It is well known that if you want to grow a healthy organic garden, you should avoid using synthetic fertilizers on your plants. This can be tricky, especially when you realize how expensive and difficult it is to get organic ones. However, there is a simple way to incorporate nutrients into your garden and that is by using manure. Manure not only improves the nutrient level of the soil, but also its structure. But, unfortunately, not all types of animal manure are made the same way. While some can be used almost freely, others should be used with caution. If you’re trying to figure out which types of manure are best for the garden, read on.
You may also be interested in: Making chicken manure compost for garden plants
Why should I add manure to my garden?
Manure is animal waste, and to keep it free of potentially harmful pathogens that can harm your plants, you need to compost it first.
You can also make use of un-composted manure, but you need to do so with great caution, as it will take longer to decompose and may also contain weed seeds that can end up contaminating your beautiful garden.
On the other hand, raw manure could damage your roots and cause them to grow weak. If you add raw manure, be sure to give it time to decompose first, and it will need a constant temperature for a sustained period of time of 60°C.
Manure can provide your garden with many nutrients and beneficial bacteria.
Chicken manure is undoubtedly the most beneficial manure you could provide for your garden, since it contains a large amount of nitrogen. Although all manures contain nitrogen, this one has higher amounts. Apply it in the fall or spring after it has been composted. Avoid adding this manure to acidic plants and flowers, as it can cause excessive leaf production at the expense of your flowers.
Composted pig manure could be beneficial to your garden, as it will add a lot of nitrogen, but not as much as the manure previously described. However, it is imperative that whenever you use pig manure in your garden you compost it first at high temperatures to kill salmonella, parasitic worms and E. coli, which could make you sick. Composting is paramount to benefit from its properties without putting your own health and that of your plants at risk.
Make sure to let it compost for about a year and turn it every month. Let it cook as long as possible and then you can use it.
Cow manure has nitrogen, but not as much as other manures. Give it plenty of time to decompose before making use of it. When it composts, it can provide you with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Cow manure is made up of digested grains and grass, but, unfortunately they can also transmit weed seeds and ammonia gas to your garden, which is something to consider.
Like other manures, sheep manure has nitrogen, but it must be deposited in granular form. This very slow-release fertilizer contains potassium and phosphorus, nutrients that will help your plants have strong roots. You can also use it as an organic mulch.
Horse manure contains the same nutrients as cow manure. However, it is larger and usually contains many weed seeds. Give it a semester to compost and age. Horse manure is a great addition to flower, root or vegetable crops.
Other Types of Manure for Your Garden
Goat manure is very similar to sheep manure and you can add it in a similar way, while rabbit manure has four times more nutrients than cow manure and can be used to improve soil structure.
Which manures should not be used?
Avoid using cat and dog manure along with any other carnivore manure, as they may contain harmful pathogens that could make you sick.