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18

The root cause (no pun intended) is that excess nitrogen will make the roots fork. I've heard two different theories as to why: "Hot" fertilizer like fresh manure burns off the fresh roots and makes them fork. A lot of nitrogen in shallow soil fails to encourage the plant to scavenge deep in the soil for nutrients, and they send out roots sideways instead. ...


14

You should compost them before dumping them in soil. The food waste is not degraded and bacteria/bugs in soil will try to degraded some while releasing bad smell. Also it doesn't look good and require a long time to degrade too. I should warn you, there will be plenty of bugs if you just dump the food to the soil. Learn how to compost, you can search up ...


10

These are mycelium, and perfectly normal in "live" compost. The top was exposed to air, so it dried out. The white may be a fungus growing on the surface. Slugs like damp places, especially where there's stuff they can eat. It does not seem "strange" to me that you'd find one in a bag of "naturally moist" compost (i.e. slug food) that has been left to sit ...


10

There is a big difference between manure from ruminants (e.g. cows) and non-ruminants (e.g. horses, chickens, etc). Non-ruminant herbivores produce poo which is relatively bulky and contains a lot of undigested plant material. This material is degraded rather quickly by bacteria, but until that happens the manure is traditionally described as "hot", and ...


9

You are right. It's generally accepted that chicken manure is a fine addition to compost, with the caveat that, as you mention, it should cure for 6-12 months. Chicken manure is high in nitrogen, and if you have a good mix of "browns", it will help the pile get hot quickly. I regularly add small amounts of poultry manure (from about 2 dozen birds) to my ...


9

I use horse manure with a lot of wood bedding in my compost. (That's understating it: my compost is mostly horse manure with wood bedding...) I've found that: making sure it stays moist; adding whatever nitrogen sources are available (kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, chicken manure, etc); and turning it occasionally gives me great compost after 6-12 months. ...


9

The easiest test to do is also perhaps the most important: organic matter content. You do this with what is commonly called a "soil shake test." Find an area clear of weeds and growth where you can get about ¼ quart jar of screened soil (no rocks or huge lumps). Add water to the quart jar until it is perhaps ¾ full. Attach lid and shake vigorously for some ...


9

There are two possible problems that could come from using manure on root vegetables, one of which only applies to fresh manure and the other is more applicable to fresh manure also. The first, and the most obvious, is the potential for contamination. If you're putting the manure into the soil, the part of the vegetable you eat is growing in direct contact ...


9

Unless harmful elements fell into your manure during those 20 years without your knowledge, it certainly shouldn't hurt anything. It might not be as potent as properly matured and composted manure, that's all. Concerning your clay soil : don't work in your garden if it rained in the last 2 days to avoid compacting the soil.


8

We use something similar with our horses, and it composts nicely... though I'm guessing there's a lot more urine in what goes into our pile. How big is your pile? Composting won't really take off until you have about 3x3x3'. You don't need a bin. Adding kitchen vegetable scraps will help it along -- bury the scraps with the bedding to cut down flies and ...


8

You can use kitchen wastes in a similar way to what you're doing. It's called trench composting: Dig a hole about a foot deep. Add your kitchen scraps. Bury with the soil from the hole. They will break down over time. Now with that said, there are ways you can improve the process. Kitchen scraps are typically mostly nitrogen, and if you can balance it out ...


8

Chicken manure is a "hot", high nitrogen fertilizer. Applied directly to plants it can burn them. I find that a mix of chicken manure, horse manure, and bedding, allowed to rot for a year or so makes a great garden amendment. (Or if you turn it a few times it is ready in about six months.) Another good way to use chicken manure is to add it to the general ...


8

There's no conflict between your data. Worms clearly eat animal manure, and the bacteria and fungi that comes with it. But it's recommended that you use aged (horse) manure to avoid heating up the worm bin when the manure starts to compost.


8

One suggestion might be Couch grass. I make this suggestion for the following reasons: applying "hot" materials to anything with a light fibrous root system will have an enormous effect on the root hairs and if severe enough will kill the plant. A similar "hot" material is wood ash or human liquid waste, both of which in undiluted form will kill many plants. ...


