this should I put into 20 inch high beds before adding top soil?
Thank you so much. I am so glad I discovered this site.
Posted: 5:07 pm on April 13th
JennyRF writes: I have a question about the safety of manure... We just built our raised beds at the beginning of April 2014. Once built we picked up a load of manure from my father-in-laws manure pile out in his field. We did take off a foot or two of the top layer of manure and get the stuff at the bottom of the pile. We then put a pile of it into each bed at the very bottom layer of the beds... Once the manure was put into the beds we then layered a 3-way compost/soil mix into the beds filling up the remaining space in the beds. I began reading about horse manure because I was struck with the thoughts of what if the manure was not all aged manure and some was fresh? What if it contains pathogens? What if we can get sick from it? Are these concerns something to continue to ponder about or do you think we are fine? I really would love some advice on this. This is our first gardening adventure and I was planning on putting in my seeds and some starts today...but thought I would think twice, before planting. We spent so many hours of work on those beds, but in the end as an afterthought I want to play it safe. Hope to hear from you soon. thank you.
Posted: 2:57 pm on April 21st
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Posted: 2:07 pm on December 14th
SMbalian writes: I live ins a big city in Bolivia. I have a roof terrace for doing laundry. I have gotten 5 gal. water bottles for free and have been using them as self watering pots. yesterday at market I found bags of sheep manure. remembering from my youthful days about how good that is I bought it. but I'm curious about how much to stick in a pot. Any ideas? and major Kudos to the artist on this page. the illustrations are delightful! I want to make some prints here for my office where I tutor little kids. I know this particular page was made 4 yrs ago now.....but to whomever...I enjoyed your way of writing also. 'gonna go browse some more to see what else I can learn in a up-beat way. Thanks, Sally
Posted: 3:57 pm on November 21st
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