Fresh manure

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Gwynneth
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Fresh manure

Post: # 272894Post Gwynneth »

Hi all,

I've not been on here in sooo long. So I hope everyone is well =D

I have a few boxes that I've been growing veg in. This year I'm planning giving half the boxes a rest and would like to add some goodness back into them. I have access to some fresh horse poo, we have a small garden and don't have space to compost or keep the poo till it rots a bit. I was wondering if I'm not planning on using the boxes till next year would I be able to just put a layer of poo on the boxes and it'll rot down itself? If I can should I put a layer on and leave it or should I dig it in? Also should I cover it to build up the heat so it rots quicker or leave it uncovered?

Sorry for so many questions I've not used it before so really not sure what's best to do :dontknow:

Thank you for any help offered :flower:

Gwinni

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Flo
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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272896Post Flo »

If you aren't going to use the boxes for a year, then just adding to the top and leaving to rot is not a real problem. I'd cover because there is the pong effect as it rots which may offend the neighbours.

There is no value in manure other than it is a soil improver. It will rot down and then you can turn it in but you will still have to use fertilisers to feed whatever crops you plant next year. A year's fallow is something that we used to do back on the farm when I was a bairn as it gave nature a chance to let the normal life of worms and microbes reappear.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272947Post The Riff-Raff Element »

I would agree with Flo, except for the bit about:

"There is no value in manure other than it is a soil improver. It will rot down and then you can turn it in but you will still have to use fertilisers to feed whatever crops you plant next year."

The fertiliser value of all manures varies according to the diet of the beasts, the litter used, etc, but to give a guide, horse manure has an NPK of 0.7 nitrogen, 0.3 phosphorus, 0.6 potassium. This may not sound a great deal compared to the packaged proprietary fertilisers, but three things (possibly four) weigh in manure's favour as the fertiliser of choice:

1. It can be incorporated in very large quantities into the soil, so you can provide more nutrition just by digging in more;

2. The nutrients in manure are chemically combined in such ways that they are released far more slowly than from straight chemical fertilisers (propitiatory organic fertilisers are slower than chemical) and hence nourish plants through the season. This is very efficient and avoids leaching of the various minerals.

3. Manure contains a far wider range of trace minerals than is typically found in propitiatory fertilisers - magnesium, boron, manganese, cobalt, molybdenum, etc are all present. Aside from what this does for the plants, this can enhance the nutritional value of the food being grown.

4. Possibly - manure is very cheap and often free.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272952Post dave45 »

Every time I dig over my veggie patch, the local cats see it as an invitation to come and crap on it, having trashed any seedlings I may have planted... I presume *this* manure is no use at all?

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272959Post skeast »

Cat poo is bad, I think it is animals with a vegetarian diet you want. And they may carry toxoplasmosis. Cover the freshly dug ground with twigs or netting. Keeps mine off.

Will resting a tub have the same effect as resting open land ? Could you grow a greenmanure or wild flowers for insects etc ?

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272961Post oldjerry »

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:I would agree with Flo, except for the bit about:

"There is no value in manure other than it is a soil improver. It will rot down and then you can turn it in but you will still have to use fertilisers to feed whatever crops you plant next year."

The fertiliser value of all manures varies according to the diet of the beasts, the litter used, etc, but to give a guide, horse manure has an NPK of 0.7 nitrogen, 0.3 phosphorus, 0.6 potassium. This may not sound a great deal compared to the packaged proprietary fertilisers, but three things (possibly four) weigh in manure's favour as the fertiliser of choice:

1. It can be incorporated in very large quantities into the soil, so you can provide more nutrition just by digging in more;

2. The nutrients in manure are chemically combined in such ways that they are released far more slowly than from straight chemical fertilisers (propitiatory organic fertilisers are slower than chemical) and hence nourish plants through the season. This is very efficient and avoids leaching of the various minerals.

3. Manure contains a far wider range of trace minerals than is typically found in propitiatory fertilisers - magnesium, boron, manganese, cobalt, molybdenum, etc are all present. Aside from what this does for the plants, this can enhance the nutritional value of the food being grown.

4. Possibly - manure is very cheap and often free.


5.It's the natural way to grow food......'We plant the seed,nature grows the seed'', etc. etc. ps. Your bike's in the bath.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272962Post dustydave »

A good idea for vines and trees who like to access their nitrogen as ammonia - as long as the soil is well aerated; otherwise it will lead to denitrification. Not much use to brassicas who like their nitrogen as nitrates; although anything that increases the worms and mini beast content is good, as the protein contained in mini beasts make up the largest nitrogen component in the soil.

