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adding cow manure to the garden plot

Posted by canadianprairiegirl zone 3 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 12, 10 at 22:40

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: adding cow manure to the garden plot

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.

RE: adding cow manure to the garden plot

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

RE: adding cow manure to the garden plot

  • Posted by hykue 2b Saskatchewan (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 13, 10 at 17:58

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.

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