Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012...12:00 am

Organic Fertilizers – Part I

How much grass…by Kiwilad

TheGardenLady recently attended a talk on Organic Gardening. One of the aspects of the talk presentation was the importance of good soil if you want a good garden. And to get that good soil, good organic fertilizers are needed. Organic fertilizers include animal manures.

First of all, no one recommends using dog or cat manure as fertilizer. You do not want to use the feces of any animal that is a meat eater. “Both dog and cat manure may contain organisms that cause human health problems. ” See here.

So which fertilizers are best?

This garden lady uses horse manure because there are horse farms in the area. One farmer ages the horse manure and then delivers it to my property. I could also get it free from some of the horse farms in my area but that means I would have to cart it away which I cannot do. So if you want horse manure and there is a horse farm in your area, call to see if you can get some. Ask if they age it or if you have to do it.

My parents used horse manure on the farm when I was growing up. One of the best public gardeners in my area, a man from Italy, used it on his beautiful show garden. And friends who have beautiful gardens use it. Horse manure has high organic matter. Horse manure is a good all purpose manure.

Some of the problems with it is that it can have weed seeds in it. If properly aged or composted, there should not be many; the heat of composting should kill the weed seeds. Do not use it fresh because it can have diseases. For directions in composting your own horse manure check out this site.  I use my aged horse manure as a mulch. It has no odor.

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1 Comment

  • I also read a few months back that some manures are contaminated with herbicides. Seems that despite having “passed” through the horse, herbicide residues can remain in the manure from hay that had received spraying. It’s important to “test” the manure before using it in the garden. Some folks have had their gardens ruined by this.

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