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Steer manure-What is it good for?

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sweetlebee blog photos
Joined: 5/09/2005
Posts: 19587
Posted: May/01/2006 2:28 PM PST

I bought a bag of well-aged steer manure for my new roses, but I'll have some left over. What's a good use for it? Should I use it to plant perennials or as a top-dressing on my beds? I've never used manure before!
treeman blog photos
Joined: 3/29/2002
Posts: 2874
Posted: May/01/2006 4:54 PM PST

It works great when you can work it into your soil before planting something.
Joined: 5/29/2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 6
Posted: May/29/2006 7:41 PM PST

most manures are high nitrogen which provide lush green growth, but do little for fruit production and plant strength. A soil test will tell you what you're lacking and what to do to correct it.
Joined: 2/25/2006
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 70
Posted: May/30/2006 6:21 PM PST

My gardens are made up of sheep and horse manure, and spoiled bedding, straw/ hay all composted together. Cow manure is not as rich as sheep manure, but still good. I put a little extra where ever I see a plant that need a little extra help.
Joined: 5/26/2007
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 13
Posted: May/26/2007 7:57 PM PST

You can also make a "tea" with it for those plants already established.

Just put some in a watering can or bucket - you don't need much, add water, and use that to water plants.
Joined: 5/21/2007
Location: Tucson
Posts: 18
Posted: May/30/2007 11:35 AM PST

The best use I've found for manure - when I use it - (assuming it's 'composted' manure) is as a mulch around established plants. This reduces the immediate impact of the nitrogen content by slowing the rate at which it enters the soil. I've had very good luck with tomatoes and peppers that I've mulched first with composted steer manure, followed by a layer of straw. The combination also speeds soil improvement.

However, I've found that, after two or three seasons of this treatment ordinary compost under the straw did just as well to maintain the soil. The manure sort of 'jump started' the process while I established the garden, and then became redundant. (And compost from my bin is a lot cheaper! )
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