Do you have a vegetable garden? Do you know what manure is best for vegetable gardening? Sit back and relax as I answer these questions for you.
First, let us discuss what manure is. Manure is an organic material derived from solid animal wastes to fertilize land and soil. The feces and urine of domestic livestock and other farm animals contain a high percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements help to produce healthy vegetables.
Using manure to improve the fertility of the soil is useful for most gardeners since it is less expensive, better in the long run, and does not cause any pollution, unlike chemical fertilizers. If you are looking for an environment-friendly, valuable, and renewable material to improve the fertility of the soil, use manure in your vegetable garden.
Types of Manure
The proper application plays a vital role in maximizing the benefits of manure compost. It is important to know the different types of manure. Remember that you should not use manures from a meat-eating animal such as cats, dogs, etc. because of the high risk of transferring disease-causing or parasites organisms to humans through plants. Knowing what the types of manure are will help you in choosing what manure is best for vegetable gardening.
Green manure, also known as “cover crop” is a fertilizer that comes from any specific plant or crop that turned into the soil to add nutrients and improve quality. Green manure increases the percentage level of organic material in the soil and helps in the suppression of weeds and is useful in preventing soil erosion.
Farmyard manure is a type of fertilizer that comes from waste products such as feces and urine of animals such as cows. These waste materials contain a huge amount of nutrients, including the most important element that plants need—nitrogen. Farmyard manure is a natural fertilizer that helps in improving the soil structure. It increases the supply of soil minerals and plant nutrients.
Compost manure is a combination of polluted water, rotten plant, and animal waste such as dry grass, sugarcane leaves, dried cow feces. It improves water and soil structure and the nutrient holding capacity of the soil.
Manure is one of the essential materials that can help your plants grow healthier. It is an ideal soil amendment and helpful in agricultural fields. Farmers can sell the manure to people who struggle with their soil fertility. One of the advantages of manure for farmers and gardeners is, it is cost-effective. You can have manure at a small cost but very effective. Manure also helps in reducing soil erosion and leaching, which means that it is an environment-friendly material.
Manure is useful in improving the physical properties of the soil. It also enhances the water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil compared to other chemical fertilizers. Manure is also helpful in killing weeds and pests and produces healthy crops. These advantages will help you in choosing what manure is best for vegetable gardening.
Tips to Avoid Contamination From Manure
Knowing what manure is best for vegetable gardening is important, but it is also important to know the things you have to do to avoid contamination from manure. When you know the best manure for your garden, you also have to learn how to apply manure and what are the things you must not do to prevent contamination. Despite the advantages of using manure for your plants, there are still a few disadvantages of using manure. One of the disadvantages of using manure is the risk of contamination. Here are the tips to avoid contamination when you use manure.
Avoid Using Fresh Manure
Fresh manure contains a high level of nitrogen and ammonia, which can burn plants and roots, and it has more chance of contamination. There is a possibility that your manure has weed seed when it is from a plant-eating animal. Don’t plant the manure right after you plant your vegetables. Allot at least 120 days before harvesting and eating any vegetables that the edible parts such as carrot comes in contact with the ground.
Excessive Use of Manure
You can also use manure as a soil conditioner aside from using it as a fertilizer. Excessive use of manure can cause sward damage due to surface spreading. You can also use manure as a side-dress with composted manure during the growing season. Plus, composted manure has a low risk of contamination than fresh manure.
Make sure that your manure is pathogen-free. If you will buy a packaged manure, make sure to check the packaging if it is pathogen-free. Not all fertilizer is fully composted, so always check and don’t assume. Interaction between the host plant and pathogen can cause plant disease.
Always wash your hands and nails before and after harvesting or having direct contact with the manure. Wash the vegetables such as carrots and radishes since these vegetables are most susceptible to contamination. Cooking your vegetables will also kill pathogens. People that have weak immune systems should avoid eating these vegetables. Know more about vegetable gardening.
Now that you already know the things you have to consider in choosing what manure is best for vegetable gardening, always remember that not all manure is created equally. Avoid using cat, pig, and dog manure because it has parasites that can survive and transfer to humans that will cause infections. Choose the best type of manure. Just put the right amount of manure to your vegetable garden. Wash the vegetables after harvesting and cook your vegetables in half-cooked. We know that manure will offer cost-effective results but with proper use.