adding cow manure to the garden plot

canadianprairiegirl(zone 3)April 12, 2010

last fall my husband broke up our hayfield close to the house and has allocated me a good size piece for a new vegetable garden. We have cattle and its our usual practice to clean the corrals each spring, pushing the manure into a pile where it composts for a few months and then haul it out onto the fields in the fall. My future garden spot got a healthy dose of this stuff and I later worked my garden spot with a tractor roto tiller last fall. My question is this: should I be concerned about an ecoli infestation next year in vegetables grown in this soil? I'm kind of confused between what is aged manure and composted manure....fresh I get, but can anyone clarify. I was hoping to plant corn, tomatoes, bush peas, bush beans, and zucchini here the first year. Any thoughts???? Thank-you.

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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

Hi, Prairiegirl,
I don't have the answer for you, but I can guarantee you would get a lot of helpful advice on the Soil,Compost & Mulch forum on gardenweb.
They have a very active forum and some well informed people participating over there.
But don't get me wrong; I don't mean to suggest that there aren't knowledgeable people here, it's just that your type of specific question might be better answered there.
Good luck with your new garden.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:17AM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

You're fine, I add it to my plots every other year. It should brake down quickly in the spring. Cheryl

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:49AM
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hykue(2b Saskatchewan)

Furthermore, none of the veggies you mentioned are root crops. I might be a little leery of root crops if you didn't think the manure was composted enough, but if it's all above-ground crops and you wash them, I would think it couldn't be an issue. I would think that the manure would be safe once it had "composted", even for a few months, as long as it was getting enough oxygen and water and heated up properly. On the other hand, I'm certainly no public health expert. I guess I should say, I would eat all of them after washing them.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 5:58PM
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