My soil is poor. Is it true manure will help it? Should it be worked into the soil before planing?
If you are using raw manure, experts recommend mixing it into the top soil a few months before planting so it has time to break down. Planting with raw manure will often lead to burning plants.
If you are using manure that has already been composted, then it can be added in at anytime prior to planting.
Good afternoon, I have an allotment and purchased a half ton of manure from our groundskeeper that turned out to contain herbicide of some sort. He didn't know at the time and replaced the bag for a bag of compost, but I had already spread some over my spuds, spaghetti squash and beans. The potato leaves are curling but my squash seem fine. I'm wondering what can I do to remedy the situation and undo any nasty effects it may have had on my crops? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
By regulations most herbicide must dissipate over a period of time, but the damage could be done already by the appearance of your plants.
You can try washing the soil with heavy watering.
A soil test can also be helpful; to know how to help your plants and the only way to really know what amendments your soil needs.
There is no straw just manure
Generally, 90 to 120 days is sufficient. Manures naturally contain bacteria such as E. coli and many others that will often harm humans if not composted correctly.
Generally speaking, I would only recommend raw manure if you have absolutely NO underlying health problems, take no medications, and have no other reason to believe that you have a compromised immune system.
If you intend to consume anything grown from this, it is even more important to let it age, as these risks increase dramatically.
Here are some articles that will help:
I have read recommendations for both methods. What do you suggest I use.
The problem with raw manures will be that there may not be enough of a microbe count in your soil to break it down. This can leave it susceptible to infection, or too many nitrates that may burn the plant. I always recommend well-composted manure.
Some plants can handle it, uncomposted, but you will need to test a small amount beforehand. This will ensure that the plant does not have a negative reaction. Still it is best to use composted manure to rule out all doubt on the subject.
This article will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/the-benefits-of-manure-in-your-garden.htm
I want to try adding manure onto my perennial flower bed. I was told I can add up to 30 pounds per 100 sf of manure on top in the Fall and in the Spring. 1. Would this much manure suffocate the existing plants? Would it affect the new growths? 2. Do I have to cut back the plants before adding manure? 3. How to work the manure in the soil without damaging the root system of the perennials? Or I can just lay it on without tilling? 4. I have a layer of mulch in the bed already, should I remove it before adding manure? Thanks in advance for your attention.
First, I would highly advise against uncomposted manure. It can contain deadly pathogens and can burn plants fairly quickly.
Should you choose to use fresh manure, make sure to follow safe use guidelines, which can be found within this article:
If you should still choose to use fresh manure, just do a thin top dressing, avoiding the manure touching any of your plants, directly.
I was told I can add up to 100 pounds per 100 s/f of 'composted' cow manure on top of my perennial flower bed in the Fall and again in the Spring. Is it true? That is about 4 to 6" thick. Would this much compost manure suffocate the existing plants? Would the new growths grow through this layer?
That sounded like a lot to me, too, and I found varying recommendations in university extension publications, from 100 pounds per year (per 100 square feet) to 200 pounds per year (per 100 square feet). I believe that is if you are trying to supply most of your nitrogen needs from that application. With that much manure, you have to be careful about not getting too much phosphorous and potassium. Other sources said add a 2 to 3 inch layer around existing plants and work into soil or leave as mulch. That sounds much better than a 4 to 6 inch layer.
I would not add it both fall and spring. All the sources I read said one or the other (once per year).
You wouldn't cover any existing plants with it. You can use it as a mulch and put several inches alongside your plants.
My perennials in the flower bed are close together, do I have to cut back them before adding composted cow manure? If not, how do I work the composted manure into the soil without damaging the root systems? Or can I just lay it on top of the soil without tilling? I also have an inch layer of mulch in the bed already, should I remove it before adding manure?
You can, simply, top dress if you would like. I prefer to poke thin holes with a nail to perforate the top of the soil, but this is not completely necessary. It does help to get some of that manure down to the roots, faster, though.
You can mix it, gently, with the mulch or top dress.
Here is an article that will help you with using manure: