I know that this question is very much vegetable-dependent, and I am aware that certain vegetables (as brassicacae in general, and root vegetables as well) do not like manure, others can be grown on a land that has been manured the previous year, etc.

My question is about the right time to apply manure. I am having 20 kg of well-rotted horse manure delivered next sunday. I already started some peas, broadbeans, chickpeas, courgette, squashes, cauliflowers, salads and herbs indoors, and I am planning to start hardening them outside during April. For the moment almost everything is in pots or seeding trays. By the end of April I am also planning to start sowing other varieties of courgette, french runner beans, tomatoes (probably in pots) and other herbs.

In my garden I have two big beds, with clayish soil (therefore not draining excellently), but full of compost and organic matter (worms really thrive in it, and I have almost no weeds at all).


1) When should I apply the manure to the soil? Is it best to do it now, then leave the soil covered (so that the sun doesn't get in and weeds do not develop, and to protect from weather) until I transplant my vegetable outside (in 1-2 months)?

1a) If I am planning to lime the soil before planting, when am I supposed to do it?

2) When people say manure is well-rotted, does that mean that it has been composted long enough to ensure it is safe to use it straight away in the garden?

3) Should I use some manure also for the soil I am going to use in the pots for tomatoes and some courgettes?

4) Which vegetables among those I have mentioned really could get in trouble because of the presence of manure?

Thanks a lot!

2 Answers 2


1) Lime and manure are best done at different times. Best would have been to do the lime in the fall - putting the lime on NOW would be better than waiting any longer.

2) You simply can't tell what people mean by well-rotted because people are not consistent in their use of the term.

3) ...would depend on 2).

The Inverse of 4) Squash and tomatoes will both generally be happy to get manure. Squash will hardly care even if it's not very well-rotted at all. Many a happy squash has grown right on a manure pile.


As a general rule I like to make soil amendments in the fall so they marry over the winter and become more available to the plants.

I however don't often make many amendments to the soil, I usually just mulch with a well rounded 3 year old compost built from principally from tree leaves (I leave my fall leaf drop alone until spring, this allows the leaves to become throughly inoculated with dirt microbes), grass clippings, egg shells, manure and anything else not specifically contra-indicated for composting (tomatoes, fat, etc)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.