What's the Best Manure?

Story Title: What's the Best Manure?
Episode: Four
Broadcast Date: 13th April 2013
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane

If you're an organic home farmer your probably leaning towards feeding your plants with poo, that's okay, that's how agriculture started feeding crops thousands of years ago. There are a few different types available and it's important you know what's best for your situation

Picking what's right for you

  • The most commonly found manure is probably chicken which is a powerful plant food and particularly good for boosting growth. What's most critical is ensuring the manure has been composted. Small amounts regularly applied is far better than over laying as the high nitrogen levels will burn your plants
  • Be aware most chicken manure comes from farms and unless its an organic farm its highly likely the manure has high levels of antibiotics. The down side to this is antibiotics kill bacteria and they don't discriminate between good and bad. This means you could be setting your garden back
  • The other manure that is fantastic in vegie gardens is cow manure. The same problem with antibiotics and steroids can occur from cow manure but if yours comes from an organic farm then you can't go wrong. It is worth making sure you ask your supplier about the source
  • Cow manure is best dug into the soil and it will improve the soils health and structure. The nutrients are really good and the long-term benefits of using cow manure are really good for garden beds. Exotic plants respond really well to this organic plant food and roses do really well too
  • Sheep manure will add valuable organic humus into the top layer of soil and improve water retention. This is a brilliant medium to lay down before you plant out annual flowers or vegetables from seedlings