Fresh Manure for Veggie Garden
I everyone, So I think I made a mistake. I thought I was getting composted alpaca manure from a friend's farm, but when the bags arrived it was clearly not composted. She said it had been sitting in a pile for 4 years, but not a compost pile. Being a first time gardener, I decided to go ahead and mix it into my brand new vegetable garden bed. The manure seemed very fresh, often more green and mushy than little beans. The bags also included straw bedding. So I kind of picked it apart by hand and mixed it up with super loam soil that I bought. Roughly 40% manure and 60%soil. When I went to water the finished bed, I realized something was wrong. It wasn't draining at all, just a big puddle for 2 hours, than an inch of mud on top and dry under that. I did some research and realized this "fresh" manure should have been laid down in the fall, not the first week in June. That I might be exposing my veggies to dangerous pathogens. I hate to lose the hours of work and the cost of the soil, but should I just shovel it all into a compost bin and use it next year and then start from scratch in the garden bed? Or is there any way to fix this? What if I mix in a ton of sand and add a layer of mulch on top to serve as a pathogen barrier. I want to keep it organic, but I could add a concentrated liquid fertilizer if the manure doesn't provide enough nutrients. Basically, I haven't planted yet, but I am hoping to salvage the soil somehow. Any thoughts??
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Alpaca manure can be used as a fertilizer when it is fresh.
You will want a loamy soil mix that is well drained, and you can achieve that in different ways.
I'm listing several articles that will help you get started.
You may not need to start over, but will need to make amendments to make sure the soil is well draining.