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Getting next spring's garden site ready

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by -06, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    What and how have you prepped your garden site/beds/etc.? Tilling under fresh horse manure on the garden and raised beds and putting a good coat onto the asparagus bed. Should I put any around the fruit trees?
  2. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    Just be very carefull handling horse manure...can be lethal...Tetanus!
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Horse manure, indeed most animal manures make good soil additives, providing organic matter to improve soil structure, helping sandy soils to improve water holding capacity and improving the soil's ability to allow the uptake of nutrients necessary for plant growth and good health.

    Raw, uncomposted manures may be detrimental to plant growth, so it is advisable to "age" fresh animal manures befor applying them to the soil...

    The following is a quote from an Australian website devoted to gardening.

    "... One reason that horse poo is so misunderstood is that some people have used it incorrectly. No manures should be used fresh; they should be aged, or more correctly, composted. Some people have used fresh stable manure, with sawdust or straw, and have noticed that their plants went a bit yellow. This means that the manure was too fresh – not composted enough. As manure and organic matter break down, they use up nitrogen causing yellowing of the plants that then run short of nitrogen. But if you wait til it has composted for a few weeks, the manure releases nitrogen, producing strong, green growth in all plants. If your manure is still in dry scones and not composted – wet it and wait a few weeks before using it...." (Bourke's Backyard)

    for more information about the use of manures have a look thgrough

    Burke's Backyard > Fact Sheets > FREE – Horse Manure

    There are other fact sheets on the use of manures at that site.

    For fertilising fruit trees with manure, have a look at the fact sheet at the following website (Gardening Australia). Although it refers to citrus trees, it is also broadly applicable to other fruit trees also. Don't apply fertilisers close to the trunk. as it may cause collar rot which is a fungal disease. Application of manures are best is best done near the tree's drip line where the tree's feeder roots are located.


    The following link may be of interest, giving information about plant nutrition generally.


    You may wish to use some of of the manure to make a manure "tea". The advantage of a manure tea is that the nutrients are more immediately available to the plants being fertilised. The process of making a good brew may take a little time, and can be rather smelly but well worth the effort. It would be prudent to avoid using manure teas directly on the edible parts of the plants you intend fertilising. Adding two sugars and milk may not improve palatability' : O

  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    You should till in the manure now to let it age and not burn your plants in the spring. Yes put some around the trees.

  5. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Check your soil pH. Adding Lime (calcium hydroxide) Will raise the pH into an acceptable range as decomposition typically creates acids.

    However, it takes some time for the lime to fully do it's job.
  6. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    you can also put wood ash on it thats were we dump all of our wood ash from the stove in the winter.

  7. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    I started working on my garden area for next year by planting a second round of beans. I never really intended to get another harvest out of them, but I have. The purpose was to leave the roots in the ground to allow for adding nitrogen to the soil.

    As far as the manure, if you use it make sure it's well composted otherwise you can get weeds added to your garden bed.

    I've added a layer of straw and some compost to let set over the winter. Haven't decided if I'm going to expand the garden yet, I want to, just don't know if it will happen yet.

    BTW, I moved the thread to our "green patch" forum, which is for gardening.
  8. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Yes Wood ash will also raise your soil pH and provide yummy potassium, for healthier and higher yielding plants.

    Another fun thing you can do with your wood ash is boil it then filter it. Then you'd have lye.

    Add oil to your lye you will get soap.

    Further concentrate your lye by boiling off the water and With more wood, ferment some methanol, (or make some ethanol) then you can make bio-diesel if you've also got extra oil around.

    I've also read where wood ash was substituted for a leavening agent in breads. As it has carbonate

    anyhow getting off topic.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    (my emphasis)

    Just be careful where you source your wood ash from.......some trees and plants are poisonous, and the toxins that they contain are not removed by burning. Oleander is one such poisonous tree and has been responsible for a number of human deaths.

    The following link may be useful in identifying some poisonous plants.

    Plants Poisonous to Livestock - Animal Science - Cornell University

    The poisonous plant database would be useful to be familiar with, when foraging for wild foods.
  10. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Thanks for the info. If I cover the fresh manure with black plastic after wetting will it speed decomposition?
  11. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    All that we do is put on the ground till it in this fall. Then retill in the spring before planting has worked for us for years. We operate on the KISS prinicpal.

  12. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

  13. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Getting it from my neighbor. LOl, she feeds them high dollar hay/grains and a wee bit of grass from their pasture. Should be goooooood s---.
  14. bnmb

    bnmb On Hiatus Banned

    Hehehe...is the sheet coming from Jamaica, man?... :D
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