I have few bags of fresh goat manure I'd like to use to feed my vegetables in raised beds and in ground, but I was warned not to use it fresh i.e. directly on plants.

Searching on similar questions I found that best way is to put manure into compost pile but that would probably take some time to decompose.

I was wondering if there are other ways to use fresh manure without waiting too long and without harm to vegetables?

3 Answers 3


Not really. Goat manure can be used fresh - the pellets are easy to till into the soil, but the problem is the urine that comes with it. Goat manure from goats kept in pens is inevitably full of urine too, and that's what burns plants because the nitrogen content is so high. If you wanted to till it straight into open ground in Fall, that can be done if there aren't any plants in it, but otherwise, composting is necessary. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/goat-manure-fertilizer.htm


Try making an anaerobic "tea". Soak the material in a bucket or barrel of water. You may also inoculate with soil microbes. Let it sit for about a week. Then try diluting the water, 100:1. If it burns a plant, dilute 1000:1. If it seems to not have an effect, dilute 10:1. Find the strength that works for you.


This doc has composition of dairy goats' manure in New Zealand: https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/assets/PageFiles/19392/managing%20barn%20manure%20on%20dairy%20goat%20farms.pdf. The dairy goats are probably very well fed and so may have higher nutrient manure than many other goats. The NPKS for fresh, wet manure was 1.8% N, 0.25% P, 0.91% K, 0.58% S. Not sure if the P and K are converted to oxide or not in this study, so actual P and K values for manure may be a little higher than a fertilizer with NPKS value listed as 0.25% P and 0.91% K. Either way, the nutrient content is much less than many fertilizers.

Two of the takeaways from the doc were:

Best spread fresh – minimise storage

If you can’t spread it straight away – cover it!

I don't have goats, but I do use my own urine straight on my garden. Seems to be fine so far, but I have been meaning to check about sodium sometime to see if it is a risk of putting too much sodium in the soil. I did burn part of my lawn one time with urine because I had overlapped the application and put too much on in one spot. The grass came back though.

The problem with using fresh manure in a food garden is potential for pathogens. Usually you should keep 120 days between manure application and first harvest, or 90 days for corn or other crops protected from soil splashes. There are docs from USDA that talk about how long to wait, but I am pretty sure those are the right numbers. I know some people who got sick after eating raw vegetables fertilized with manure tea, but I am not sure it was from the manure tea. Worth checking out more.

Good luck!

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.