7

This question has been answered very fully. I entirely agree with most of the comments and there is little to add; however, there is one important aspect of long-term/ over-manuring that has not been mentioned: soil pH. Regular use of manure, whether the cow or horse variety, will slightly lower the pH, and over-use will over-acidify your soil, just as too ...


7

I grow carrots and I don't believe roots branching off has anything to do with manure.i use kelp for manure. I sift my soil and mix it with sand and I have perfect 16 to 18in carrots every time with no roots branching off. Prior to doing this I didn't sift my soil or mix with sand and my carrots had branches everywhere. I think the branches on carrots are ...


7

If you are going to do what you ask, use human and pet wastes to fertilize your 'fruits and vegetables', there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 1. Processing waste material Human wastes can and have been used to fertilize crops. The city of Milwaukee sells Milorganite to farmers, which is just processed human waste from the city. A good minimum ...


7

Not unless you particularly fancy a dose of e-coli, worms, parasites and a host of other enteric nasties you could be infected with from using it. Generally speaking, manures from herbivores are okay, but even those must be composted prior to use, so composted animal manures are fine - but only if you're not growing root crops such as carrots or parsnips, ...


7

Hmm... well, I don't know the particulars about the straw bedding you've got there but I can tell you the experience here on our farm and what I know about composting horse manure, having done it for the past 10 years or so. We also compost rabbit, chicken and goat manures here. Horse manure definitely needs to be composted. A horse's digestive system is ...


7

First, cow dung doesn't have a very high level of nitrogen, specially compared to other forms of manure - the problem with fresh cow dung is a very high ammonia level, but if its dried in heat or sun, the ammonia should be significantly reduced, along with any serious pathogens present. NPK levels for average cow manure are roughly 3-2-1, with some trace ...


7

Sounds like perfect stuff. You are going into winter, yes? If you are, just put it on top of the beds thickly. This will help keep the weed seeds already in the soil from germinating as well. In the spring, when your soil has dried, double dig your vegetable beds 3' in width throwing the clay soil on top of the manure. Micro and macro organisms have ...


6

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 ...


6

Ask any kid who grew up on a small ranch or dairy who's kicked apart the cow pats. They're mostly grass, the nitrogen has mostly been extracted by the digestive process (Go Ruminants!). And the red worms take over the cow pats pretty quickly after a week or two and go to town. If you're getting cow pen waste, it's a different matter as the urine content ...


6

For pathogen concerns, stock/standard advice often enshrined in regulations is "not less than 120 days before harvest." So if you are adding fresh steer poop (which you should not, in most cases) do so a minimum of 4 months before your planned harvest date. As an instance where you might actually do this, consider the "compost in place" approach where you'd ...


6

It's a little bit complicated - properly composted manure can be added to potting mixes, but its the 'properly' composted bit where the problem arises. Manure should be composted with other materials for up to two years (horse manure with straw, for instance), and turned regularly so that the pile of composting manure heats up to pretty high temperatures. ...


6

The usefulness of a manure depends on how the animal digests its food and the way it excretes it. Cows are ruminants with a 4 chambered stomach so that they are maximally able to extract nutrients from the grass. Cattle manure is basically made up of digested grass and grain. Cow dung is high in organic materials and rich in nutrients. It contains about ...


5

In practice, I don't think it will be a problem. I wouldn't add substantial manure to every bed every year. Some plants simply don't want it -- your carrots, for example. I'd add an inch or two for, say, zucchini/courgettes or celery. And, since you're rotating crops, you can plant potatoes or beans there next year to feed off the leftover nutrients. And ...


5

Fresh manure also can transfer E. Coli to garden vegetables, so you should always make sure your manure is well composted, for around 3-4 months. If it's still smells very strongly, it's probably too fresh.


5

If you're buying bagged cow manure, it is thoroughly composted and should pose no harm to your vegetables. The only possible harm I can think of is if you use it on the peppers: if the bag is labeled with NPK, you may want to check that you aren't adding too much nitrogen. Manure is usually pretty low analysis (1-2% N), so it should be fine. But I wouldn't ...


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