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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 ...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...


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

I can't see any reason why you shouldn't use it anywhere you want to - the green growth is likely algae, which will grow in damp conditions in daylight or sunlight inside the bag. Home Depot seems to sell a combination product of steer manure mixed with organic compost, so maybe that's what you've actually got - either way, the steer manure should be well ...


5

Root vegetables should be just as fine as any other root plant in my mind. They will take in those nutrients and everything like any other. I say they will be fine and that is that. Maybe they were talking about fresh manure, which would burn the plant/root.


5

This is not a weird question at all. Growing up in India, I saw cow dung used in a 100 odd ways all the time. But, I don't believe in these miracles. I am almost certain that they are touting these one-offs in an exaggerated manner, because if cow dung could produce such results, every inch of South India would be a dense tropical jungle, I assure you, sadly,...


4

Short answer: yes you can find them for 3-20 usd depending on features. Long answer: When I was young my biology teaching father brought home a suitcase full of colorful vials and reagents, each set represented a test for an aspect of the soil, phosphate, nitrate, pH, etc... I remember running every test available on the garden soil... When I was done I had ...


4

If you do not have room for a full compost pit, consider a worm compost box. There are many ready made plastic worm composters you can buy online or if you are handy you can make them out of wood. This has the added benefit of being better protected from pests like raccoon or skunk than simply trying to open air compost. It also gives you worm castings, ...


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