Using Manure In The Garden
Animal manure is not only a good fertilizer, but also helps to condition the soil. Here are some guidelines for using manure in the garden:
- Don't use dog or cat manure. These manures often carry diseases that can be spread to children.
- Never use fresh manure, since it contains soluble nitrogen compounds and ammonia that can burn plants and interfere with seed germination. Manure that is well composted or has aged for about six months is best. When added to the compost pile, manure will speed the composting process.
- Manure tea can be used for periodic feedings or diluted and used every time you water. Do not allow undiluted manure tea to come into direct contact with foliage. To make manure tea, simply place a shovel or two of manure in a large container filled with water, and after a week or so, strain out the manure. To make the straining process a little easier, you can tie the manure in a burlap bag before placing it in the water.
- Horse manure may contain a good many weed seeds, so compost it in a hot compost pile before adding it to your garden.