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#1 Old 04-14-2009, 09:52 PM
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does anyone use it?

my husband's uncle raises cows on a small hobby farm. he gave my inlaws a bunch of manure for their gardens, there's a big heap out in the field that's been there for a couple years, they said i can take some for my garden this year if i want. i'm not sure, i've never used it, but i'm a newbie to gardening in general. does it make a big difference? does the fact that it's been composting for a while make a difference? they don't turn it or anything so i dunno how good it is at this point.

i'm not worried about the ethical dillema, it's already there and no animals were harmed to get it. the fact that he raises cows for meat is not something i like but if i were to use manure i'd rather take it from them, well treated and free range organic, etc, rather than buying it from the store where the source is questionable. i wouldn't buy manure but i don't see a problem in using it from a family farm where you know how the animals are treated. i just don't know what to do with it or if it's even worth doing

any advice?

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#2 Old 04-15-2009, 03:10 AM
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The only compost i use is garden compost(what i make myself from grass,peelings,shredded paper,vacuum bag contents).At present i've not used it around my veggie plants but my flowers and bushes grow like monster with this stuff
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#3 Old 04-15-2009, 03:57 PM
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It may stick but its good ****. I grew up on a farm (horses but still) our gardens were always a mix of sole and manure. It doesn't get worse with age - it doesn't smell as much the older it is and still holds nutrients. Manure is great to winter covering your roses too.
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#4 Old 04-16-2009, 11:05 AM
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its not essential, especially with compost. in fact if you don't use it right manure is an excellent way to kill off your plants fast...
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#5 Old 04-16-2009, 07:06 PM
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well i don't have compost. yet. when i get my own place i plan on starting but i don't think my inlaws would be keen on it. they probably wouldn't care if i did it out in the field but the garden is going to be by the house so i don't want to trudge across the property with scraps every day if i don't have to. the manure i was only planning on mixing a bit in with some new topsoil when we get the garden set up and tilled. the dirt isn't very good right now, it's too acidic or something so we're going to have to get new soil anyway. but i was thinking mixing in some manure with the new soil and letting it sit until i'm ready to plant might help improve the soil quality. once i have stuff planted i won't add more i don't think

I'm singin' here to get rid of fear
Hope it disappears right here with the rain
But I know life is pain, not like a fairytale
Meaningless to pray, so just goin' on my way
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#6 Old 04-16-2009, 07:53 PM
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I've never used cow manure but we use our own compost, and it works great! The longer it's composting the better, and I assume it's the same for cow manure.
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#7 Old 04-16-2009, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyFaile View Post

well i don't have compost. yet. when i get my own place i plan on starting but i don't think my inlaws would be keen on it. they probably wouldn't care if i did it out in the field but the garden is going to be by the house so i don't want to trudge across the property with scraps every day if i don't have to. the manure i was only planning on mixing a bit in with some new topsoil when we get the garden set up and tilled. the dirt isn't very good right now, it's too acidic or something so we're going to have to get new soil anyway. but i was thinking mixing in some manure with the new soil and letting it sit until i'm ready to plant might help improve the soil quality. once i have stuff planted i won't add more i don't think



If you save your scraps in a gallon-size plastic sealing bucket, you might not have to lug them outside every day. You might go three or four days before needing to empty it, depending on how much cooking you do.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#8 Old 04-19-2009, 03:14 PM
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Aged manure is great for your garden in the beginning and every year after that. It feeds the bacteria that make your soil healthy and that is what your plants need. You can add it to the soil that you have there, mix it in, along with possibly some lime (if your soil is too acidic) and then plant into it. And as your plants come up, you can mulch the area around each plant with a couple inches more and this helps to retain moisture, keep down weeds, and as it decays further, it adds more nutrients right where your plants need it.



The only time that manure can be hazardous is if it is fresh, but if it's aged as you say, it is perfectly safe. If it's been sitting in a field for a couple years, it doesn't need to be turned. Turning only speeds up the composting process but left alone it will still compost, just a lot more slowly. Composted and aged manure will not smell like manure nor will it look like manure. It should smell earthy and have a black crumbly texture. Hope this helps and good luck with your new garden.
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#9 Old 04-19-2009, 03:25 PM
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Here's a thought, you could have a compost barrel right in the middle of your garden area. Then each day that you go out to check things, just take the stuff from the house out there. The benefit to having the compost barrel in your garden space is that as the season progresses, you'll have leaves and stuff from the garden itself that you're picking off and you can just toss them in there instead of hauling them away to the garbage. Then in the spring, if it's ready (composted), you have it right there in the garden where you'd be using it. And you can either get fancy compost barrel or go basic with a home-made one, the sky is the limit.



Regards,

Debby
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#10 Old 04-19-2009, 05:35 PM
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that is actually a great idea, i don't know why i didn't think of that

what can one use for a homemade container? i've never composted before, do i start with a base of soil and maybe manure and just add clippings and food scraps and turn it once in a while?



we just tilled the area we're going to use. deeper down there is a lot of clay but the topsoil isn't too bad. my inlaws have a relative that sells good topsoil, they said they'll split on a truckload with us and use the rest for their flower gardens. so we'll put down some manure with the new soil when we get it.

we have deer so we have to get some kind of fencing to keep them out so we won't plant anything til then.

there are worms there so that's always a good sign

I'm singin' here to get rid of fear
Hope it disappears right here with the rain
But I know life is pain, not like a fairytale
Meaningless to pray, so just goin' on my way
~Miyavi "Torture"
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#11 Old 04-20-2009, 07:28 PM
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You know I was thinking about a compost enclosure for my garden too and I came up with this idea (cause I like it to look nice as well). I am going to set four posts in the ground and then buy and cut to fit, that white vinyl lattice stuff you can get and then use wire or something to just hold the corners together. Then when it is full or you want to turn it over, you can just undo a couple corners and now you have access to it.



Good luck keeping the deer out to. I'm going to be dealing with that for the first time ever also.



Regards,

Debby
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#12 Old 04-25-2009, 08:02 PM
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dont start your compost w/ any manure, but getting some soil and worms in there is ok. you need a balance of "brown" and "green" matter to balance out the nitrogen, etc.

you can use dead leaves, newspaper strips, grass clippings...and moisten it up.

any container that allows you to access it to turn it each day and keep the warmth in the compost iwill work.



as for manure, if it smells, its not ready. it will take a while...like a year or at least a season or two... for the manure to be completely composted. at that point, it shouldnt smell, and technically would have been turned into soil or "black gold"
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#13 Old 04-27-2009, 10:05 AM
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yeah our manure is a couple years old and is pretty crumbly so it should be fine.



so a small container with a lid should work right? should it have some airholes?

I'm singin' here to get rid of fear
Hope it disappears right here with the rain
But I know life is pain, not like a fairytale
Meaningless to pray, so just goin' on my way
~Miyavi "Torture"
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#14 Old 04-27-2009, 11:08 AM
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a container will work, it should have some holes in the bottom at least make sure liquid drains out (we collect this liquid, dilute it and feed the plants with it).



also an easy way to make a compost pile is in the ground. just dig a big hole, a good size to start with is a medium trashcan depth and width, a mesh cover or lid is needed to keep critters out. just add your veggies and yard clippings to the hole and stir once in a while with a shovel or hoe.
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