Manure is an organic fertilizer consisting of excrement from domestic animals. This is the most famous and used fertilizer in all countries of the world throughout the history of mankind. Manure is formed in the process of microbiological and enzymatic processing by animals of various feeds.
Manure as a fertilizer is a natural source of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus macrocells necessary for plants, as well as many trace elements, including sulfur, chlorine, silicon, lime and magnesia. Manure improves the structure of the soil and its physical and mechanical properties: it activates the soil microflora, enriches the soil with carbon dioxide and promotes the absorption of mineral fertilizers by plants, including indoor plants.
In the Russian Empire, manure was the main fertilizer. In Soviet times, only vermicomposts could be compared with manure in efficiency. Nowadays, fresh manure is still considered the best fertilizer, despite the fact that it inhibits many plants and contains harmful microorganisms and weed seeds. And although proponents of everything new and progressive claim that manure is not as effective as balanced mineral complexes, that it smells bad and is not suitable for all plants, this organic product forms a fertile layer of soil, while mineral fertilizers only deplete it.
Manure is used not only as a fertilizer, but also as a binding substance in the construction of village houses. In addition, biogas and paper are produced from it, and in dry form manure is used as biofuel.
Types of manure - features
Depending on the amount of moisture in the manure, there are three types of this organic fertilizer:
- litter, that is, solid or dry manure, the moisture content of which is about 80%;
- semi-liquid - manure with humidity up to 90%;
- liquid - manure whose humidity is above 90%.
Litter manure is formed from animal excrement and litter materials, that is, manure with sawdust, straw, leaves or peat. The composition of such manure includes all the elements of plant nutrition. Dry manure is divided according to the degree of decomposition:
There are three ways to store manure:
- hot-pressed (according to the Kranz method);
The hot method involves storing manure in a loose state in a heap into which air easily enters. This content of manure leads to an active growth of microflora, which destroys organic components, which causes a loss of up to 60% of the mass of dry organic matter and up to 50% of nitrogen. In the Kranz method, manure is stored in a compacted state, removing air from it, which makes the temperature inside the mass rise to 50-60 ºC. This slows down the development of microflora and increases the thermal conductivity of manure. The best manure is obtained during cold storage: the manure is compacted and stored in cool rooms on a concrete floor.
Half-rotted manure. In such manure, the straw becomes brown and easily destroyed: the loss of organic matter in manure is 20-30%. Semi-rotted manure is used in agriculture more often than all other species. Crops such as cucumbers , zucchini , squash , spinach , cabbage , pumpkin respond well to the application of semi-ripened manure, and the next year you can grow potatoes , radish , carrots , beets and other root crops in the fertilized semi-ripened manure plot.
Overripe manure. Overcooked - this is highly decomposed manure, that is, a homogeneous mass, where you can no longer distinguish between straw and sawdust. Loss of organic matter at this stage of decomposition is about 50%. Rotted manure is also often used to fertilize the soil. How much manure is needed to fertilize the area under crops? When digging make 10 kg of fertilizer per 1 m² of soil. And rotted manure mixed with soil in a ratio of 1: 2 is a good substrate for growing vegetable seedlings. This manure is also used for liquid top dressing: 2 kg of rotted manure is stirred in 10 liters of water.
Humus. Humus is a product of the final stage of decomposition of manure, a loose dark mass that lost about 75% of organic matter during decomposition. It is used to create soil mixtures and to mulch the surface. Humus as a fertilizer is suitable for any plants, its presence in the soil improves the taste of root crops, potatoes grow large and crumbly, and onions and radishes lose excessive bitterness, acquiring tenderness and sweetness of taste. Humus is introduced into the soil for digging in a ratio of 1: 4. To get humus, fresh manure is tightly laid in special boxes in layers, pouring them with phosphorite flour (20-30 g per 10 kg of manure) and moss peat (2 kg per 10 kg of manure). After six months of natural decomposition, you will get rotted manure, and in a year or two, manure will turn into humus.
Despite the fact that nutrients from fresh manure are absorbed by plants harder, sometimes you still have to make it into the soil, because there is not always time to wait for the humus to mature. How to make fresh manure? Can:
- dig with it in the autumn the soil in the plot to a depth of 30-40 cm at the rate of 1 bucket of manure per 1 m² of plot;
- in winter, scatter manure around the garden directly over the snow cover at the rate of 1.5 buckets of fertilizer per 1 m² of area;
- use fresh manure for the greenhouse in spring to build warm beds.
It is better not to produce seasonal top dressing with fresh manure, since worms and other microorganisms that are not at all useful to plants and people can migrate to the soil.
