Animal excrement has been used as a fertilizer by humans for ages. As a result of its success, many farmers have vowed never to use any other method. Modern understanding of decomposition and fertilization has put some new light on these old approaches, which, while they have an established track record, are s—t. Manure for vegetable gardens may not be what you thought it was all along, it seems.
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Organic matter makes up roughly 17 percent, while.3 percent nitrogen,.2 percent phosphorus and.4 percent potassium make up the remaining 83 percent. 75 pounds of unbeded cow dung, or about three 5-gallon buckets, would be required to add.2 pounds of nitrogen to a 100-square-foot plant plot. Manure that has been composted has even less nitrogen, therefore 200 pounds of it would be required to get the same result! You may use a lot less, about 10 pounds per 100 square feet of dried cow manure, because its nutrient levels are higher: it contains 2 percent nitrogen, 2 percent phosphorus, and 2.4 percent potassium.
This contains 32 percent organic matter, 0.7 percent nitrogen, 0.3 percent phosphorus, and 0.9 percent potassium, and is 66% water. A 40-pound bag of manure without bedding or a 50-pound bag with bedding would add.2 pounds of nitrogen to a 100-square-foot garden. We only need 10 pounds of dried sheep dung per 100 square feet because it contains 4% nitrogen, 1.4 % phosphate, and 3.5 % potassium.
Organic matter is 25-45 percent, has 1.1 percent nitrogen, 0.8 percent phosphorus, and 0.5 percent potassium, and is 55-75 percent moisture. It is also known as hen dressing. .2 pounds of nitrogen can be obtained by adding the contents of 30 ponds, including the bedding, to a bed measuring 100 square feet. You'd only need 70 pounds of it if it had been composted. Poultry manure is not suited for lime-hating (ericaceous) plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, blueberries, and heathers because of its predisposition towards alkalinity.
When it comes to nutrients, fresh rabbit manure is a close second to chicken manure. Almost a quarter of its weight is organic stuff, which gives the soil lots of structure and weight.
Similarly to chicken dung, it is also a good source of nutrients, especially nitrogen. In comparison to other manures, rabbit manure is exceptionally easy to handle. Composting the little, round droppings from cages is a cinch because they are so easy to sweep up.
Rabbit dung, like any manure, should be aged or composted before use. If left to deteriorate, it can normally be used within three to four months if the temperature outside is above freezing.
Adding shredded leaves to it while it is composting will speed things up. Additionally, it's a fantastic supplement to typical compost piles. Because of its high quantities of moisture and nitrogen, it quickly heats up a compost pile.
About a quarter of horse manure's organic content is in the form of nitrogen, which makes it an excellent fertilizer for soil and plants. However, while it may not have the same level of nitrogen as chicken or rabbit manure, it still provides a significant amount of minerals.
Top-dressing gardens with horse manure in the fall is a terrific idea. During the winter months, the horse manure decomposes rapidly, enriching the soil with structure, nutrients, and organic matter.
Compost piles can also benefit from the addition of moisture and higher temperatures by incorporating it. To speed up decomposition, it has a high moisture content of 75%, which provides moisture and oxygen to the cores of the compost pile.
Fresh vs Composted Manure
The term "fresh manure" refers to manure that has not been composted for at least six months. Never use it as a plant sidedress! It's got enough nitrogen and ammonia to burn them off. Most of the nitrogen will be lost to evaporation and contamination of the groundwater as a result, which is bad for the plants and bad for the environment.
Rules for the usage of manure in organic gardening are set forth by the NOP, the USDA's national organic program. Leafy or soil-contact crops including lettuce, beets, carrots, and potatoes must have raw manure applied at least 120 days before harvest. Raw manure cannot be applied less than 90 days before harvest on plants that do not come into direct contact with the soil, such as peppers and tomatoes.
Fresh manure must be spread in the fall for those who have a short growing season. As well as dangerous diseases like E. coli, salmonella, and listeria, fresh manure is also a breeding ground for weed seeds.
Although increasing the organic matter in the soil is one of the most essential reasons for using manure in the garden, it never seems to come up in talks on the best manure.
The organic matter in various manures didn't even have values that I could find. According to what I could find, the organic matter level should be quite close to the dry matter amount. A lot of chicken dung is made up of bedding material, which raises the chicken's worth.
When it comes to organic matter, what kind of manure should you use? In order to make meaningful comparisons between manures, we rely on anecdotal evidence since commercial goods rarely supply this kind of information. The gardener doesn't seem to know how to assess manures on this land, in my opinion.
Inorganic minerals can be found in fresh manure, but once it's composted, they're largely gone.
Composted manure's NPK can be found by searching for it. This information came from an unreliable source. In other words, why is it that debates on social media continually compare the nutrient contents of dung from different animals? When comparing manures, most people use the NPK values of fresh manure as a starting point. However, you can only make these kinds of comparisons using fresh manure.
