tracydr(9b)March 23, 2011

How much aged manure can I use in my raised beds? I have four new huge raised beds, 16X 8 X 12 and it's going to cost a fortune to fill them with dirt. I have an almost unlimited supply of aged manure, not mixed with anything. It's really aged, at least 5-6 months old and I put a bunch in my other two gardens which are thriving with it. Just wondering if I could go as much as half or there quarters manure and get away with it?

Also, what's the cheapest place to get some soil delivered to Mesa? It doesn't need to have any compost in it since I'll be mixing my composted manure into it.

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I don't think there is any way you should add more than 10%. Manure varies. The stuff sold in AZ in bags as steer manure is from fedlots and I would use very little. Very salty and really not such great stuff. From a horse stable with lots of bedding and allowed to compost, 10% might be ok. I have use up to 30% aged composted yard waste in heavy soil with no problem. The garden soil and potting soil sold in the state is very heavy on logging waste ie composted shreaded bark and tops. I have worked over 50% organic compost by volume into native AZ soil over a couple years.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:31PM
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This is my own horse manure with some nice sandy dirt mixed in. It's been composted for about 6 months. No bedding materials like shavings, weeds shouldn't be a problem as the alfalfa is very clean. Maybe a few errant flax seeds but who wouldn't a few flax to attract bees to the garden?
I also have tree shreds I would like to use for mulch. Some green, some browns. And a bunch of coffee grounds.
Since my water I ground soil is alkaline should I add some gypsum and sillier like I do my in ground garden? If so, how much? Anything else? Alfafa meal, bone meal?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:15AM
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On the previous post I meant to say sulpher, not sillier. Gotta love the auto correct function!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:19AM
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I've used lots of composted manure before. it depends on what you're going to grow. Some plants thrive on nitrogen, cucurbits for example. Others are sensitive to too much nitrogen.
If it's been composted for 6 months, I wouldn't care. I've totally filled a couple of my beds with manure (I don't know how much it had been aged). But here nitrogen tends to dissipate pretty fast out of the soil. The heat and the sun do that. Even if your plants don't do so well the first season, by the next season they'll have no problem, and using composted manure is a heck of a lot better than this hard clay

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 4:19PM
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bucks(9 Arizona)

1/3 soil 1/3 sand 1/3 manure.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 7:40PM
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Well, so far so good. The basil really likes it. Haven't tried the cucurbits yet. I'm thinking about a couple of rows of corn for shade.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:41AM
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