by Texas Homesteader ~
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By now you know the amazing benefits of compost – both environmentally as well as botanically. Living on a Texas Homestead I’m blessed to have constant access to one of the most important components of my compost: Manure.
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
The difference in the vigor of our growing veggie plants is pretty amazing when using compost as a natural soil amendment & fertilizer.
Plus adding aged manure to sandy soil helps the soil’s ability to soak up & hold onto moisture. That’s important for my raised beds.
Recently RancherMan cleaned out the cattle trailer and I was quick to harvest this now easily-accessible precious material.
Compost: Black GOLD For The Garden!
Several years ago I discovered how easy it was to compost. (Be sure to check out my Easy Compost Guide.)
Really, making compost is as simple as:
Add ‘greens’ such as veggie peels or green plants
Mix in ‘browns’ such as dried leaves, paper or cardboard
Keep compost lightly wet like a wrung-out sponge
Mix compost often to add oxygen
Enclosed Compost Tumbler Makes Composting Easier!
I’ve been so thrilled with the ease of using a *compost tumbler. My old manual method of making an open top & bottom wire compost collection area and then taking a compost fork and turning the compost was not very successful. That’s because I just couldn’t seem to keep it turned often enough.
Oh I still made compost. But usually only a very small amount each year because of my lack of action. It was just too hard to get my wire enclosure moved and the compost turned frequently enough.
Since obtaining my tumbler though, I simply give it a quick turn each time I dump something in there. Now I make compost in just a few weeks instead of several months.
Since I have a compost tumbler I am always in various stages of making compost. Whether I’m tossing in veggie peels or cores, adding cardboard or paper, or even weeds that have not yet gone to seed.
I also have a *Tandem Composter which is basically two separate enclosures on one stand. (Mine actually has two whole separate tumblers together on one stand.)
That way when one side gets filled I can leave it to finish making the compost as I’m adding material to the other side. Let me tell ya it’s been game changing!
Can You Add Fresh Manure To Compost?
Although dog & cat feces should not be used, other manures from farm animals such as cattle can enhance your compost and garden by:
Increase water filtration
Improve soil texture
Raising cattle means I always have a supply of cow manure on hand.
I often add manure fresh from the fields. But now that RancherMan’s put back this aged manure for me from the cattle trailer I figured I’d add it to my compost tumbler.
I gathered up a healthy portion of the aged manure & tossed it into my tumbler, giving it a few quick turns to get everything mixed together.
Then I gathered the rest into a large bucket and dumped it into a now-idle location in my garden to age further.
Can You Use Fresh Manure In Your Garden?
Using manure that’s too fresh is very ‘hot’ and the excessive nitrogen will burn your plants.
According to the North Dakota State University, it’s best to first compost the manure.
To make sure harmful bacteria and pathogens are killed the NDSU recommends that farm animal manure be composted in a hot compost. (ie: compost that reaches 113 – 160 degrees F. & is properly maintained)
How Long To Harvest After Manure Application In Garden?
It’s recommended to have at least 120 days between manure application and vegetable harvest veggies that grow in (or near) the soil such as:
For other taller harvestable crops such as tomatoes, peppers and okra it’s recommended to have at least 90 days between manure application & harvest.
I’d be planting a fall garden soon so this aged manure would definitely come in handy then as well.
So I allowed this well-aged manure to sit here for awhile. Then when planting my fall garden I mixed it into the soil throughout my garden.
Do you use manure in your compost or garden planting?
My Favorite Garden Hacks
- Planting Seeds In A Milk-Jug Greenhouse
- Planting An Indoor Greenhouse
- Repurposed Cardboard Seed-Starting Pots
- Easy Homemade Seed Tape
- Easy Compost For A Healthy Garden
- How Leaves Benefit Your Garden
- Using Manure In Your Compost & Garden
- 3-Sister’s Garden – The Original Companion Planting
- Planting A Large Galvanized Trough
- Where I Found The BEST Raised Bed!
- Planting A Blueberry Bush In Rustic Galvanized Tub
- Stevia – Growing Your Own Sweetener!
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
- The Lazy Gardener’s Plant List – Plant Once, Eat For Years!
- How To Tell When Watermelon Is Ripe
- Luffa A Surprising Zucchini Substitute!
- How To Grow The Best Tomatoes
- Keeping Potted Plants Watered
- Repurposing A Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- 3 Rainwater Collection Systems We Use
- Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For The Garden
- Using Vining Plants For Living Mulch
- Tricking Birds AWAY From Your Strawberry Plants
- Propping Tender Seedlings
- Homestead Hack: Remember Where You Planted Seeds
- How I Use EcoBricks In The Garden
MORE Gardening Posts
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When we clean the rabbit house as well as the chicken coop, it all goes into the compost! It makes such a wonderful difference! Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Every fall we get a truckload of horse manure from our friends and spread it all over the garden. It works beautifully! This year I actually planted my pumpkins in the left over pile of manure, and then have grown so well…will definitely be doing that again next year!
Heather – your friend benefits by getting rid of a byproduct of stall cleaning, your garden benefits by having healthier soil, you benefit by having a productive garden. Love it! ~TxH~
What a great compost barrel. Thanks for sharing such a great idea at TTF.
I would be really careful to know your source for manure. With GMOs being so prevalent in feed these days, it can kill your garden.
I guess that could be true – I’m very sure of my manure source since it comes from my animals. LOL ~TxH~
I’ve thought about using manure in our compost, and worried a bit about the smell since we’re in a suburban area. Definitely something to look into next spring. Thanks for linking up at Fabulously Frugal Thursday.
Barb, properly aged manure has no smell. I’ve added manure to my compost even with the open system I used to have, mixed it in and there was no animal smell at all. Of course now with my tumbler there’s never any smell anyway, manure or not. Properly maintained compost doesn’t smell bad – it smells only earthy. If it begins to smell, it’s more than likely out of balance (usually too many greens or too wet – add some shredded paper or cardboard & mix thoroughly & the problem is rectified quickly.) ~TxH~