Thursday, February 9, 2012

Manure and the garden

These are my three manure makers standing in front of my pile of manure. Manure needs to be well rotted before being added to the garden. Otherwise, you'll have viable seeds and lots of them, that and undesirable things like ecoli. My horse manure is particularly rich because of what we feed our critters. They are fed alfalfa, which is a mineral rich feed. If you go to your garden center, you'll find all kinds of manure. Sheep, cow, chicken, worm manure are examples. My favorite is sheep manure, one of my girlfriends swore that chicken manure was the best, it's a personal choice. Right now my current batch of horse manure is not cooked, so I'll be buying some for my garden needs and for making manure tea. Manure tea is the cheapest form of organic fertilizer for the garden. It's easy to make. I use a small garbage can because a 5 gallon pail isn't quite large enough. Put 1 gallon of manure into the pail, add 5 gallons of water and let sit outside for 3 weeks. To use, I take a cup of tea and a gallon of water and side dress my plants. I know it's a bit of overkill as some gardeners use it straight up, but manure tea is powerful stuff and tender plants may not tolerate it well. It should be the color of weak tea.  I'd rather fertilize more often than too much and kill my plants.

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