Compost anyone?

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Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
#1
Some of you knew this was coming! LOL! but for those of you new to sites like this or those just looking for info on composting I will be more than happy to share with you the magic of compost, the in's and out's the do's and don'ts so just ask. I am a big fan of all organic gardening and always love to share as well as hear new tips and suggestions. Looking forward to talk dirt soon!:D
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#3
Same here...always up to talking black gold...Organic all the way here...look forward to getting back to talking about gardening with everyone.
 
#4
I'm married to the compost king,, nutting leaves my yard!! Yesterday he chipped up all the leaves, and the neighbors leaves. A friends son has a lawn service and he got his leaf and grass clippings,, ALL went into our huge wooden palate compost bins. Hubs will add some dehydrated cow poo-- next week-- let it all settle in for winter. This I will use in the spring as top dressing or to add to wholes for planting. We have been making compost for 30 yrs. My yard has the best soil--Hubs claims that if we move-- he is taking his soil with him!!LOLOLOL
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#5
Oh I have to have no hubby read your post....we are in a new neighborhood...last week I went around to the neighbors and asked if I could have there leaves...most were thrill ...although they thought I was nuts...when hubby got home...mind you Mr. proper he is...he said "Where did all the leaves come from? We only have one tree." I told hi I got them from the neighbors...I thought he was going to pass out...LOL>..I don't have a chipper per say...so I just mowed over the piles and then emptied the bag into the new compost pile . Am also using them for mulch in all the beds...the house was empty for two years ...but there are wonderful beds all over...I know I do not want to dig any up until spring as I see what will come up...two of the neighbors have told me it really was a show place of a year...I am so looking forward to spring.
 
#6
running the mower over them is ""a good thing" leaves make the best winter protection and amend the soil at the same time. I always get a real good laugh,, about the folks that rake up their leaves and put them to the curb,, and then buy bags of compost??UMMMMM. The other way to get the leaves to break down over the winter is to mow them and bag them in black industrial plastic bags. Put wholes in the bag-- and hid the bags somewhere-- were they are out of sight. In spring use the leaves for mulching the gardens.. WHY pay for something YOU already have!
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#7
I hear ya....I do always ask before I take and I also ask if they use any chemicals...as I don't. Free is always better.
I was given several barrels in our move so I have put some chicken poo and leaves in them to get some compost fast...they are really heating up...I placed then in one of the green houses and it has raised the temp. in it some also...
 
#8
becareful with chicken poo-- it is very hot and takes 2 years to cool-- if you put on the garden too early it will burn things out. Howevewr, the exception is,, GREENS-- leaf lettuces, spinach, chard, cabbages love chicken poo-- 1 YR OLD!!
I burned out a whole garden in 1980 due to ,,, hot chicken poo!! I didn't harvest anything that year. It also took 2 years before anything would grow in that part of my plot. Now it's great-- I grow alot of cut flowers in that spot-- but for a long time it was barren-- except for tick seeds and burrs
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#9
Well I have used chicken poo all my gardening life....not true on the two years ...but I do know many seem to dislike for fear of it's heat...it was my granny's choice and has been mine ...but thanks for caring..:)
 
#10
Good poop, bad poop

What is good for the goose, is not always good for the gander. There are a few manures that should not be used, primarily those of meat eaters. According to Cornell University, "Homeowners should not use any manure from dogs, cats, or other meat-eating animals, since there is risk of parasites or disease organisms that can be transmitted to humans."

The most common sources of manure are horses, cattle, goats, sheep, rabbits and poultry. Below is a guide showing how manures measure up, nutrient-wise. While all animal manures are good sources of organic matter and nutrients, it's impossible to make a precise analysis, mostly because bedding materials vary so much. For example, manure with straw or sawdust will have a different nitrogen composition than pure manure. But it's useful to know whether the manure you're using is rich or poor in a particular nutrient such as nitrogen.



As you review the list, don't be misled by the N-P-K numbers that suggest manure is less powerful than chemicals. It is actually far better because it contains large amounts of organic matter, so it feeds and builds the soil while it nourishes the plants. This is one of the primary ways that organic fertilizers have a leg-up on chemical ones.

