How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden – And The Best Manures To Use To Do It!

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One of the easiest and most cost-effective methods to recharge and power up the device is through…il in your garden is to use animal manure. Not only can you almost always find it for free, but it also happens to be full of the nutrients and minerals that plants need most!

For centuries, different civilizations have used manure to enrich soil and promote the growth of crops. Its use can be dated back to 8000 years ago or more. Animal manure is rich in nutrients and contains helpful enzymes and bacteria that are beneficial for soil health.

But when talking about using manure in a garden, it’s important to know that not all animal manures are the same. Especially when it comes to the power they contain – and using them to help safely power your garden and the plants growing in it.

how to use animal manure in a garden
Animal manure has been used since ancient times to re-energize soil. The key to success when using it is to know which manures are best, and how and when to apply them to your soil and crops.

Manures To Avoid – How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

Plain and simple, the manure from a few animals should never be put in a garden or near vegetable crops. At the top of this list is the manure from family pets such as dogs and cats. These can carry harmful pathogens that even home compost piles can’t kill.

It’s also best to always avoid manure that comes from large commercial farms. Big farm operations usually treat their animals with an array of supplements, antibiotics, and more. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing what might pass through their manure and then into your soil.

So what animals can you use for manure and how is it best used? With answers to those two important questions, here is a look at some of the best choices to use for animal manure in your garden – and how to best apply them to help your soil and plants come alive with power!

How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

The Best Manures For A Garden

We will cover how to use manure in various ways later in the article, but let’s start with a few of the best choices of animal manures that can help recharge and power a home garden.

chickens in backyard
If you happen to raise chickens in your backyard – you have access to one of the best animal manures of all. Chicken manure is loaded with nitrogen that can help power strong growth.

More and more people are raising their chickens in their backyards. And does doing so ever give those who garden a great resource for energizing their soil and plants?

When it comes to powering soil, plants, and compost piles, chicken manure is one of the best choices of all. It is overflowing with all kinds of amazing nutrients and minerals that you can use in so many different ways for soil and plants.

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Chicken manure is high in organic matter. Nearly a third of its entire makeup is made up of organic materials. As chickens scratch and feed on everything from grass, bugs, seeds, and more, they consume a diet rich in organic material.

In addition, chicken manure contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These, of course, are the trilogy of nutrients most vegetable plants and flowers need most to thrive.

A word of caution with chicken manure – they produce a very hot manure. It should always be allowed to age or be composted before use. In addition, it’s more alkaline in nature and not good to use around acid-loving plants as it can change the soil’s pH.

Horse Manure – How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

Horse manure is another manure that can usually be easy to source. It has a makeup of about 25% organic matter, making it another fine choice for adding lots of humus to the soil. It does not quite have the nitrogen makeup of chicken manure, but it still adds plenty of nutrients.

Aged horse manure is great for top-dressing gardens in the fall. The horse dung breaks down quickly over the winter months, adding structure, nutrients, and organic mass to the soil.

Adding it to home compost piles can also help add moisture and increase the internal temperatures of your pile. With a high moisture content of nearly 75%, it also helps provide moisture and oxygen to the core of a compost pile to speed up decomposition.

Cow Manure – How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

One of the most available and easily sourced of all manures is that which comes from cows. Although it has the least amount of organic matter and nitrogen of the five featured today, it still brings plenty of benefits to your soil and plants.

using chicken manure in a garden
Whether it’s cow manure or chicken manure (pictured above), you need to first let the manure age before using it around plants.

Because it’s a larger size of manure, the sheer mass allows for a huge amount of organic matter to go into your garden or compost pile all at once. Cow manure is one of the best manures to use for top-dressing gardens in the fall.

Just like horse manure, it decomposes quickly and by spring, it has broken down and is ready to power plants. Because it is so plentiful, you can usually get enough to do your whole garden too!

Fresh cow manure does have a lot of moisture within its core. That can be extremely beneficial for helping compost piles to both heat up and activate. Another great use for cow manure in the fall is adding shredded leaves to make a fast-decomposing leaf pile.

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The two ingredients help to break each other down quickly. It is quick enough that a fall pile can be ready to use for finished compost in the garden by spring.

Rabbit Manure – How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

Fresh rabbit manure is a close second to chicken manure when it comes to nutrient levels. With nearly a quarter of its makeup consisting of organic matter, it provides plenty of structure and substance to soil as well.

adding animal manure to raised beds
Manure is great for adding to raised beds in the fall. It can break down over winter and leach powerful nutrients into the soil below.

Just like chicken manure, it also has a fair amount of nutrients, including a high level of nitrogen. Rabbit manure is also extremely easy to work with when compared to most other manures. The small, round droppings are easy to scoop up from cages and work into a compost pile or fall garden soil.

Like all manures, it’s best to age or compost rabbit manure before using. Left to age, it can usually break down and be ready for use within 3 to 4 months if outside temperatures remain above freezing.

Mixing it with shredded leaves while it composts will help speed up the process. It’s also an excellent addition to add to traditional compost piles. The high moisture content and nitrogen levels help it to heat a pile incredibly fast!

Goat Manure – How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

With the ever-increasing popularity of home goat ownership, access to goat manure has never been better. Even more, goat manure is extremely balanced. When composted and aged, it can quickly re-energize soil and plants after its applied to the soil.

Goat manure is another great choice for powering garden soil and compost piles.

Goat manure has a fairly high organic makeup and moisture content. When aging, the manure breaks down quickly, especially when added to a traditional compost bin or pile. Best of all, goat manure has one of the least odorous smells of all when it comes to fresh manure!

How To Best Use Animal Manure In A Garden

Now that we have covered the best choices for manure, how can it best be used for your garden? As noted above, fresh manure is overflowing with energy. For this reason, fresh manure is considered “hot” – meaning it will burn plants easily.

So what can you do with fresh manure? The simple answer is to let it compost and break down first. The good news is that you can do this in your compost pile or by letting it age by itself in its pile.

Fresh manure is one of the best ingredients of all to place in a home compost pile. Its “hot” properties allow it to heat up and decompose all of the pile’s ingredients fast. Once composting is completed, you can use it safely everywhere – from top dressing raised beds and flowerbeds to using it in planting holes.

You can also use composted manure to make a powerful tea to use on plants. Again, it’s important to make sure the manure has completely aged to not burn plants with the liquid tea.

Creating A Manure-Only Compost Pile – How To Use Animal Manure In A Garden

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