What is Garden Manure Compost
Experienced gardeners know that manure is one of the best natural, organic
fertilizers around. It provides abundant amounts of the three main chemicals
your plants need- Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Importantly, it also
contains many of the micro-nutrients that we hear less about, yet are essential
for plant growth and health..
Manure also adds to the composition of the soil. It contains both animal
waste and straw (or sometimes sawdust). In addition to all of those valuable,
naturally sourced chemicals and nutrients, well-decomposed manure adds valuable
compost that holds moisture and promotes easier, and healthier, root growth.
If you are lucky enough to have a source of manure for your plants, count
Importantly, you can not just place raw, fresh manure in, or on top of,
the soil where your plants are located. Raw manures are too "hot".
Most notably it has too much nitrogen, and can burn your plants. Rather,
you need to compost fresh manure, affording time for the manure to properly
decompose. You can work raw manure into the garden in the fall. However,
never use fresh manures in the spring or summer.
Thought for the Day: When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Not All Manures are created equal!
The diet of each and every animal varies, especially between vegetarian and
carnivores. Most of the manures which you have regular access to are vegetarian.
But even within this group, diets are different, and the digestion process
functions different. Dietary changes, especially seasonal, also affect the
final "finished product".
As an example of the differences, horses eat lots of field grasses and weeds.
They do not pulverize their food as they eat it, and their digestive tract
allows many weed seeds to pass through unaffected. As a result, a horse excretes
many of those seeds intact. People who use horse manure, experience far more
weeds in their gardens.
Cows eat lots of field grasses and weeds. They chew and grind their food
far more thoroughly, and their digestive system processes the food far more
efficiently. The "end" product contains far fewer weed seeds.
What kind of manures do gardeners use? The answer to this is pretty
much what is available locally in your area.
Cow Manure - One of the two most popular manures, it is generally
available in large quantities. Farmers who convert cow pastures to farmland,
reap excellent results. Fro the average home gardners, cow manure is a bit
messier to handle.
Horse Manure - This is the second of the top two sources available
to home gardeners. The supply is usually readily available. It is mixed with
straw or sawdust.
Chicken Manure - If you are near a chicken farm, this is good source
Turkey Manure - As with Chicken manure, if you live near a turkey
farm, stop by and see if the farmer will let you take some.
Sea Gull Manure - In the humorous book "Pumpkins are Orange" by Jack
Breckinridge, a pumpkin grower goes off in search of quantities of seagull
droppings, on the theory that everything near the ocean grows big because
of it. Who knows, he may be right!
Rabbit Manure - Some suggest that rabbit manure is absolutely the
best they have used. Finding big quantities is the challenge.
Bat Guano - Bat Guano (manure) is believed to be the absolute best
of manures. Commercially, it commands the highest prices.
Did you know? There are articles and research on which type of bats
produce the best bat guano.
Human Manure - While this is practiced in some foreign countries,
the home gardener should avoid it. Untreated human waste has human disease
that you can pick up or transmit.
Dog and Cat Manure- okay for flower garden, but not recommended for
the vegetable garden.
Stray waste(Deer, Duck, Geese, etc)- Limit to the flower garden or
Manures tend to be messy. Wear old clothes. Protect your vehicle by placing
plastic covering down even, if you are hauling it in covered containers.
Place plastic or newspaper on the floor under your feet. Shovels and pitchforks
are a necessity. Don't forget an old towel ,in case you need to wipe your
hands before touching the steering wheel.