Cow manure, or cow dung, is known to be an excellent fertilizer. It is rich in nutrients and high in organic materials. Now, let me get this straight. You won’t have to use cow manure itself as a fertilizer. Instead, you will be using the cow manure compost. The use of manure can help maintain the amount of organic matter in the soil. Organic matter can help improve the structure of the land. Today, we will discuss how to apply cow manure for gardening.
Composting Cow Manure
The first step for you to learn how to apply cow manure for gardening is for you to know how to compost cow manure.
First, let the cow manure sit for three months, then mix it with soil for one month to kill the residual bacteria. Then, heat it to 122 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria and weed seeds.
The composting process is vital since it not only kills bacteria and weed seeds, but it also removes the ammonia that can burn plant roots.
In this step, you will be learning how to apply cow manure for gardening. First, you have to put 40 pounds of cow manure into 100 square feet of land. You have to make sure that the cow manure is worked six to 9 inches on top of the soil, making sure that the nutrients are mixed well into the ground.
Take note that compost cow manure goes into the ground during spring, so make sure to make the application of fresh manure during the fall and not in the spring or growing season.
Also, you have to consider the rates of manure for your plant’s and the soil’s nitrogen needs. This is because transferring the available nitrogen from organic compounds during the decomposition is gradual.
This is why you have to apply manure gradually. Meaning, enough manure should be used for the year’s need for nitrogen. And then, you can apply decreasing amounts during the next years.
Things to Consider
You can also use cow manure to fertilize plants individually. You have to apply a scoop of cow manure into the base of the potting vent. You can also do this for already grown plants to provide more nutrients to the dry soil.
Although knowing how to apply cow manure for gardening has its advantages, using too much might lead to reduced crop yields, and it might also lead to the nitrogen that is in the manure directly going into aquifers and wells.
Possible Disadvantages of Manure
When learning how to apply cow manure for gardening, you should also know the disadvantages of using manure as fertilizer for your crops.
- Weed Seeds – these are common in most manure. It enters the cattle when they eat and then passes through the digestive system. Or, they can come from the litter or be airborne.
- Salt Content – manure contains very high salt content. For example, a ton of manure with 1% salt can hold 100 pounds of salt in reality.
- Zinc deficiency – too much manure in the soil can induce zinc deficiency. This is why farmers and gardeners should know the ample amount of manure to apply to a specific area.
Using cow manure as fertilizer in your garden has its disadvantages and advantages. Like all other things, if you put too much cow manure into the soil, it will also suffocate the soil and might not be able to save the plants. Learn more gardening tips.
Learning how to apply cow manure for gardening is essential if you are a gardener who wants to switch into organic fertilizers. Cow manure contains lots of vitamins and minerals that will not only help your plants thrive, but will also keep your garden soil healthy and conducive for your plants. However, when choosing cow manure as your fertilizer, you have to know how to apply it.
In this article, we discussed how to apply cow manure for gardening, and it requires you to compost heat the manure so that the bacteria and the weed seeds can be eliminated. And then, you have to prepare the area where you will be laying the manure.
Before applying the manure, you have to know the nitrogen rate that you need for the whole year so that you can use it since the solution of nitrogen into the soil and manure mixture is gradual. And then, make sure to mix the manure with the soil very well, and then you have to plant your crops and maintain.
Be sure to apply enough amounts of manure so that your soil won’t be zinc deficit.