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Keyword Search Results for:
Manure

7 Found

Question: 220-5201
We have three miniature horses. Can we use the manure on our plants? Sue, Salem, CT

Mort's Answer:
Only on dwarf trees. The manure has to be at least a year old. It will sterilize itself in the winter. I would spread that on top of the soil for flowers and other non edibles. For my vegetable garden, I prefer to make sure that it is well rotted. Fresh manure can be turned under in sandy soils. This will speed up the break down. Fresh manure can burn roots, so it is always best to wait for at least one winter in a pile to cook the manure. Cooking sterilizes the bacteria that might possibly be harmful. The size of the animal isn't as significant as digestive tract. Horses, cows and other mammals have excellent digestive systems.

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Question: 508-1311
What are the best Manures to use? Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
Higher animals in the evolutionary scale usually have better digestive tracts. Cow and horse are excellent. Barnyard chickens have a controlled high protein diet and are better than range chickens. Rangers have a lot of weed seed. Price is more determined by availability than quality on all manures. Guano from bats and bird manures are about as good as chicken. Chicken has been the least expensive compared to horse or cow and others. That is the poop on poo.

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Question: 872-5212
I am planning to use a lot of chicken manure this coming year. Can I spread it now or till it in in the spring? Ron, Boyne City, MI

Mort's Answer:
Your garden will do well with this addition. If it is range manure, it will have a lot of weed seed. Range manure needs to be sterilized by leaving it in a heap through the winter. A frost will cover the outside and the interior will start to smoke from the heat that is generated. Cooped chickens are feed a very rich diet and it has no weed seed. Covering the ground in the winter will air it out and you will have less odor to deal with. I would wait until spring in either case to rototill.

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Question: 889-613
I plant potatoes, tomatoes and peppers every year. I do not have enough room to rotate the crops. I use manure regularly. Am I ruining the soil? Melba, Finley, IL

Mort's Answer:
You could deplete the phosphorus and potash eventually. Supplement the soil each fall with a light application of bonemeal or 5-10-10 fertilizer. This will give you a more balanced nutrient base instead of just manure.

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Question: 964-2613
We purchased a trailer load of manure. We have six yards left. It is well aged. Can I plant squash or melon plants right on top of the pile? Donald, Plymouth, MA

Mort's Answer:
That is what the pumpkin growers do that want to raise one ton fruits. That is a lot of manure for just one or two plants. Melon, squash and cukes grow ten feet in every direction. There is not room for much else. If you try for a championship pumpkin, you can also cover it with black plastic to heat up the pile. You will also need to pump in a lot of water. Straight manure would be too much for other vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. The fruit would probably rot.

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Question: 1177-4114
Is it alright to put fresh chicken manure from my barn into the composts pile and put it into the garden now? Bill, Ledyard,CT

Mort's Answer:
If it lies fallow for the winter, it will not be as adverse to planting annual vegetable and flower plants. You will get better decomposition in a compost pile that is left to cook through the winter. Larger heaps will sterilize themselves with a covering of frost. Chicken manure can be very acidic and could burn plants when applied fresh. Cutting it with the compost helps but I would wait until spring with the mix.

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Question: 1366-3116
We have free range chickens and would like to use the manure. Can we cut it with sand? Chris, Windham, CT

Mort's Answer:
As you probably know, free range chicken manure has a lot of seeds from weeds. It is best to cook it in a pile this winter. A frost will seal the outside and the pile will self sterilize. Composting with grass clippings and shredded leaves will give you the best of both a manure and a compost. Because it is not as digested as higher animal manures like cow and horse, it has a very acidic. Be careful to not use too much.

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