Tips on manure

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Tips on manure

Postby Pawty » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:48 pm

Hi,

So I had my first delivery of manure to the allotment today. The young farmers deliver it and are raising money for Macmillan in the process. Thank you mr Pawty for shifting it!

So, question is, what do I do with it all! The pile is massive!

Leave it in a pile, or spread it? If I leave it in a pile should I cover it?

When do I know it's ready - a lady at the lotty said something about worms turning red?

Thanks

Pawty
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby peter » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:50 pm

Was described as fresh, or well-rotted?
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Pawty » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Hi,

Described as well rotted. Someone who looked at it said it should be ok in a couple of months?

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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Westi » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:34 pm

Hi Pawty

It looks a bit fresh to me, not that I'm an expert mind. If it is a bit newish then I would make a pile and cover it for the summer then spread it over the beds in winter. Again cover these, then when you lift the plastic in the spring the worms (& in my case mole), should have pulled a lot of it down making it easier to dig in. You'll be amazed how lovely & crumbly the soil underneath is.

I you are really diligent you can just roll up the cover in spring & leave at one end of the bed, wait for any weeds to start germinating, then re-cover it for a bit to kill them off so you have less work over the season.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Primrose » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:23 pm

I am never sure with fresh manure whether it's better to cover it up to facilitate any self generated heat speeding up the maturing process or leave it open to the weather and let the weather do the job. Any thoughts ?
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Monika » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:08 pm

It looks pretty fresh to me, Pawty, so I would leave it to rot under a plastic cover until autumn, and then spread it. One exception might be things like marrows or courgettes where you could mix this 'fresh-ish' manure well below the roots.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Beryl » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:22 pm

Good stuff but looks fresh to me; when I have loads like this I put in in my compost bins and try to layer with anything else that comes to hand, green waste, shredded paper, annual weeds, kitchen waste etc. keep adding to it then use it in the autumn to dig in or use as a mulch in the spring.

TIP: if you have another load try having it put on a ground sheet or tarpaulin it will be easier to fork up.

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Re: Tips on manure

Postby tigerburnie » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:32 pm

The straws gone, so I'd dig it in myself, if you've a strong back go for double digging and put plenty in.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby peter » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:18 am

tigerburnie wrote:The straws gone, so I'd dig it in myself, if you've a strong back go for double digging and put plenty in.



Funny, I looked earlier this evening and though there was too much visible straw in it. :?
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:36 am

Have to agree with Peter, straw has not gone.

I think Its far too fresh to use still.

I would cover it with black plastic and leave it until end of this season, the ground cover it currently has over it will allow to much water through.
Even better if you move it on to a ground layer of plastic and then cover it, that will help it keep heat and break down and will also help retain nutrients from getting washed out.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Geoff » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:48 am

Looks good stuff to me, I would use it as it is. Dig it in as TB says and use it to mulch soft fruit, particularly currants. Any left stack and cover or fill a compost bin. Hope mine is as good when it arrives.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby tigerburnie » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:05 am

I've had 2 year old stuff with a lot more straw in it than that and used it, each to our own I guess. If it's horse muck then it needs to be older, but cows muck doesn't need as much rotting is my experience as it's not so hot and won't damage roots.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby oldherbaceous » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:24 pm

It will be fine, just don't use it on things that don't like manure in the first place, Seedlings, carrots and that sort of thing.
As long a muck hasn't got that greeny, yellowy look, where no air has got to it, it will be fine.....of course the longer it decomposes, the easier it is to use, but it should be covered, as a lot of the nutrients do get washed through....but i still leave my heap open to the elements, naughty me... :)
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby John » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:41 pm

It looks rotted. What does it smell like?
If it smells like a farmyard then it needs storing a bit longer. If it doesn't have any distinct odour then it is well rotted and ready to use.
I agree with OH about keeping it away from carrots - they will fork badly if grown in recently manured soil. Use it where it will do the most good such as on beans, peas and lettuce.
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Last edited by John on Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tips on manure

Postby Pawty » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:20 pm

Hi,

Many thanks all - and exactly why I'm a member of this forum! So much more still to learn.

The manure had very little smell to it and I think it was from cows.

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