Monday, January 31, 2011

Manure Use on Home Gardens -- Watch Out!

Manures can be a great way to add organic matter to a home garden.  I'm for it.  However, be mindful of a few things:

  1. Cow manures that are not well-composted should be used sparingly on gardens where crops like potatoes or onions will be grown.  E. coli is the big deal, and it is a very big deal.
  2. Adding too much of a good thing can be bad.  Manure is a great source of nitrogen.  If the manure is still 'hot' -- not well composted -- you will grow a lot of plant but not many fruit or melons or whatever it is you are growing in your garden.
  3. Lastly, herbicide carryover in manures is a reality.  Some farmers manage their hayfields with herbicides.  Cows eat the hay.  Cows poop.  You gather tht poop up to spread on your garden.  Bad things can happen.  Take a look at this great publication from NCSU

I know this may not be the most interesting subject, but be wise when using manures on your home garden!

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