Definition of "well rotted manure"???

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by wayneo75, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. wayneo75

    wayneo75 Junior Member

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    My in-laws run cattle on their property and I recently brought home a bag of poop, but I am unsure as to when it can be defined as "well rotted" so that it won't be too strong for the vegie garden.

    The "pats" where mostly moist-ish to dry-ish. ie they had been sitting in the paddock for a while.

    Can anybody give me an idea of how to tell when it is well rotted????
     
  2. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    I would just chuck it in.. I have never poisoned a garden with too much nutrients from unrotted manure.
     
  3. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    If you have a compost bin add it to that as you will also remove any weed seeds in the manure.

    When I give my dad bags of horse manure he adds kitchen waste to the bag for a little while then let's them sit for a few months to rot down.

    Add a bit of water to the bags and let them sit for a month, then use it if you are in a hurry.
     
  4. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    well rotted manure - stuff that doesn't stick to the fingers when you pick it up
     
  5. wayneo75

    wayneo75 Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    if i am reading correctly, it is simply "old s#%t", not "new s#%t"
     
  6. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    I thought it was manure that had been piled up, moisture added if necessary, heated up, cooled down, turned "inside out" so the drier stuff was put inside (with moisture) to heat and rot.

    Sue
     
  7. thepoolroom

    thepoolroom Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    Yeah, I figured it had just been composted long enough so that it looked like normal compost. That is, dark brown and loamy with a rich earthy smell, where you can't really identify what went into making it.
     
  8. IntensiveGardener

    IntensiveGardener Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    "well rotted "often means the manure has been piled up in a heap. When i have no compost however i sometimes substitute "well rotted" cow manure collected from the pasture. This means that the cow pats are black (or grey if they're very old) all the way through. If the manure has a greenish appearence and is sticky it is too fresh to use without composting it or leaving it a few months.
     
  9. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    I think and main reason people warn about fresh manure is it can heat up like a compost bin, if it's around a fruit tree it could burn the roots and kill it. The other reason is to kill some of the seeds that pass through the animal and are ready to germinate.
     
  10. IntensiveGardener

    IntensiveGardener Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    Hi Bazman,
    French intensive gardeners used to heat it up on purpose and burry it to make "hot beds" for raising early vegetables.
    Indeed. This is particularly the case with horse manure though and its very unlikely to happen with cow manure. Sometimes when people/books warn about "burning" plants with fresh manure they are refering to nitrate poisoning. Fresh manure contains high levels of soluble nitrates which can create "rank" growth in plants causing them to grow in a one-sided way, causing them to become leggy and weak and you end up with pest or disease problems in your garden. nitrates can also build up in the soil or pollute the ground water.
    Nitrate poisoning can also occur in humans and animals as a result of eating such plants. Cows never eat grass which is growing from cow pats, unless they have absolutely no choice.

    If you must use fresh manure it should be combined with another material that is high in carbon such as. straw, fallen leaves or sawdust in order to soak up excess nitrogen.

    True. once again though a much worse problem with horse manure. Still i usually get a few weeds comming up if i use old cow manure.
     
  11. Paul Cereghino

    Paul Cereghino Junior Member

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    Re: Definition of "well rotted manure"???

    Smell means a lot with poop. The ammonia smell from manure is ammonia NH3, which is your nitrogen turning back into the atmosphere (volatilization). If manure is sitting in the rain, plentiful nitrogen salts (NO2 and NO3;nitrite, nitrate) are very soluble in water, so thats you nitrogen washing down stream potentially poisoning your rivers and streams. If you want to preserve your nitrogen, don't let it sit in a pile, or in the rain, you want to mix it with carbon and keep it moist... the bacteria that are eating the carbon scavenge the nitrogen and tie up both in their bodies (organic nitrogen rich compounds)... it is these organic compounds that form your long-term pool of relatively stable nitrogen in the soil (organic nitrogen)... that decomposes over time, metering out your nitrogen reserves based on temperature and moisture.
     

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