Composition of Manure
The best organic fertilizer to use on your flower beds and vegetable gardens is manure from organically fed animals. Unlike store bought fertilizer, organic manure is free of chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, hormones.
Rabbit manure contains 2.4-1.4-.60
*Sheep manure contains .70-.30-.90
*Chicken manure contains 1.1-.80-.50
Dairy cow manure contains .25-.15-.25
Horse manure contains .70-.30-.60
Steer manure contains .70-.30-.40
Swine manure contains .50-.34-.47
All N-P-K ratios can vary depending on the diet and age of the animal, as well as the bedding used.
*Chicken and sheep manure are considered "hot" and need to be composted or they will burn any plants it comes in contact with.
Rabbit manure can be put directly onto a growing garden with no ill effects.
N=Nitrogen helps plant foliage grow strong
P=Phosphorus helps roots and flowers grow and develop
K=Potassium (Potash) is important for overall plant health
Tons of manure excreted/year/1,000 lb live weight
Dairy Cow 12.0
Beef Steer 8.5
Where to find it?
The best source of organic fertilizer is your local organic farmer. As long as you can pick it up yourself, it should be inexpensive. Apply it directly to your garden in the spring or fall, or add it to your compost pile to be used later or applied in different areas.
Rabbit manure is the only manure that can be put onto your garden or flower beds during the growing season. All other animal manure needs to be composted first (or applied during the dormant season).
A small flock of chickens is also easy to raise and will serve many purposes. They eat harmful bugs, spread compost, and produce delicious eggs.
Compost the scraps from your own kitchen and yard! Compost makes the best organic fertilizer and it's easy to do. You don't need a lot of space to make your own compost. A small corner of your yard is enough. Heck, you can even compost inside your home with some of today's composters.Composting 101
Breaking up the cowpies keeps the fly population down and disperses the beneficial fertilizer around the pasture.
Instead of using a big tractor and harrow to do this, we use a mobile chicken coop. As the cattle move from pasture to pasture, the chicken coop follows about 3-4 days behind. They will eat the fly larvae and undigested seeds from the cow manure, and spread it around while they scratch through it looking for tasty morsels.
When I'm not able to get the coop moved in a timely manner, I will go out and kick the cowpies to disperse them in the pasture. It's great exercise and gives me a good look at the pasture and its progress.
This is a comprehensive guide to 'going green' for farmers, landscapers and managers. It contains detailed, proven instructions on the key components of organic landscaping - soil building, correct planting techniques, fertilizing, pest control and more.
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