The fastest way to make fertilizer from manure is to fill it with water in a ratio of 1: 1 and insist for a week. Before use, the resulting infusion is diluted with water 1:10. Note that fertilizing plants with manure can burn their roots, so the solution is not poured under the plants, but in the grooves made around them at a certain distance.
It is not always possible to purchase fresh manure, and processing manure into fertilizer takes time and place, so many people prefer to buy granular dry manure in specialized stores, packaged in bags and plastic buckets. What is this fertilizer? How is it produced? Manure is composted when heated to 75 ºC, adding straw to it to improve the organic properties. After composting, the mass is dehydrated, dried and granulated. Such a fertilizer with proper storage does not lose its beneficial properties for 5 years.
Manure in granules has all the advantages of fresh, it is convenient to use, but devoid of a specific smell and pathogenic organisms. The composition of manure in granules includes nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper, zinc and boron. Granular manure improves the structure of the soil, makes it looser, helps retain moisture in it, and creates a favorable environment for the development of beneficial soil microorganisms that turn organic waste into plant nutrients.
Granular manure has a neutral pH (7.0), so it is suitable for almost all plants. The duration of its action in humus is several years. How to use manure in granules to fertilize the soil? In early spring, they dig it up with soil, planting it to a depth of 10 cm. The amount of manure is 1-5 kg per m² area. After manuring, it is advisable to water the soil well. Granular manure can also be used for liquid top dressing: it is poured with cold water and insisted for two weeks, after which the composition is thoroughly mixed and applied to the soil. Each type of manure has its own dosage and consistency. It is indicated on the packaging.
Which manure is better?
Horse manure has a loose porous structure; it quickly decomposes, generating from 50 to 70 ºC of heat. This is an ideal soil fertilizer in greenhouses, greenhouses and greenhouses. Horse manure is also suitable for the garden: it copes well with fertilizing heavy and infertile soils. Such manure is especially valuable for cucumbers , potatoes , celery , cabbage , squash , squash and other pumpkin crops .
The composition of horse manure includes nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other valuable elements that contribute to the growth of plant productivity, increase their resistance to external factors and diseases. The action of horse manure is prolonged in nature, so its one-time application provides increased soil fertility for several years.
2 kg of fresh horse manure is diluted in 10 l of water, 1 kg of sawdust is added to the solution, insisted for two weeks, stirring regularly. Vegetables are fed with this infusion after heavy rain or watering. You can make fresh horse manure for autumn digging, but in this case, manure will lose half of its useful properties.
Horse manure is perfect for building a warm bed: dig a trench half a meter deep in the greenhouse, lay a layer of fresh horse manure 20 cm thick in it, fill the trench with soil over the manure and pour it with warm pink potassium permanganate solution with the addition of Nitrophoska (2 tablespoons) and wood ash (1 glass). Horse manure should not be used as biofuel if fungal deposits have formed on its surface. Not enough rotted manure is suitable in this capacity, since not weathered ammonia can poison plants. It is undesirable to use horse manure to fertilize too dense soil, since its decomposition will accumulate hydrogen sulfide and methane, which also poison the roots of plants.
Do not bring fresh horse manure under the potato, as it is a scab carrier.
Basically, fresh manure (of any animals) is brought into the soil under the autumn digging. Under crops with a long growing season, you can make manure in the spring.
The rotted horse manure is much more useful for plants, since it contains several times more nutrients than fresh. Trunk circles of fruit trees (5 buckets each) and berry bushes (3 buckets each) fertilize them. Beds with tomatoes and strawberries are mulched with rotted horse manure, and if it contains a lot of sawdust, then it is suitable for mulching trunks of fruit trees after watering.
Since it is problematic for most gardeners to buy fresh horse manure, horse manure in granules is sold in stores. The most popular granular manure is “Horse Orgavit”, which differs from other brands of fertilizer in that most of the nutrients it contains are stored in a form that is accessible to plants. In addition, it does not increase the toxicity of the soil, it does not contain weed seeds and substances harmful to humans. You can buy horse manure in bags, in each of which 40-50 liters of dry matter weighing 35-40 kg. Not so long ago, liquid horse manure concentrate appeared on sale in 5 liter containers, which was highly appreciated by gardeners.
Cattle manure is the most common fertilizer that is applied to all types of plants. But despite such widespread use, cow manure is one of the most non-nutrient organic fertilizers. 1 kg of cow manure includes:
- 3.5 g of nitrogen;
- 2.9 g of calcium;
- 3 g of phosphorus;
- 1.4 g of potassium.
Mullein also contains magnesium and sulfur. However, it should be borne in mind that depending on the sex and age of the animal, the composition of manure may vary. For example, the manure of adult cows contains 15% more nutrients than the manure of calves in their first year of life. The good news is that because of the low content of nutrients in the mullein, the plants are not in danger of overdosing with nitrates.
