Sunday, November 1, 2009

Types of Manure and Their Uses

All soils need conditioning and improving - mainly because each year the plants that grow there are taking valuable nutrients from it in order for them to grow and flourish. Improving soil with manures and fertilizers will go a long way to creating the beautiful plants and flowers you want from your garden.

Spent Hops

A by-product of the brewing industry. Although smelly, this is a good soil conditioner and one which is easy to handle. You might have to live with an 'aromatic' garden for a few days afterwards.

Leaf Mould

Autumn leaves can be rotted down in a wire netting enclosure of their own and then used as soil enrichment. Sweep them up while they are damp, pile them into the wire-netting enclosure and, like compost, keep them firm and moist. In a year's time they will have turned into crumbly leaf mould.

Composted Bark

A by-product of the forestry industry, this is usually pine bark which has been pulverized and composted.

Domestic Waste

Many local authorities and some water companies are now producing their own soil enrichment, which is based on domestic waste (both household and sewage) and composted straw. It is clean, recycled and perfectly safe to use.

Proprietary Soil Conditioners

These are usually made from animal manures and are often more concentrated in nutrients, so applied more sparingly. This means that they are not as valuable in improving soil texture and structure simply because their application rates are lower.


Current concern about our disappearing peat bogs has meant that peat is now frowned upon as a soil conditioner. From the gardener's point of view, as well as the conservationist's, this is a good thing. All the other soil conditioners mentioned here contain a certain amount of plant food, as well as being bulky and therefore improving the soil structure. Peat contains no food at all - its only value is in its structure. Because of this, its greatest value is as an ingredient of seed and potting composts as a soil conditioner.

Application Rates

Generally speaking, one or two bucketfuls of organic matter can be dug or forked into 1 square meter (1 square yard) of soil. Use your discretion - if your ground looks very hungry, go for the heavier application rate. Your plants will grow better as a result. Dig the enrichment into newly cultivated ground during the autumn and winter months or at planting time, or lay it on the surface of the soil between established plants as an 8-cm (3-in) thick mulch in spring when the soil is moist. It will help keep down weeds and seal in moisture.

Look after you garden and you garden will reward you handsomely. Why not create your own garden entertainment area with some teak outdoor dining furniture and the odd teak bench scattered unobtrusively around your garden in strategic viewing areas.

Source : Ezine

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