Natural Fertilizers For The Organic Garden

Manure is the most traditional fertilizer in agriculture, used for thousands of years to make soil more fertile and still today to improve and enhance organic garden soil.

As everyone knows, manure is the droppings of farm animals, usually cattle and horses, which are collected with bedding (straw or sawdust) and left to mature. As it is a waste for those who grow it, it is a material available at low cost, but very valuable from a nutrient point of view.

The best manure for the garden is horse manure, which can be found fresh just by asking the stables in your area, even cattle manure is still an excellent fertilizer. The doses of manure to use depend on many factors: characteristics and use of the land, crop needs, type of manure available. To properly prepare the garden soil, I recommend an average of 3 or 4 kg per square meter per year.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Manure maturation

  • Because manure remains one of the best organic fertilizers

  • How to use manure

  • How much manure to put in the garden

  • Alternatives to manure


Manure maturation

A very important thing to know is that manure cannot be used immediately, as soon as it is produced by the animal, but requires a period of maturation, which normally occurs by letting the material rest. This process takes a few months and serves to stabilize the animal manure, which is processed by various microorganisms found in nature.

Putting fresh manure directly on the ground would spread rot between the plants, and the manure often contains seeds that are still active, so many weeds would be introduced into the garden. For this same reason, manure must be allowed to mature for at least four to six months.

Why manure is still one of the best organic fertilizers

Manure contains an excellent amount of nutrients necessary for plants, and most importantly it contains the three main elements that vegetables need to grow healthily. To be picky, the potassium content is not very high, there are some crops in which it can be useful to incorporate it, but in any case manure in most cases can be easily used as the only fertilizer, in fact, it provides nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as well as various microelements.

In addition to fertilizing manure, it also has a soil-improving function: that is, it provides organic matter to the soil, promoting micro-life forms and improving its structure. In simple terms, with the addition of this fertilizer, the soil in the garden softens and tends to compact less, with a considerable saving of effort in its work, and it retains moisture better.

Therefore, manure is very useful for basic fertilization, that is, the fertilization that is done every year to restore the substances and organic matter eliminated by the harvest of vegetables and which serves to maintain the fertility of the garden. .

organic fertilizer

Obviously, manure is a correct organic fertilizer for organic farming, but you also have to pay attention to the way the animals have been raised and also to the composition of the litter (if there is, for example, sawdust that contains glues or paints) to ensure that the manure is truly organic and can be used in a natural garden.

How to use manure

Manure can be used in the garden at different times, it is always preferable and in any case to put it before it begins to grow, at least 10 days before sowing or transplanting the horticultural plants that we wish to grow. Immediately after its distribution, it must be incorporated into the soil with the hoe in the 15/20 cm of soil, to maintain the nitrogen. The best times to fertilize the garden are late February and September.

Care must be taken to distribute the manure when it is ripe. Using fresh manure means risking damage to plants and promoting fungal diseases in the garden, using it too ripe means losing fertility. It is therefore necessary to choose the right moment to spread the manure on the ground, so that on the one hand it has matured correctly and on the other hand it is still able to gradually release the nutrients for our vegetables. Mature manure should be dark in color, not too dry but retain moisture.

How much manure to put in the garden

It is difficult to estimate the amount of manure your garden needs, on the one hand it depends on the characteristics of your soil and the quantity that has been exploited, on the other hand it depends on what you have to cultivate: if you require vegetables such as pumpkins or tomatoes or plants with fewer nutrients, such as salads or legumes. A good annual bottom fertilization for an orchard can be around 3-4 kilos of manure per square meter. For a garden of 100 square meters, you would therefore need 3 or 4 quintals of manure.

Alternatives to manure

You don’t always have manure at your disposal, not everyone has a stable or riding school nearby. In addition, due to the smells of some urban or domestic gardens, it is not convenient to make heaps of animal manure in the garden, so you have to look for alternatives, always organic and organic.

  • Compost can be used for basic fertilization instead of manure, but it is less rich and therefore less effective as an organic fertilizer. The smell is less bothersome but easier to get because you can produce it yourself.

  • Worm humus has all the positive characteristics of manure, enhanced by worm work. And it doesn’t smell.

  • Granulated manure is practical because it is not bulky, it is always dry and is therefore a concentrated manure. However, it does not provide much organic matter, so it has an excellent fertilizing effect but a poor soil conditioning effect.

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