Still, many gardeners can't resist comparing the numerical amounts listed below with what they read on packages of synthetic fertilizers. Unfortunately, the values of manure and organic fertilizers in general, are often based on the relative amount of nitrogen (N), phosphoric acid (P) and potash (K) they contain. While these are important elements, "it is misleading to make a direct comparison between farm manures and chemical fertilizers on the basis of the relative amounts of N-P-K," says Jerry Minnich, author of Rodale's Guide to Composting.

Just like we need to eat to maintain our health, soil needs continual replenishment of its organic matter to decompose into humus. Humus helps create a rich, moisture-retaining soil and makes nutrients available to plants.( For more organic gardening tips, read the current issue of my UpBeet Gardener newsletter.)


How common manures measure up

Manure
Chicken NPK 1.1 .80 .50 - "very strong in N"cowNPK .25 .15 .25
HorseNPK .70.30.60
Steer NPK .70.30.40
RabbitNPK 2.4 1.4 .60"very strong in the N" Sheep NPK .70.30.90


Sources: Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, An Illustrated Guide to
Organic Gardening, by Sunset Publishing, and the Rodale Guide to Composting.
Note: Nutrient values of manures vary greatly, depending on the diet and
age of the animals, and the nature and quantiy of bedding in the mix.

Chicken manure
Poultry manure (chicken in particular) is the richest animal manure in N-P-K. Chicken manure is considered "hot" and must be composted before adding it to the garden. Otherwise, it will burn any plants it comes in contact with.

Dairy (cow) manure
"Dairy Manure may be the single most useful soil-builder around," says Ann Lovejoy, lifetime organic gardener and writer in Seattle, Washington. "Washed dairy manure from healthy cows is just about perfect for garden use; it can be used as a topdressing and for soil improvement," she adds. Dairy manure is preferable to steer manure, which has a higher salt and weed seed content. Though cow manure has low nutrient numbers, that's what makes it safe to use in unlimited quantities.

Horse manure
Horse manure is about half as rich as chicken manure, but richer in nitrogen than cow manure. And, like chicken droppings, it's considered "hot". Horse manure often contains a lot of weed seeds, which means it's a good idea to compost it using a hot composting method.

Steer manure
Steer manure is one of the old standbys, but it's not the most beloved because it often contains unwanted salts and weed seeds.





Rabbit manure
Rabbit manure is even higher in nitrogen than some poultry manures and it also contains a large amount of phosphorus--important for flower and fruit formation.

Sheep manure
Sheep manure is another "hot" manure. It is somewhat dry and very rich. Manure from sheep fed hay and grain will be more potent than manure from animals that live on pasture.


How to use manure

No matter what kind of manure you use, use it as a soil amendment, not a mulch. In other words, don't put raw manure directly on garden soils. Raw manure generally releases nitrogen compounds and ammonia which can burn plant roots, young plants and interfere with seed germination. In fact, it's recommended that all animal manure should be aged for at least 6 months. Many gardeners spread fresh manure in the fall and turn it in to the top 6 inches of soil a month before spring planting.

A better treatment is to hot-compost manure before applying it to the garden. Hot composting, where the pile reaches at least 150 degrees F) helps to reduce the probability of passing dangerous pathogens on to people who handle the manure or eat food grown with manure compost. (For more information about compost, read my Compost Happens! article.)

While the chance of contamination is slim, severe sickness and even death may occur if contaminated produce is eaten. To be safe, either compost your manure or apply it in the fall after harvest. Wash up after handling manure and don't forget to rinse the vegetables and fruit well before you eat them--always a good idea whether your use manure or not.
The bottom line

Anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of the plant nutrients fed to animals are excreted in their manure, so it should be no surprise that the stuff is an excellent fertilizer. E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web, agrees. "There is no doubt about it, the basic satisfaction in farming is manure."

The best zoo doo? Elephant dung!


So there you have it: The scoop on poop!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

this information comes from Cornell University and Rutgers University
 
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bob

Administrator
Staff member
#11
Man, that guy really knows his...

Uh, wait, better not say that... err, well, anyway, thanks for the info!
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#12
Well I have used chicken poo all my gardening life....not true on the two years ...but I do know many seem to dislike for fear of it's heat...it was my granny's choice and has been mine ...but thanks for caring..:)
I'm guessing that how long it takes to "cool down" would depend on how you store and age it. Composting is essentially a very slow form of combustion. If you compost it in a way that burns up more of the heat, and allows it to decompose more rapidly, then maybe that's how it ends up not needing two years before it's useful.

