By: Liz Baessler
Manure is a popular soil amendment, and for good reason. It’s loaded with organic material and nutrients that are essential for plants’ good health. But is all manure the same? If you have pets, you have poop, and if you have a garden, it’s tempting to use that poop for a good cause. Keep reading to learn more about composting ferret manure and using ferret manure fertilizer in gardens.
Is ferret poop good fertilizer? Unfortunately, no. While manure from cows is extremely popular and beneficial, it stems from one very important fact: cows are herbivores. While manure from herbivorous animals is great for plants, manure from omnivores and carnivores is not.
Feces from animals that eat meat, which includes dogs and cats, contains bacteria and parasites that can be bad for plants and especially bad for you if you eat vegetables fertilized with it.
Since ferrets are carnivores, putting ferret poop in compost and composting ferret manure is not a good idea. Ferret manure fertilizer is going to contain all kinds of bacteria and possibly even parasites that aren’t good for your plants or anything you to consume.
Even composting ferret manure for a long time isn’t going to kill this bacteria, and will probably, in fact, contaminate the rest of your compost. Putting ferret poop in compost is not wise, and if you have ferrets you will, unfortunately, have to find a different way to dispose of all that poop.
If you’re simply in the market for manure, cows (as previous stated) are a great choice. Other animals like sheep, horses, and chickens produce very good manure, but it’s important to compost it for at least six months before putting it on your plants. Fertilizing with fresh manure can result in burned roots.
Now that you know using ferret manure on plants isn’t a good option, you can look towards other types of manure that can be safely used instead.
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Read more about Composting Manures
Can grass clippings be added to the garden that is lying fallow? If so, do I need to mix it into the soil or just lay it on top and leave it to compost?
Here is an article that will help you.
This means that you need to enrich your soil. Because most people are not making their own compost at home, they need to buy fertilizer. Plant fertilizers purchased from the local garden center often contain chemicals that may harm your plants, and are not environmentally friendly.
In addition, fertilizer can be a bit pricey, and this is most likely why the myth that home gardens are expensive continues. This is not necessarily true. You needn’t spend a bundle of money because, believe it or not, you are full of fertilizer!
ok, I know a couple who has had as many as four horses in a less then 5 acre pasture. They feed the horses, but allow them to graze all day and night.
Ok, here goes, Aparently this is something people do down south. And when I saw it I could believe it.
They never pick up the manure, but spread it around in the pasture. ewwwww .
I was never raised to believe this was good
1. it's definately not good for the horse's feet
2. It lays on the grasses that the horses are constantly eating & laying and rolling in, so it opens the horses up to catching more worms and parasites
3. It looks really horrible/piggish.
Can the horses get colic from eating this grass?
Please tell me if I'm wrong.
I was never raised to believe this was good
Please tell me if I'm wrong.
You were raised correctly and well. And no, you're not wrong.
Let's take wild horses. They graze and "fertilize" a pasture, and then they move on - coming back to the pasture when Mother Nature's had her chance to do what Mother Nature does - i.e. the sun, rain, insects will complete the cycle of breaking down manure. It will fertilize the field and, in due course, it will be good grazing again. How long or short this cycle lasts is going to vary from year to year, season to season, and where in the country this is.
Also important to remember is that in the wild other herbivores will come along and also graze. But the worms that affect horses (non-ruminants) are not the same worms that affect ruminants (as your elk or antelope, for example, are) and so by mixing the grazing, you break up the worm cycle. Mother Nature got that figured out too.
Now back the couple you know:
Spreading manure is fine and perfectly acceptable PROVIDED the horses are moved off and allowed to graze elsewhere while Mother Nature and the dung beetles get to work. (I love my dung beetles. Industrious wee critters. ) But to spread manure and leave the horses on it is stupidity at its finest. If, say, you have a few cross-fenced pastures - you move the horses on, you spread your muck and you let nature take its course. AND you wait (how long is going to depend on climatic conditions where you are) before putting the horses back on it.
Fact of the matter is that less than five acres with 4 horses living out is just not enough land. Supplemental feeding is besides the point. With that sort of acreage and that number of equines, you'd want to practice good rotational grazing as well as penning/stabling the horses to allow the various pastures to rest.
Depending on where you are (humidity plays a role here) the manure may or may not impact the welfare of hooves. If the horses' hooves are constantly pack full of nice, moist manure then yes, thrush is waiting to happen. (But this would also be true of a horse kept in any environment where the hooves can't dry out .) I'm more inclined to think that the manner in which they're kept is just an overall indication of lack of knowledge or just not caring.
Colic from grass can happen if the grass is very rich or the horse isn't used to free grazing or a whole host of other circumstances. But in this instance I'd say it's far, far more likely that an untreated worm burden would cause colic. Any idea how often these horses are wormed and with what product? Wormers need to be rotated (i.e. not use the same active ingredient all the time). Keeping horses in the way you've described pretty much is going to guarantee a consistent worm burden.
While I couldn't give a monkey's how it looks, it's truly an abomination to keep horses in those conditions.
But, sadly, these people aren't the only ones. We've been searching for a horse-suitable property for over a year now. I lost track of the number of times I've arrived somewhere to see badly, badly overgrazed land. Land that's been just left, "benign neglect", is one thing and pretty easy to put right. Overgrazed land. forget it. The soil is so depleted and stressed you're not going to get anything from it for a good long time and the money it will cost you to put it right (plus time, effort and energy) is not insubstantial. Your acquaintances can kiss they're property value good-bye.
