Release the Secret Weapon

Better late than never. I finally managed to get some manure dug into the garden this weekend. Ah – that’s better.

I just love the smell of well-rotted manure. It smells so sweet and earthy. The whole garden has been taken over by manure smells, it’s great!

13 Comments on “Release the Secret Weapon

  1. Hmmm… I need to do that in my garden too – been forgetting to do it for weeks now.

    Smell is only nice if the manure is of the vegetable kind :).


  2. Oh, it’s so dark and lovely looking. Black gold. Yes, I’m turning into a soil geek.

  3. I got mine from a local goat farm and spread it around earlier this year. It looks good and lots of the lovely dark stuff seems to have been taken into the soil, but it’s left quite a lot of unrotted straw on the surface. I think this is okay, as I have very clayey soil, but would you recommend I actually dig this in, or leave it on the surface to rot into it? I really don’t know what’s best and am procrastinating wildly!

    Glorious weather today – hope you managed to get outside and enjoy it!

  4. Got mine in at the beginning of February but I think I jumped the gun a little. Also not sure of how much of the bed I can use with most of it being in the shade. This is going to be an interesting experiment and most likely a costly one. Must invest in more pots.

  5. I have a hard time finding good quality manure to purchase. Although this year I’m buying milk & eggs from a local farm so I’m going to see if they’ll let me buy some from them.

  6. And to think this activity is going on all around the country, behinds fences, in allotments. Let’s hope it is a craze that catches on. Margaret

  7. Hi Stephie,

    Was it fresh manure when you bought it from the local farm? It’s always best to let your manure rot down before using it. It should be black and crumbly and sweet smelling.

    I would dig it in if you’re planning on using the plot this year, if not let it rot down as it will help keep the weeds down too.

    Hope that helps.

  8. Clay soils need as much humus as you can work in. I used to dig in sawdust (must add some nitrogen at the same time, as it depletes the soil) when I could get nothing else. So straw is great. However, they do say not to work clay soils when they are water-logged. The more you improve the soil, the earlier you’ll be able to work it (in future years).

    Fresh manure is fine in the fall/winter but this time of year could burn the roots of new plants, so rotted is better.

    Don’t you guys have dairy farmers who’d practically pay you to take it away?

  9. Thanks so much for the advice! I built a couple of raised beds in November last year to which I added plenty of sand and what was sold as “well-rotted” manure (from a local dairy goat farm) and I’ve been planting them up with leek and spring onion seeds today. The soil is a fantastic texture now compared to what it was. Then, earlier this year I added more of the manure to some flower borders (which will also be home to lettuces) – and it’s this that doesn’t seem to be so well rotted. Don’t know if it’s because the manure itself wasn’t so rotted down, or whether it’s because it hasn’t been there as long as the stuff I put in the raised beds. I have some bulbs and perennials coming up through it, so don’t want to dig it over in the usual sense, but think I will take your advice and at least fork it in so that I can put some annuals in later in the spring. Thanks also for the valuable info about manure burning the roots – will definitely remember that.
    Don’t know why I went to the goat farm either – my home backs on to a dairy farm!!!

  10. Oh Yh High-Five I Got The Same Manure And Dug It In 2 Weeks Ago =]