TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

March 2, 2009

Well rotted manure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 6:21 pm

Well rotted manure

There have been some problems with manure since 2008 so please read this warning

What is manure?

Manure comes from any animal or plant material but is generally animal
excreta with litter material. Another name for this is farm yard manure.
Horse manure, pig manure and cow manure are all equally valuable. The
litter material varies, & some is more beneficial than others. For
example, horses can be kept on straw litter, sawdust or shredded paper.
Manure from straw is probably the best.



What is “well rotted manure”?

*Well rotted manure* is manure which has decomposed to become a sweet
smelling, crumbly mixture with very few viable weed seeds.





The manure will rot if it is left in a heap, and kept damp (although it
is better to keep the rain off it, to avoid getting too wet.). As it
rots, it heats up, and may steam. The heat produced kills off many of
the weed seeds it contains. The rotting process usually takes a year. It
is important to contain any liquid that seeps out of the heap, and to
prevent this liquid getting into drains, ditches or other water courses,
because it is very potent and will kill all the fish in the river. But
the liquid can be watered down and put on the garden, although avoid
physical contact with the vegetables.

Benefits of manure in the kitchen garden:

  • Manure adds nutrients. It is very rich in nitrates, but also contains
    potassium, phosphate, magnesium and trace elements. These nutrients will
    feed the vegetables and help them grow. But the nutrients will also feed
    the microflora and fauna in the soil which keep it healthy & generate
    more nourishment for plants.
  • Manure improves soil structure:

* sandy soils will have greater moisture retention
* heavier soils will become more free-draining.

Application of manure to the vegetable garden

In the winter it is usual to spread 1 barrow load of manure per 5 square
yards. This is then mixed into the soil by digging. Most gardeners apply
too much manure.

Sources of manure for the vegetable plot

* Horse keepers often give it away free in plastic bags, because it
is a nuisance to them. Look for make-shift road signs advertising
horse manure.
* A compost heap in the garden is a good source of manure
* Many local councils give away , or sell, compost. Look on their
* Garden centers sell different types of manure



There have been some problems with manure since 2008 so please read this warning

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  1. [...] the ground with plenty of well rotted farmyard manure or compost ( rhubarb is very [...]

    Pingback by Time to Divide or Move Rhubarb « Top Veg — October 27, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

  2. Before using manure try Googling contaminated manure or visit my website.
    In the Uk we have had problems caused by using manure containing an hormonal herbicide so always take care when obtaining manure.

    Comment by Sue — January 11, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  3. Hi Sue

    Thank you for sending details of your manure site. I will do a post about it if you don’t mind. It is a shocking business & it would be good to have an update on TopVeg.

    I was pleased to find your school garden site.

    Many thanks


    Comment by TopVeg — January 11, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  4. Just to let you know that the website with information about contaminated manure has moved to
    The pages deveoted to the manure problem can be accessed from

    Comment by Sue — May 30, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  5. Have updated link to – thanks Sue

    Comment by TopVeg — June 1, 2010 @ 8:02 am

  6. I’m afrad I have had two reports from 2010 victims to add to my website so if anyone is affected please get in touch and I will add you too

    Thanks for updating the link.

    Comment by Sue — June 1, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  7. [...] well rotted farm yard manure or compost to ground where next year’s crop will be peas, beans, onions, leeks, celery or [...]

    Pingback by What to do in November « TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs — November 4, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

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