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Author Topic: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners  (Read 4825 times)

JackTaylor

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Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« on: August 16, 2014, 11:50:06 AM »
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Russ Poston, Home & Garden Information Center
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/hot_topics/2012/08to_manure_or_not_to_manure.html
"Many homeowners consider manure to be a safe, organic fertilizer for use in the flower or vegetable garden.  The belief is that manure is something that is naturally produced, and therefore, is a safe product to use. So why is it that after application of some manures, plants show symptoms of damage? These symptoms can include leaves that are twisted, cupped and elongated; fruit that is deformed; reduced yield; death of young plants; and poor seed germination."
I have been very busy this summer with outside activities - will be back for more participation with you folks when the weather turns cold.

My brother-in-law, whom I consider to be a very good gardener, had the worst garden this year ever experienced.  In late winter - early spring ( before planting) he decided to add extra compost to his garden.  Over twenty ( >20 ) bags of low cost big box store manure.  Three ( 3 ) time he's planted "Green Beans" - each time they sprout, get about six ( 6 ) inches high, wilt and die - and it's not from a lack of water.  Reminds one of weeds sprayed with "Weed-b-Gone."
He does not spray for weed control - tills and hoes.

Beware of Big Box Stores Bags of Manure
If you don't know where it came from and whats in it ! ! ! ! !
Quote
Killer Compost Reports: Contaminated Manure and Herbicide Contamination Damaging Gardens
 "Since 2005, thousands of farmers and gardeners who have simply applied compost or mulch to their gardens or fields have unknowingly poisoned their own crops. These tragedies happened — and are still happening — because of potent, persistent herbicides including clopyralid and aminopyralid."

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/killer-compost-herbicide-contamination-zl0z1211zkin.aspx

For more information Google a search "manure herbicide"

p.s. - hope you were not expecting advice to not step in it.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 12:45:37 PM by JackTaylor »

Neven

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 11:58:48 PM »
So, is it safe to step in it?  ;)

Thanks, Jack. We bought some sacks of compost this year to start seedlings, but my wife has this suspicion that there was something wrong with it. We don't have enough experience to be sure of anything though.
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JackTaylor

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 12:44:45 PM »
So, is it safe to step in it?  ;)
Don't know haven't tried that lately.  But, when I was a kid back in the 1940's and 50's,
those cold November mornings, going out to milk the cows, with no shoes on because we hadn't got money from the first bale of cotton, a fresh patty was nice to step in, warmed my feet real good when there was frost on the ground.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 07:31:19 PM »
Jack, Maybe I'm just romanticizing poverty but it sounds kinda fun and I bet your feet were easier to clean than an old pair of tennis shoes.

RunningChristo

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2014, 09:53:36 PM »
As a gardener I am WELL aware of the risk of applying fresh (or even older!) compost, and I try to educate/warn my customers at a daily basis of these traumatic risks!
Fresh compost mixed into soil to Upgrade it NEED to get "finished" so to say, meaning that as long as the compostingprocess is taking Place (to check the status, just tilt/turn the compost, if it's "smoking" then it's still warm and in full speed!) it's no good using it yet. Unless you desire bad cropping! Seeds most likely won't start growing at all.

I had this customer buying Thujas ( the most loved/hated plant in the temperate hemisphere, haha) worthy 10-15000 euro, came back complaining; the plants were getting yellowish in the leaf....oh dear me I remember thinking, almost panicking! Luckily he soon explained he had used fresh soil, and other plants from the same shipment planted in older, more safe soil, was showing no signs of uncommon behavior, so my conscience was happily clean as a slate:-).

In college I did a Project, mixing composted soil With normal peat, and my conclusion was to mix no more than 30-40% of housebased compost, then the benefits would start turning negative.

The best soil we sell in Norway include 30& cowbased compost, which is composted for 3 years prior to mixing it as a endproduct. 

Hope this will help you understand the risks of using unsecure and cheap Products in Your lovely gardens:-).
My fancy for ice & glaciers started in 1995:-).

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 03:07:19 PM »
I used one bag of garden centre sheep manure on the rhubarb and it was fine. I mostly only use it on my flowers. We make a lot of compost for the food beds.

I don't understand why animal manure would have weed killer in it. They graze on weeds.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

JackTaylor

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 12:17:15 PM »
Jack, Maybe I'm just romanticizing poverty but it sounds kinda fun and I bet your feet were easier to clean than an old pair of tennis shoes.
Boy - you ain't right - romanticizing poverty !

Well I guess it depends how you define poverty.
Back then many country folks were "money poor" but many were also "dirt rich"
no, I had many - many resources to live with.
I had the good fortune of being forced to eating more steak, roast beef, bacon, pork chops, sausage, ham, fried & baked chicken - more farm grown vegetables & fruits than you can imagine.
Biscuits, cornbread, cakes, and pies still coming out my ears.
Enough cholesterol in diet to give everyone a heart attack by 50.
Very little or no money with no electricity - no running water - no indoor plumbing - no telephone, - so did I experience poverty?

Also only got one pair of tennis shoes each year - could only wear those on the floor of the gym,
because if your Chuck Taylor All-Stars were dirty it was claimed they would scratch and ruin the finish on gym floors.

Glenn Tamblyn

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 03:32:20 PM »
Basic rule with Compost/Manure. It ain't ready to use until it is ready to use!

Composting/Manure/Mulching is about long term development of your garden and its fertility. Not about giving them a boost this year. Nurture your soil and the plants just happen.

Compost hard until it has stopped steaming! If it didn't even start steaming it isn't compost, just rubbish.

Mix in compost/manure out of season! They will use it next season.

If you need a short term fix, use those pellet thingy's. Or seaweed extract diluted in water. Old fashioned blood & bone mixes etc. They are all fertilizers.

Fertilizer is what you need because your compost hasn't worked yet - short term answers not long term ones.

Being a gardener is about really getting into the slow, seasonal, long term nature of it. Nothing wrong with a short term fix to a short term problem. Just make sure the long term stuff is being taken care of.

You should read about the Terra Praeta soils in the Amazon. Humans built up soil structures for centuries and 1000's of years later we can still see the results.

Latent

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2015, 10:50:31 PM »
Oh dear!  It sounds as if you have fallen foul of a problem we here in the UK are only too well aware of.  It isn't the manure as such, but the contamination is caused by a weed killer called aminopyralid.  In short the weed killer is sprayed on pasture by the farmer or stock holder and the grass or fodder is eaten by the animal.  The weed killer passes through the digestive system of the animal without being broken down and so is passed out in the manure. 
Even when composted, it will still be active so your small seedlings will sprout as normal but shrivel and die - as if they had been treated with weedkiller.
It has become such a problem here that the use of it has been banned for a while and I now understand that it is only allowed in certain 'test' regions under tighter regulations.  It remains to be seen if these are adhered to.
This article from a Uk allotment web page explains it well - sorry not skilled in links!
http://allotment-garden.org/garden-diary/261/contaminated-manure-aminopyralid-update/

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Manure - Hazards for Gardeners
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 02:20:59 AM »
Years ago (in New Hampshire) I used to get "fresh" just thawed manure/straw mix from a dirt farmer friend in the spring.  I would dig out "for free" the room (a stone-walled "pen") he wintered his bull in, then compost it.

A friend swears on diluted human pee (10x1) for her green vegetables.  (I put undiluted urine on banana plants and in my compost.)  A "random" googled website:  Urine_the_ultimate_organic_fertiliser
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