Stay Green with Manure FertilizerBy: Roxanne Nichols
Manure application contributes to a cleaner environment & healthier lawn.Perhaps we've all walked by and smelled the particular 'smell' of manure fertilizer. Try as fertilizer companies may, there are few ways to disguise the unpleasant smell of animal droppings. Nevertheless, there are several benefits to manure fertilizer, notwithstanding the stench, including its eco-friendly characteristics. First and foremost, fresh manure of any kind should never be applied to your lawn; instead, make certain it is mixed with other organic materials (i.e. composted manure fertilizer). Containing potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients, manure application enhances the structure of the soil and its ability to retain moisture, as well as improves water infiltration and lawn aeration. Perhaps the primary benefit of manure fertilizer is the amount of nitrogen it contains. As the manure begins to decompose, it gradually releases nitrogen into the soil. For the initial manure application, you should provide your lawn with all the nitrogen it needs. Every year thereafter, however, apply less and less manure fertilizer so the soil has a balanced amount of nitrogen over the years. Organic nitrogen actually carries over from the previous application, slowly releasing itself into the soil, which is why it's best to apply less manure following the first treatment. One drawback to manure application is the presence of weed seeds and its tendency to decompose in conditions where the soil is moist and warm.
Common Types of Manure FertilizerWhile manure fertilizer is advantageous to your lawn and soil, it's important to know the qualities each animal brings, as they differ in some ways.
- Chicken Manure Fertilizer – Chicken manure is known for its incredibly rich contents and is ideal when composted before applying to the lawn. Referred to as 'hot' manure, chicken manure can burn (and destroy) plants.
- Cow Manure Fertilizer – Dairy cow manure is often favored over other types of fertilizer, as it is low in nutrients and can be applied in endless quantities with no detrimental side effects.
- Horse Manure Fertilizer – Although horse manure is not as nutrient-rich as manure from chickens, it contains more nitrogen than cow manure fertilizer. Also known as a 'hot' manure, horse manure fertilizer should be composted before application.
- Sheep Manure Fertilizer – Sheep manure is another 'hot' fertilizer that is fairly dry and incredibly rich in nutrients. Best when composted prior to application.
- Rabbit Manure Fertilizer – Rabbit manure provides a great deal of nitrogen (even more than manure from poultry) and phosphorous, which is highly beneficial for fruits and flowers.