On the other hand, if I'm in Seattle, and it's stored in an area that's cold and damp and doesn't really "cook" well, then maybe it would take longer.

So I'm curious. How do you age it?

On a related note, there used to be a place I drove by that sold "Aged Steer Manure" and apparently did well. I always thought there was some kind of lesson about advertising in there, and how the way you word things makes a difference. Say for example, they had sold "The Same Old B.S.", would they have had the same amount of buyers?
 
#13
The University of Florida says the following about chicken manure as fertilizer:


University of Florida: Poultry Manure as a Fertilizer by D.R. Sloan, G. Kidder and R.D. Jacobs
Animal manures have been used effectively as fertilizers for centuries. Poultry manure has long been recognized as perhaps the most desirable of these natural fertilizers because of its high nitrogen content. In addition, manures supply other essential plant nutrients and serve as a soil amendment by adding organic matter. Organic matter persistence will vary with temperature, drainage, rainfall, and other environmental factors. Organic matter in soil improves moisture and nutrient retention. The utilization of manure is an integral part of sustainable agriculture. Poultry manure is often produced in areas where it is needed for crop, hay and pasture fertilization. The increased size and frequent clean-out of many poultry operations make poultry manure available in sufficient quantities and on a timely basis to supply most fertilization needs.
(credit)

Even better, using your chicken manure as garden fertilizer is absolutely free. In this article, we'll tell you how to use your poultry manure, and how to make nutritious chicken manure tea to water your plants and give them healthy doses of vitamins. Why buy fertilizer and soil amendments when a little forethought and planning can give you rich fertilizer to feed your plants and turn your garden into a literal vegetable factory!




"What's the nutrient and mineral makeup of chicken manure, and how do I use it in my garden?" you ask. The combined average percentages (per total weight) of aged chicken manure and litter--yes, you can use old litter from your chicken coop as a fertilizer!--is about 1.8 nitrogen, 1.5 phosphate, and 0.8 for potash.

With that much nitrogen, phosphate and potash, how much poultry manure should you use? An annual application of 45 pounds of chicken manure and chicken litter, or more, per year for every 100 square feet will be just right to work wonders in your vegetable garden and increase the fertility of your soil. 45 pounds is the approximate amount that one hen will produce every year. Thus, the average small-scale chicken flock of 5-10 chickens should be enough to take care of your entire vegetable garden and yard!

Here are a few general pointers and tips for using chicken manure as a fertilizer:

1) Never feed fresh chicken manure to young, tender plants! Fresh chicken manure is "hot," meaning it is very high in nitrogen and will "burn" the growing plants. This will kill your plants! Also, too much nitrogen can produce negative plant growth. This is why you need to age your chicken manure!

2) Poultry manure makes a great addition to compost! I recently received an "Earth Machine" composting bin as part of my local county government's initiative to reduce green waste in Hawaii's landfills. Although you do not need a "real" composter to compost, it can save you time. Whether or not you use an actual composter, any sort of composting converts nitrogen into a form that a plant can use without being burned. Composting also destroys the coccidia bacteria (a chicken disease), bacteria, worm eggs, and viruses, and stabilizes potash and nitrogen levels. Any composter will do, from the fancy type you see in Organic Gardening magazine, to simple homemade bins made of 2x4s and chicken wire.



Important note: Manure that is composted without carbon-based material (such as dry grass clippings) will overheat.

3) Give chicken manure time to age by spreading fresh poultry manure over your soil and turning the dirt at the end of the growing season to allow it time to decompose over the winter. However, you'll be required to keep your poultry birds out of the area for at least a year, preferably more.

You can also try making "tea". Chicken manure fertilizer tea; sounds delicious, eh? To make fertilizer tea, scoop the chicken manure into a burlap bag. Then, throw a rock into the bag to weigh it down and place the whole thing into a 35-gallon garbage can. Fill the garbage can with water and let it sit for about three weeks. Once the three weeks are over, you will have nutrient-rich chicken manure fertilizer tea as the water becomes infused with the nutrients from the chicken manure. You can use this fertilizer tea to water your plants to give them a vitamin boost.

