Lawn and Garden: Manure Adds Essential Nitrogen to Garden Soil
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Manure Adds Essential Nitrogen to Garden Soil
Is all-natural farm manure right for your garden? Could be. But manure is one of those rare things that is better when it is NOT so fresh, as I remind the reader who e-mailed me this question:
QUESTION: My husband owns a landscape materials business and has had a hard time getting â€œsupersoilâ€.
ANSWER: It’s difficult to think of a more “natural” substance than manure! Manure is certainly a great resource
Manure’s carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is a key factor in making nitrogen available to plants, because it drives microbial decomposition. As Alina Rice, the author of that Web article points out, before putting manure on your soil, make sure it is
A word of warning from Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture: Homeowners should not use any manure from dogs, cats, or other meat-eating animals, since there is risk of parasites or disease organisms that can be transmitted to humans.
Again, if you are thinking of using manure in your garden, I advise you to read the online Rural Heritage article. You can click on a direct link when you find this column at my Web site, www.landsteward.org
Here is question I responded to at the end of last winter. With frost once again threatening much of the country, I thought it might be the right time to include it in this week’s column.
QUESTION: I am hoping that you can help me out. I have never had any plants hit by frost but this year it got a lot of my plants. I was wondering, will my tomato plants survive the frost or should I pull them up and replant? It also got my
ANSWER: Generally, as long as the vegetable sets have had a bit of a chance to root in, they usually come out of frost nips. However, extended cold periods can cause freeze damage and kill the plants. As long as air has movement, frost
Also, if you know that there is going to be frost the next morning, you can either water the plants heavily including the soil at the base of the plants (the water acts like an insulator) or cover them with an old sheet or something similar, forming a
Once the frost has passed, clip off any browning leaves or branches of plants. Sometimes this can take a few days to show up. Most vegetable plants, though tender, are really quite tough when it comes to frosts.
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