|Barked: Fri May 11, '07 2:52pm PST |
|Ok, manure as is is nothing else but cow (or horse) dung. It contains certain substances that are in too high concentration and can kill plants. Manure needs to be "composted", that is, mixed with other things (generally with plain dirt+dry leaves and others) and kept covered so the necessary chemical reactions (that are heat-producing as well) will decompose the harmful part into "good" parts. It takes a while for this to happen, at least a month. That is why you need "manure compost" not plain manure.
My father who lives still in Europe is an ecologist and uses only the natural fertilizers, and mostly manure compost - he has quite a big cultivated area, orchard, vegetable garden, vineyard. He has these neighbors who grow cattle, and every fall they come and dump 3-4 big cartloads of cow manure in the back of the land. Dad then goes and mixes the manure with dirt and leaves and corn stalks and all kinds of stuff, and covers everything with a thick layer of dry leaves. In spring he has the best compost. He sometimes uses new mix in early spring inside the greenhouse of his early veggies for the heat the mix exudes (makes the veggies be kept warm with no electricity/fuel used), he just put a thick roll on the edges of the greenhouse. It's a little stinky but very useful.
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