Many commercially available bagged products featured both "manure" and "compost" in their names. They were all within 0.5-0.5-0 or 0.3-0.3-0.3 in NPK, with the exception of one, which was 1-1-1. Product ratios did not differ from one another. In many cases, the NPK is not published in any way, shape, or form on the product packaging or in any online documentation.
Depending on the type of animal, the type of feed, the age of the animal, and the degree of composting and urine collection, the NPK value for a particular type of manure might vary greatly from one type to another. The most important aspect is the diet, which accounts for up to 90% of the excrement. If you feed your horse grass, it will create different dung than one that is fed alfalfa and grain, for example. To avoid having to print fresh bags for each batch of composted manure, manufacturers settle on a figure near to the final one.
Composted manure has the same NPK content as uncomposted manure if you buy it. It doesn't matter if a new cow has a higher NPK than a fresh horse.
Start with fresh manure and do the hot composting yourself! The amount of nitrogen that is lost during the composting process depends on the source of your beginning material. There is no hope for P or K. Because of the low C:N ratio of hot manure composting, you need to add more carbon, which reduces the relative nitrogen level. In my opinion, the final outcome for all forms of manure will be roughly the same.
It's possible that rabbit dung is an exception, since it doesn't have to be composted first. There was also a $40 two-pound product I looked at, however. I paid $60 for 12 yards of horse manure (hundreds of pounds) and I can buy 35 pounds of bagged composted manure for $4.50.
Is Manure Good or Bad?
What kinds of manure are there? It's possible to get manure from domestic pets and animals, but each has a unique method for ensuring the health of your garden (and you in some cases). Manure is just the waste products of animals that have been composted to remove any germs and break it down so that plants may absorb it more quickly. With uncomposted manure, employ caution because it may have weed seeds or diseases that might spread into your garden..
The practice of using manure as a fertilizer dates back to the earliest days of agriculture. Nitrogen and other nutrients can be found in abundance in manures. As a waste product, manure must be used with caution.
Raw manures can be used, but they have an unpleasant odor and attract flies because they are not broken down. It is possible that the concentration of nutrients in raw manure is too high for plants, which is one of the benefits and drawbacks of using it. Raw manures can also cause plants to develop too quickly, resulting in them becoming thin and lanky and obstructing the germination of seeds.
As a general rule, if you wish to employ raw manure in your garden, do so near the end of the growing season.
Are there vegan manures?
Manure doesn't have to be produced by an animal to be considered manure, contrary to popular assumption. In truth, animal manures aren't the only source of high-quality manures. The fact that animal dung is organic does not imply that it is the best option for gardening. Animal waste and any chemicals or antibiotics consumed by the animals are present in these manures. This is not always a good thing to have in a vegetable garden.
Plant-based compost, hay, seaweed, and green manure — a sort of organic fertilizer that entails growing a plant or crop and then returning it to the soil — are some of the alternatives to these animal-based manures. Plant matter, microorganisms, and soil are all used to make a more effective and natural fertilizer for your plants in this manner, comparable to no-till gardening.
Organic matter and vital nutrients can be gained through the breakdown of the plants used to generate green manure by leaving them to decompose in the soil rather than harvesting them. In the long run, these minerals will improve soil drainage and water retention by boosting plant growth. A number of popular plants, such as annual ryegrass, clover, alfalfa, and winter wheat, should be planted between growing seasons for this function.
Which Manure is Best?
Returning to an assumption I made before, we simply need to take composted manure into account for the time being. There may be some subtle changes between using fresh or old manure. Small nuggets of sheep excrement are easier to deal with than large cow pies. If you don't measure the NPK, you won't know how much NPK is in fresh manure. Fresh dung has variable NPK values depending on the animal source. Using fresh manure on the garden sooner rather than using a heated composting process can increase the amount of nutrients and organic matter in the soil.
Pathogens pose a threat to newly applied manure. My personal opinion is that the risk is very minimal, but authorities should exercise greater caution and urge people to compost.
Many internet conversations about composted manure fail to reach the correct result if we consider the following criteria. Since most composted manure has the same NPK value, this isn't an issue. Composting takes care of the hotness issue as well. There is no problem with weed seed or herbicides in any form of animal manure.
Composted manure is the only option left if you want to minimize the risk of pathogens. In this case, the sole consideration is availability.
It's possible that some brands are superior to others, but there's no way for a gardener to know for sure. Using sheep feces as a fertilizer has little utility.
Composting your own plant waste is the greatest way to get the most out of it. Buy locally if that isn't enough compost for you. Make no effort to transport an inferior product across the country based on a recommendation you read about on the internet. It's all black shit once it's composted!
Manure can certainly play an important function in revitalizing soil and energizing plants. Making ensuring you use it safely is the actual key to success.
Manure must be properly composted before being used around food plants.