What are different types of manures?
There are various kinds of manure. Some are good for plants while others may not be so helpful. Here is a list of some common types:
1) Animal Manure: These include all animals including cows, pigs, goats, horses and other farm animals like donkeys and mules.
They have been used for centuries in agriculture and they still work well today. They provide lots of nutrients for crops and they are very easy to manage.
2) Vegetable Manure: These include all plants, especially legumes like peas, beans, lentils etc.
They need plenty of moisture and these types of manures do a great job at keeping them moist. You can use it even if your soil is sandy or clayey. If you want to grow vegetables then you will definitely need to add some kind of vegetable compost into the mix too!
3) Flowering Plants: These include roses, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers and many more.
All of these require extra care to keep them healthy. Soil needs to be kept moist but not soggy. Water must be applied regularly to prevent wilting and death of the plant.
4) Fertilizer: Most fertilizers contain either nitrogen or phosphorus which are needed for growing plants and flowers.
You can also use bonemeal, which is very rich in phosphorus. However, you must not use bloodmeal or hoofandhair (or any other animal manure). Since it already contains nitrogen it is not necessary to add more of that element into your soil!
When should I apply manure?
There are several rules of thumb about when manure should be added to plants, but there is no single rule that will work for everyone. It depends on where you live, what kind of soil you have, and what types of plants and flowers you want to grow.
But generally speaking, the best time to add manure is in the fall (autumn). At this time of year the soil is still warm so the manure will be able to break down more quickly. This will give it more time to interact with the soil and provide all kinds of nutrients for next year’s crop.
If you live in a very cold place then you may need to wait until early spring before adding manure. In this case it is best to shred or slice the manure up into small pieces so that it will break down more quickly. Also, if your soil is clayey then it would be best to mix the manure in with some sand or another ‘light’ material in order to help with drainage.
How do I apply the manure?
You can either dig it into the topsoil or lay it on top of the soil. It really doesn’t matter as long as it is mixed in well with the soil somewhere!
How much do I need?
This also depends on where you live, what kind of plants and flowers you want to grow, and what type of soil you have. As a guide, one bucket (5 gallons) of manure per square foot of garden is a good starting point. If you want to grow a particular type of plant or flower that needs more nutrients then add more manure. If you want to grow a less fussy plant then you may want to use less.
What if I don’t have access to any manure?
You can always make your own! Here are a few recipes to try at home:
To make humus, chop up corn cobs, oat and wheat straw, and horse, cow, or pig manure into small pieces and mix well. Keep the mixture moist in a covered container for at least a year (the longer the better). Stir it every few days to keep the pieces from building up too much heat. Use just as you would any other type of manure.
Straw makes good planting material too. Use only fresh, undiseased, clean straw. We use wheat and oat straw because it is easy to grow in our climate and it is soft, but almost any kind will do as long as it is clean. Keep adding manure to the pile every few days and mix everything together.
In about six months it will be ready to use. Add two or three inches of the finished product to the beds every spring and dig in with a digging fork.
You can get some of the needed nutrients from the atmosphere by putting a few inches of clean straw or grass clippings over a layer of manure (or vice versa) in a covered pit. Let it heat up in the sun and cook for several months. Use the resulting humus as you would any type of manure.
Another simple recipe that requires no special ingredients is to mix your manure with some soil. One part manure to nine parts soil (by volume) will give good results. This is an especially good method if you don’t have enough manure to go around or you need a faster breakdown period.
What is the best way to prepare my garden soil in the fall?
Krete ( more?
Fall is a great time to rebuild your soil. One of the best things that you can do is to work in plenty of organic matter. This could be shredded leaves, grass clippings, spoiled hay (that you can’t sell or give away to someone else), and of course good old manure.
All of these things are good at rebuilding your soil’s structure along with the nutrients that the plants need to survive.
The new invention called “Rototillers” are a great invention for breaking up the ground and mixing in those organic materials. There are also some garden tillers that have a smaller tilling blade, but the larger ones are more efficient and cost less to operate in the long run. They can be used to break up the soil to a depth of several feet.
After the soil is broken up, then you can use a spading fork to work in the organic materials. This will provide a “vacuum” action that will suck the organic materials down into the soil where they can be worked on by the micoorganisms in the soil and transformed into plant nutrients.
To make this process even more efficient, you should use an overhead sprinkler to wet down the soil after working it. This will further help the organic materials to be drawn down into the soil where they can do the most good.
This method of soil building not only provides nutrients for your current plants, but also builds up a reserve nutrient supply in the soil so that your future plantings can grow bigger and healthier too.