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Is the manure I used too fresh?

Posted by mpaola 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 15:12

I obtained some composted horse manure but unfortunately didn't do enough research to know what to look for in the compost I was collecting (lesson learned).

What I collected from a compost heap was wet and warm and had a slight horse odor to it. I now know that I should be looking for dry, mossy-smelling compost from animal manures. Long story short it got added to the bottom of my raised beds (single layer, probably 3-4 inches thick) with my veggies planted on top. My concern is, are my plants at risk for acquiring E. Coli or some other fun disease-causing bacteria? As it is early season, I don't anticipate on harvesting anything for at least 3 more weeks.

Any advice or guidence would be greatly appreciated for this newly humbled gardener.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is the manure I used too fresh?

The general guidelines issued by the Center for Disease
Control, the National Institute of Health, and the USDA about using animal manures in the vegetable garden is to apply that manure at least 90 days before harvesting crops growing above ground and 120 days for below ground crops.
While animal manures are good sources of nutrients far too much of that manure is wasted by improper storage. If animal manures are simply piled up and allowed to sit around to "age" 20 to 50 percent of the Nitrogen and 5 to 20 percent of the Phosphorus and Potash can be lost, according to numerous studies done at our Ag Schools.

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