Most effective is cow dung for sandy and sandy soils. In its fresh form, it is rarely used, because it contains ammonia in large quantities, harmful to the roots of cultivated plants. But you can make liquid manure from fresh manure. To do this, place one part of the manure in a deep container and fill it with five parts of water, mix well, cover with a tight-fitting lid and insist for 2 weeks, mixing the infusion every three days. If you do everything correctly, small bubbles will appear in the composition, then the infusion will brighten, and large particles will settle to the bottom. Before use, the infusion is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1 and 500 g of ash and 100 g of superphosphate are added for every 10 l. The output is a balanced complex fertilizer.
Since fresh cow dung contains eggs of trichocephalus, moniesetia and strongilates, personal protective equipment should be used when working with it. In addition, lamellar mushrooms are formed in cattle manure, drowning out the growth of vegetables. Destroy them by introducing into the soil along with manure of lime, 500-700 g per m² area. And in order to get rid of these parasites and improve the quality of mullein, it is necessary to subject it to fermentation and composting.
As a container for composting, a container or collar is used. A 25 cm thick peat layer is placed at the bottom of the pile, which will absorb moisture. For fermentation, bird droppings, peat, weeds and chopped straw, fallen leaves, sawdust, mowed nettles, dandelions, chamomile , leftovers and various mineral additives are put in cow dung. A pile of soil a quarter meter thick completes the pile. The moisture content of the manure mixture is maintained in the range of 70-75%. The mass in the compost is periodically compacted and, if necessary, moistened to increase the internal temperature, which should accelerate the decomposition process and destroy parasite eggs and weed seeds.
Overripe cow manure and humus from it can be used in the autumn for digging, and in the spring as a mulch for almost all garden crops, berry bushes, fruit and ornamental trees, and perennial flowering plants. On the basis of humus, mixtures are made for growing seedlings of garden crops. Hole from mullein is filled in the holes when planting tomatoes, eggplants , watermelons or zucchini.
Chicken manure is a very popular fertilizer, and primarily because of its availability: poultry is often kept both in summer cottages and in private homes. But accessibility does not detract from the valuable nutritional qualities of chicken manure. This type of manure contains nitrogen, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus in a concentration that is three to four times higher than in the manure of other animals. For example, nitrogen in chicken manure is 1.5-2%, while in mullein it is only half a percent, and in sheep manure no more than 1%. In addition, chicken manure is characterized by a prolonged action: since beneficial substances are released from bird droppings slowly, it continues to nourish the soil 2-3 years after application.
The pH of chicken manure is 6.6 units, which is why it is called the “soil forming agent”: it not only increases crop yields and enhances plant photosynthesis, but also participates in the formation of humus in the soil and promotes soil deoxidation.
The advantages of chicken manure include the fact that it is non-toxic, non-caking, increases the resistance of crops to diseases and adverse external factors. It is absolutely environmentally friendly and is much cheaper than mineral fertilizers.
Like any other type of manure, chicken manure due to the fresh content of uric acid in it is better not to introduce plants. In addition, the concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen is too high in it, so you need to keep chicken manure in the open air for a long time so that the excess and unnecessary can evaporate. Sometimes, in order to rid the bird droppings of excess uric acid, they fill it with water for two days and change it several times. However, even after completion of this treatment, the droppings cannot be applied under the root of the plants: they are buried in the aisles or in the grooves around the tree trunks.
Fresh chicken manure has another drawback: the presence of harmful microorganisms in it.
From fresh litter you can prepare a liquid fertilizer: one part of the manure is poured with 20 parts of water and this solution is kept in the open air for 10 days, stirring occasionally. The resulting infusion is watered between the rows of beds with vegetables after heavy rain or heavy watering. However, this composition can not be poured either under the roots of plants or in the holes when planting. Do not keep the litter solution in an open container for more than two days, since ammonia begins to stand out from it. If you are confused by the unpleasant odor arising from the fermentation of fresh chicken droppings, add a little iron sulfate (200-300 g) to the container, and then the solution can be used not only as a fertilizer for plants, but also as a prophylaxis against fungal diseases.
To prepare rotted manure or humus, chicken droppings are placed in a box or container on a bed of grass or leaves, alternating layers of droppings with the remains of garden plants, sawdust, peat, straw and other organic waste. Since the decomposition of chicken manure occurs at a very high temperature, the processing process is completed much faster than with composting horse manure or cattle manure: poultry manure laid in autumn will cross over by spring. You can judge how much heat is generated by chicken manure during decomposition by the fact that in the winter no owner heats a room with chickens: chemical reactions with the release of methane, which support Indoor temperature is normal for poultry.
