6 Reasons to Use Manure as Fertilizer

April 19, 2013

Spring is here, and it is a great time to start a garden. If nothing else, you have to at least put in some tomato plants because nothing beats a fresh-picked tomato on a warm summer day. But I digress…

Manure as Fertilizer

Good soil yields great crops, so if you want to have the best veggies in the neighborhood, you’ve gotta get your hands on a load of crap. Literally. Here are 6 reasons you’ll want to dive right in and use manure to fertilize your crop.


1. Ultimate Recycling Project

When we had our milk cows, I learned that cows produce approximately 50 lbs of waste per day. I never measured, I was willing to go forward in blind faith. That’s a lot of waste., just waiting to be added to garden soil. In our case, we let the cows serve as on-the-move distributors for us, fertilizing the field. When we needed an amendment for the garden beds, we picked up a load from around the farm and moved it into the garden area. Don’t have a cow of your own? Garden stores sell bags of steer and chicken manure.


2. Manure is Natural

Using an organic substance such as manure to fertilize your garden means you have no chemicals to worry about. No suiting up in chem gear, no keeping the kids off the lawn or out of the garden for 24 hours. Sure, you might want to wash your hands after you finish up, but that’s no big deal. In fact, since manure is a safe amendment for the soil, your kids can join you in the garden while you are working. The only caution you should observe is that manure is best when it has aged a bit. If it is too fresh, it may burn the roots of your plants. The exception to this is rabbit manure which can be used fresh outta the rabbit.

3. Manure Replenishes Soil Nutrition

Plants draw their nutrition from the soil. If we harvest without replenishing the nutrition supply, the soil becomes depleted. Adding manure to the mix makes the soil ready to feed the plants that will be growing in the soil. Manure also attracts beneficial insects that can help to aerate the soil.


4. Healthy Soil Yields Healthy Plants

Healthy plants are more resistant to common plant diseases. When plants have what they need, they produce an abundance of high quality produce. And if you have gone to all the work of growing a garden, you might as well reap abundant benefits.

5. Manure Amends and Lightens Soil

For soil that is too sandy, manure adds mass that helps to hold water in. For soil that is too compacted, adding manure works to loosen the soil and make it more porous.


6. Natural Fertilizer Connects Us to Life

Using manure as fertilizer reminds us of the interdependence ¬†all living organisms. Plants feed animals, animals feed soil, soil feeds plants, and the cycle continues. There’s something comforting in that.


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