questions about using fresh cow manure...

coyleJune 22, 2008

I'm down the street from some cows and plan on going over there and getting some manure. Now can I just mix it in the dirt and then plant or do I have to wait some time for it to be ready? I'm thinking I will have to wait and am preparing for my fall garden. Please advise. Thanks!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sorry but while manures are great soil amendments, you should never use fresh manure in the garden because of the pathogen risks associated with it as well as the high N levels it contains (especially if it also contains urine). Standard recommendation is to compost all manures (with the possible exception of rabbit) for a minimum of 5-6 months prior to use.

You can do it several different ways: (1) add it to an existing compost pile or build a new compost pile with it and add multiple carbon sources to it, (2) age it in a pile by itself although odor and flies will be a problem, (3) spread it over the garden in the early fall once harvest is finished and let it compost in place until spring when it can be tilled into the soil.

Don't pass it up but use it safely for best results. ;)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 7:33PM
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As Dave has suggested compost that manure before applying it to your garden. My grandfather, and my father, did put fresh manure on their gardens because they were not aware of the potential disease pathogens that could be in that manure. As we learn we should look at applying the knowledge gained instead of just doing what our forefathers did without thinking.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 7:40AM
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