Hot composting, also known as aerobic composting is the process of making compost very rapidly by turning the compost. This differs from cold compost, in which a compost pile slowly breaks down over a long period of time. During the process of hot composting the gardener mixes the compost to make the microbes in the pile more active. As the active microbes decompose the compost, their activity heats up the pile. A well-managed compost pile will generate up to 160 degrees of heat. If you locate your hot compost pile in a greenhouse, you can use this heat to warm the air in the greenhouse.
Dig a trench in your greenhouse that is at least three cubic feet.
Gather materials for your compost pile consisting of organic green compost ingredients and organic brown compost materials. Organic green compost items include grass clippings, kitchen scraps, clover, peat moss and manure. Organic browns include dead leaves, straw, hay, sawdust and wood chips.
Chop all your compost ingredients into inch-long pieces. You can render down kitchen scraps with a pair of kitchen shears or a food processor. You can use a lawn mower to cut down grass, dead leaves, straw or hay.
Layer the trench with alternating layers of organic green material and organic brown material.
Water the compost pile until it is the consistency of a wrung-out sponge.
Throw a handful of finished compost into the pile to activate the compost process.
Check your compost pile daily with an oven thermometer. Plunge the probe of the thermometer into the center of the pile to check the temperature. Stir the pile with a pitchfork to raise the temperature anytime it drops below 120 degrees.
Sift through your pile with a sieve when the compost pile is mostly reduced to fine dirt. Pick out any unfinished, large pieces of compost and return them to the pile to include in your next batch of compost. You will be able to use the fine loam, which is finished compost in your greenhouse.
As compost nears the finished product, it will produce less heat. You can dig multiple trenches and start multiple batches at different times for a constant supply of heat.
Peas don't need as much attention as other vegetables, but do need support, weeding, some fertilizing and care.
'Alderman' and 'Super Sugar Snap' peas are both climbing varieties. Because they grow five to six feet tall, these peas usually need some type of support, like a fence, trellis or brush.
In single rows, position the support about three inches behind the row. For double rows, put it in between the rows, so the peas can grow up either side of the support. Or, to maximize space, you can plant a double row on each side of the trellis.
Supports are easy to make. A simple one uses 4- to 5-foot-long stakes placed five feet apart down the row. Run three wires horizontally between the stakes, one foot apart. If you prefer, use chicken wire with a 2-inch mesh instead of the separate wires.
Unlike other climbing vegetables, peas naturally grasp the support with their tendrils, though you may need to guide them gently towards the support as they become tall enough to reach it.
Because peas are good foragers, they don't need much fertilizer - especially nitrogen. A day or two before planting, broadcast three to four pounds of 5-10-10 commercial fertilizer over each 100 square feet of garden space. Then work it into the top two to three inches of soil.
You may prefer to use organic fertilizers, such as well-rotted or dehydrated manure or bone meal. Spread a one- to two-inch layer over your raised beds and work in the material. If you use local manure, be sure it's well aged. Animals' digestive tracts don't destroy weed seeds, so if you put fresh manure on your garden, you'll probably also be planting weeds.
The primary ingredients of synthetic fertilizer are three nutrients that are vital to all plants: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). If you have a 100-pound bag of 5-10-10 fertilizer, it contains five percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 10 percent potassium. (The order is constant.) The remaining 75 pounds is sand or other filler plus some trace minerals.
Each of the three major nutrients contained in fertilizer has a unique job to accomplish while your plants are growing. Nitrogen helps plants have healthy lush green foliage. However, too much nitrogen can burn seeds or plants if it comes in direct contact with them, and it can also generate too much vine growth rather than pods with peas inside. Phosphorus is necessary for the development of strong, healthy roots. Potassium, or potash, helps the plant to grow, bear fruit and resist diseases.
It's important to mix chemical fertilizers thoroughly into the soil before you start planting.
Once your seedlings start to emerge, weeds also appear. Weeding is the scourge of gardening for most people, but it doesn't have to be. If you stay ahead of it, which is easy with wide rows, you won't have to bribe the neighborhood kids to do it for you.
With wide-row growing, you can usually drag an iron rake across the row as soon as the seedlings emerge in order to thin the row and get rid of early-germinating weeds. Do not do this with peas or beans. These plants are tender, and they may break. However, peas and beans grow quickly, forming a canopy that soon shades weed seedlings from the sun, which inhibits their growth.
When your single- and double-row plants are a few inches tall, you can sharply curtail weeding by putting mulch in the walkways. A 3- to 6-inch layer of mulch completely shades the ground, preventing weed growth.
Mulch also conserves moisture and helps to keep the ground at a constant cool temperature. Mulch is almost a necessity if your soil is sandy, warm and too dry. You can use black plastic, or organic mulches, such as bark, straw, lawn clippings, leaves or pine needles.
To keep moisture in the soil and weeds out, apply mulch soon after you cultivate following a soaking rain. Be sure not to add trouble where there wasn't any before. Use only mulch that's free of weed seeds.
Espoma Garden Manure is an all natural, organic plant food. It is dehydrated to provide a higher analysis and granulated to allow convenient and easy application. Espoma Garden Manure not only feed your plants slowly and safely, it also helps improve the soil by conditioning it with organic matter. Garden Manure is also approved for organic gardening.
Twin Oaks Natural Humus has a base of mushroom compost with added ingredients.
Frey Brothers Mushroom Compost is a byproduct from the mushroom growing industry which consists of horse manure and bedding straw, hay, cocoa hulls, poultry manure, gypsum, and corn cobs.
Frey Brothers Mushroom Compost is a highly organic material that can be used to improve soil conditions and improve your flower and vegetable beds.
Twin Oaks Dehydrated Cow Manure is 100% all natural material straight from the farms of Southern Lancaster County, PA. It is ready to be used for your vegetable and flower gardens, roses, shrubs and trees, to revive lawns and for planting bulbs.