Your plants will love you for it. Here's to bigger tomatoes!

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I didn't want to post something-- without having good refrences to back it up. "So this is not just my opinion"-- but advise from experts. Being a master gardener, degree in Hort and historical restoration, and having family still farming since 1720, I do have some expert sources to fall back on.
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#14
Great information...you may want to put a thread on with this information ...I am sure many will be blessed and find it very useful...
I have to say though ...I have always side dressed with fresh Chick poo once the plants have been going for a few months...I use the bedding along with it...it waters down as time goes on...you don;t want to touch the plants with it...thus the side dressing...we don't/didn't allow the chickens in the veggie patch...and they were all grain and grass...free range feed...all organic...as I said ...grew up using it this way and always have had wonderful veggies ...herbs...flowers and fruit...
 
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#15
ROFL.. I don't know if the post was for me Bob.. but I'm a Mrs.. ask WHitty!! we have met in real life often!
My name is Jeannie Francis,, aka NJ mastergardener-- or Brassica aka Brassi for short. You can look up my articles on line at Rodale Press-- on Rutgers University Hort/botnay line. Or you can read about me in a book called"Beautiful Madness" by James Dodson.[I'm the "mythical magical wood sprite"] I know my compost!!LOLOLOL
I've been married to the "Compost King" for 32 yrs! You will find articles about him in Rodale Press too
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#16
ROFL.. I don't know if the post was for me Bob.. but I'm a Mrs.. ask WHitty!!
Actually I was talking about the fellows you quoted: D.R. Sloan, G. Kidder and R.D. Jacobs, but then again, I don't really know their genders either. It is obvious you've got some really good info...

As for you being a lady, I'll be more than happy to take your word for that. No need for independent verification. (Since this isn't an internet dating site, there's not much to be gained by posing as a female. :) )

As for being a "mythical magical wood sprite", well, all I can say is that I'm impressed! That's a great title...

I know some of you will recall Courtney from GEnie and Delphi. "She" was actually a he, and quite knowledgable in computers. I recall one time somebody from GEnie posted a reply basically saying "well, I'm sure Courtney is a sweet little old lady gardener, but maybe she's not that familiar with databases...." Courtney came out with both guns blazing on that one, and proved that he did indeed know his way around a database. LOL!
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#17
I'm guessing that how long it takes to "cool down" would depend on how you store and age it. Composting is essentially a very slow form of combustion. If you compost it in a way that burns up more of the heat, and allows it to decompose more rapidly, then maybe that's how it ends up not needing two years before it's useful.

On the other hand, if I'm in Seattle, and it's stored in an area that's cold and damp and doesn't really "cook" well, then maybe it would take longer.

So I'm curious. How do you age it?

On a related note, there used to be a place I drove by that sold "Aged Steer Manure" and apparently did well. I always thought there was some kind of lesson about advertising in there, and how the way you word things makes a difference. Say for example, they had sold "The Same Old B.S.", would they have had the same amount of buyers?

We use it (cool it)...or used it in many different ways...We have used it in the greenhouse to help heat it up...bins under the potting table...direct in the compost pile...with all the grass clippings ...leaves...and all household additions...(no meat of any kind)...greens...white papter towles , coffee grounds ...tea grounds...flower clippings...this way usually takes a good 6 to 8 months ...as I said before as a side dressing with the chciken bedding...either straw or wood shavings ...yo do have to be careful...but really is not harmful...just to name a few ways
 
#18
Sometimes in type, we can't hear or see the person or persons and things can be taken wrong. I didn't want that to happen, I was only making a clarification.
I'm sorry if I came off rude or pushy. I just wanted the best information for everyone reading these posts.
Jeannie Francis
 

Flower4Yeshua

Super Moderator & vegemm
Staff member
#19
.

I didn't want to post something-- without having good refrences to back it up. "So this is not just my opinion"-- but advise from experts. Being a master gardener, degree in Hort and historical restoration, and having family still farming since 1720, I do have some expert sources to fall back on.
I hope I have not offened you ...that ws not my intention at all...I am not a pro...just a home gardener sharing what has worked for me...I think all your inforamtion is wonderful and thank you for sharing it
 
#20
I started a compost bin this year. Homemade with pallets. And for Christmas I am getting 2 composters from our local community beautification org. Yeah ME!
 


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