:pirate: i wanted to use the pirate smilie

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272972Post The Riff-Raff Element »

oldjerry wrote: 5.It's the natural way to grow food......'We plant the seed,nature grows the seed'', etc. etc. ps. Your bike's in the bath.
That too. I like to think of well-managed pasture, with a mix of various grasses and herbs, as a sort of natural chemical plant. Legumes fix nitrogen to be taken up by the grasses, and deep rooting herbs like alf-alfa extract minerals from the subsoil. Cut the hay, feed it to your livestock, collect their output and spread it on the arable part of your operation and you've concentrated up the nutrients picked up by your pasture. Practice a good rotation including some green manures, add a bit of wood ash or lime, or perhaps some blood & bone from the animals gone to slaughter and you are away.

Of course, fertiliser manufacturers aren't wild about this sort of thing and do rather have a tendency to paint old-fashioned mixed farming as being somehow backward, which is unfortunate, since the science behind it is really quite solid.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272973Post diggernotdreamer »

I knew a missionary a long time ago. He returned from Africa and told a tale that during the green revolution, he got behind all the big agri business and the spiele about nitrogen fertilisers and the like, so they saved up and bought the fertiliser and all was good for a few years, but then the yields started to go down and then fail. While he was looking around a training farm, he noticed that in amongst all the failed and yellowing crops was a patch where all was green, lush and productive. What are those crops there he asked, oh they are some of the boys that work here, they wanted to grow food for themselves and they use all the animal manures on their plots. It was at that point that the missionary realised that the green dream they had been sold was in fact a fiction and that the old fashioned way of fertilising the land was the way forward for Africa.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272981Post The Riff-Raff Element »

The business of fixing nitrogen via the Haber process was made imperative by war - there was simply no way that enough explosive could be made by other methods. During peacetime it rather became a technology looking for an application, which, happily, farming provided. The problem was that it was assumed that throwing nitrogen at plants was enough: as usual (and even today), not enough work had been done to understand plant nutrition.

Now we've got a bit better at industrial agriculture, but we still haven't done enough work to understand how what we are doing in the fields is impacting human health. We see an epidemic of obesity in the West, a rise in all kinds of allergies, food intolerances and some cancers and we're still debating what the root of these might be. Perhaps we should start with the soil?

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272983Post dustydave »

Mix a nitrate with a carbon and you have an explosive; when I walk over the chalk downs in Wiltshire the ploughed arable fields look like ashen shrouds, while the soil in the sheep grazed downland are a lovely inky black. The oxidation of the carbon content from our soils through the addition of nitrates is probably one of our biggest environmental catastrophes.

I'm not too keen on the whole biochar idea though; just good old fashioned winter cover crops and minimal ploughing and a bit of muck spreading! It does however mean that we need to wean ourselves off the brassicas and the maize and go back to the crops that we used to grow. Oh, and let the cattle out of their barns - so that they can eat grass and if that means that badgers need to be culled back a bit, then so be it.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 272987Post oldjerry »

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
Now we've got a bit better at industrial agriculture, but we still haven't done enough work to understand how what we are doing in the fields is impacting human health. We see an epidemic of obesity in the West, a rise in all kinds of allergies, food intolerances and some cancers and we're still debating what the root of these might be. Perhaps we should start with the soil?


Of all the posts I've ever read on here,that's the one I wish I'd made.

The arguement agribusiness always trot out re:''it's the only way we can feed the world'' is nauseating in it's duplicity.

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 273003Post diggernotdreamer »

Sorry to be ignorant Dusty Dave, but why could we not grow cabbages?? Did they not grow cabbage intensively just outside London many years ago, all the manure from the carts and carriages was shipped to the outskirts and the area heavily manured, they grew continuous crops there for years

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 273007Post dustydave »

Hi Digger, :wave:

I was alluding to the rape seed – the farmers favourite. A lot of farming in the UK is now lazy farming; an elderly landowner, who subcontracts all the work to the contractor, then forward sells the crop. As long as they make their 6% return then there is no incentive to actually get involved and improve the soil. Rape seed and maize are very easy crops to grow as long as you apply the nitrates at the right time, they don’t rely on a Mycorrhizal Symbiosis – unlike the grasses.
The government are looking at ways of analysing groundwater and tracking the nitrate and phosphorous isotopes back to the farm, in fact have asked the scientific community to help with this – so there is hope.

Nothing wrong with a good cabbage – strange who your taste buds change as you get older; when I was at school the smell of boiled cabbage used to turn my stomach. :pukeright:

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Re: Fresh manure

Post: # 273008Post diggernotdreamer »

at my school they used to boil it for about 5 hours and deliberately stink the place out with it, but I love me cabbage and kales. I hate that rapeseed, when I lived in England, the minute they cut it, every flea beatle that was on that crop seemed to make a beeline for my garden, and the stuff is very bad for the hayfever.

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