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very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

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very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  lavamom on 3/21/2010, 2:39 pm

Hello,

I am just starting to put in my first 4x4 sfg. I have to buy my compost, and like another recent poster am having trouble finding 5 different kinds. I am also confused as to what counts as compost. I noticed that in several responses people suggested going to get chicken or horse manure. Does a bag of manure count as compost? Or does it need to be aged and mixed with other plant materials? Or if I buy a bag of chicken poop, that doesn't say "compost" on it - can I just use that as one of my Mel's Mix composts?

I apologize for asking what must seem like a very basic question - thanks for any help!

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  choksaw on 3/21/2010, 2:55 pm

fresh manure of any kind is to "hot" to put into your garden and may damage your plants it needs to age for 8 months to a year befor it will be ready for use if your buying the manure from say lowes or homedepot then its safe to use as its already composted manure. as for finding the 5 diffren types of compost that can be a bit difficult but dont just look for stuff that says compost on it look at other things as well i was able to find cow and chicken manure compost mushroom compost and that was about it for my area so i started looking at bags that were labeled "for shrubs and for roses" and if you look at the back of the bag you will see that they are basicaly a mix of composted material so keep an eye out for those as well.

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  lavamom on 3/21/2010, 2:58 pm

Thank you, that helps. I'll stay away from the fresh manure and droppings. If I look at bags that aren't labelled as compost, is there anything I should stay away from? For example, if it is a shrub/rose mix like you described, with composted materials, but it has perlite in it - that would throw my mix off, so I shouldn't get it, right?

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  choksaw on 3/21/2010, 3:01 pm

perilite wont throw the mix off too much its not reccomended by mel cause it makes him sneeze primarily lol and most of the mix bags as described have peat in them as well so you might need to make some small adjustments on the mix but like mel says closies counts

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  lavamom on 3/21/2010, 4:56 pm

Thank you for the help!

(And what does "Closies counts" mean? I must have missed that.)

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  choksaw on 3/21/2010, 7:32 pm

lol in general terms it basicaly means that the mix is not 100% a little bit more or less here and there wont make that big of a diffrence

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  jerzyjen on 3/21/2010, 10:14 pm

I just got a bunch of manure today, some was aged almost a year and some was fairly fresh.

The aged stuff looked pretty much like the bagged stuff when i layed them side by side on the tarp, and there was no smell, but there were some worms still inside. Worms are ok in my mels mix right? I really hope so i went ahead and made my compost mix.

I spread the fresher stuff in my compost pile. I'll probably post seperately with that question.

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  boffer on 3/21/2010, 10:24 pm

@jerzyjen wrote: Worms are ok in my mels mix right?
yes
@jerzyjen wrote: I spread the fresher stuff in my compost pile. I'll probably post seperately with that question.
OK

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  bullfrogbabe on 3/22/2010, 9:46 pm

I just posted a response to a similar question about using manure in the Canada forum. Here is a quicky shorter version.

Fresh, uncomposted manure from sheep, cows, or horses is typically full of weed seeds. Digestion alone is not enough to kill these seeds. The manure needs to be composted at high temperatures to kill the seeds before it is used.

If buying make sure package indicates that it was composted.

If taking it direct from a farm -- compost it in your own compost bin/pile if it is fresh. If it is older and has been in a pile for a while outside make sure it is already soil-like in texture without obvious intact pieces of vegetable matter. If you can still see bits of sticks, bark, grass, stems, stem/leaf veins, or leaves the composting was incomplete. If you are not sure it was composted at high temperatures, compost it to be sure. The weed seeds will cause some major weed problems in your SFG if high temperatures were not reached while it was composting.

A compost thermometer is likely a great investment to make, some also double has soil thermometers for dual purpose justification.

A quote from an article on "Keep[ing] Compost Weed Free":
Within a week, temperatures in a properly constructed compost pile will reach 130 degrees. That quickly kills many seeds and stabilizes the composted material. But it takes 30 days of exposure to temperatures of 145 degrees or more to kill seeds from tougher weed species."
See the full article "Keep Compost Weed Free" at link below:
http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/keep-compost-weed-free-time-temperature-and-turning-critical-factors/11747.html


Last edited by bullfrogbabe on 3/22/2010, 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : more info added)

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Re: very very newbie question: is plain manure compost?

Post  lavamom on 3/23/2010, 1:57 am

Thank you, that was very helpful. I finally realized that when some people write that they got cow manure, they mean composted cow manure. I did end up buying some steer manure, but it says composted, and seed/weed-free.

I live near some stables, and I am sure I could go get some manure, but wasn't sure if I could use it right away as is - now I understand that I can't. I'll go read the Canada post too.

Thanks again -

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