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Hyacinth Plant

Q.safety of vegetables after fertilizing

solomon added on June 8, 2011 | Answered

A friend of ours helped us out by putting dried manure on our vegetable garden after there were already plants in it. I am wondering if the vegetables are safe to eat (I was wondering if E. coli is a concern. ). We worked the manure into the ground as much as we could around the plants. It has been over four weeks since it has been put on. There are various plants: lettuce, basil, parsley, garlic peas, kale, and more in this garden. Thank you very much for your reply.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 9, 2011

If it was composted (let to site for a bit), it should be fine. The composting process kills bacteria. For the most part, it is highly unlikely that the manure would have the dangerous sort of e. coli. Vegetarian animals, like cows, are far less likely to have it.

The issues you hear in the news come about because of issues like human waste (non vegetarian) making its way into fields or a very rare bit of bad e. coli from a cow making its way into the massive manure vats or machinery used by big business farms. A small bit can then be spread across huge amounts of food, causing widespread problems.

In the home garden, this is unlikely to happen. Good composting and small scale will make it highly unlikely that it will ever cause you any problem.

Short answer is, that you should be fine.

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