The optimal dose of dry chicken manure when fertilizing the soil for digging is 50 g per m² area.
The disadvantages characteristic of fresh chicken manure are not granular manure, which is easy to obtain in specialized stores. There are neither larvae of flies, nor helminth eggs, nor viable weed seeds, nor an unpleasant smell, and granulated bird manure retains its valuable qualities for a long time. It is easier to dose, and if the granules are crushed into flour, then they can even be added to the wells when planting. Just be careful in the calculations and try not to exceed the dosage. Granulated chicken manure is used as a dry fertilizer, introducing granules into the soil for digging, but you can also prepare liquid fertilizer from it in accordance with the attached instructions.
Do not fertilize garlic , onions and other greens with chicken droppings during the period of its active growth: this can be done only in June, at the very beginning of the growing season. All root crops, except potatoes, do not like chicken manure.
Rabbit manure is the most valuable type of manure given by livestock. Farmers jokingly call it "gold rabbits." By consistency, this type of manure is much drier than cow, chicken and horse, so it is more convenient to transport it. Another advantage of rabbit manure is that it does not contain weed seeds, because rabbits eat only the stems and leaves of plants. The composition of rabbit manure includes magnesium, nitrogen, potassium, water and an organic substance that stimulates the growth of plants and gives them vitality. Of the harmful microorganisms in rabbit manure there can only be coccidia that cause harm to rabbits, therefore it is impossible to store manure near cages with animals, and cleaning in the cells must be done regularly.
However, rabbit manure should not be brought fresh under the roots of plants, since it burns out their root system, saturating the soil with nitrogen and releasing methane.
Rabbit manure is used, as well as cattle manure: it is introduced into the soil in advance for digging, composted and applied in the overripe form. For example, they make liquid top dressing from it: put 1 kg of rotten rabbit droppings in a bucket of water and insist for 12 hours with regular stirring. This infusion sheds holes or furrows before planting vegetables, spending from 1 to 2 liters per m².
However, there is one way of using rabbit dung, which is impossible for the excrement of other animals: rabbit pellets are dried in the sun and crushed in a mortar, and then this powder is used as fertilizer not only for the vegetable garden or garden, but also for feeding indoor plants. How to fertilize manure house plants? For example, add 1 tablespoon of rabbit manure powder to 3 liters of land, mix thoroughly and use it as a substrate for growing indoor flowers.
Rabbit manure is composted on the same principle as other types of excrement. It is kept in boxes or piles, layered with other types of organics: sawdust, straw, weeds, peeling vegetables and fruits. To improve the composition of the rabbit humus, you can run worms in the lower part of the compost, and after a month and a half, the worms are removed and the heap is mixed. Moisten a compost heap with water or a solution of mineral additives. The result is an excellent humus fertilizer for crops such as pumpkin, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes , as well as gooseberries , currants and barberries . But, as we already wrote, fertilizing is introduced into the soil before planting. For example, in winter, compost is scattered around the garden, and in spring, when the snow begins to melt, the soil is saturated with nutrients from overripe rabbit droppings.
You can buy rabbit manure on farms and in garden pavilions. Rabbit manure, which goes on sale in specialized stores, is better in that it is decontaminated, dried and ready for use, since the stage of re-aging has already passed. Farmers value the quality of rabbit manure very highly, claiming that after it has been introduced into the soil for two years, the land on the site becomes airy and soft, but at the same time does not sprout with weeds, as after the application of horse manure or mullein.
Many readers ask whether garden plants can be fertilized with dung from pigs. Pig manure is different from the manure of other domestic animals, because pigs are omnivorous, that is, they eat not only plant, but also animal food. This leads to the fact that pig manure is not suitable for all plants: its pH is shifted to the acid side, and it has very little calcium. In addition, pig manure has low heat dissipation and decomposes more slowly than manure of other animals.
Due to its high nitrogen content, pig litter cannot be used fresh or undiluted. It contains many seeds of weeds, parasite eggs (salmonella and various helminths), bacteria and other pathogens of infection.
The introduction of fresh pig manure into slightly acidic and acidic soils makes them unsuitable for farming. If you still decide to use fresh pork manure, first neutralize its oxidizing properties by adding lime (50 g per bucket of manure), then mix it with horse manure in a 1: 1 ratio. But it is best to resort to insisting on fresh manure: dilute it with water in a ratio of 1: 1 and let stand for a week. During this time, the bacteria will die, and the amount of nitrogen will decrease to an acceptable level. Before use, 1 liter of infusion is diluted with 10 liters of water. Ready fertilizer is poured into shallow furrows in the aisles, around trees and bushes. Do it in the evening. Never water plants with liquid fertilizer from fresh manure under the root.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to use pork manure in a rotted form: when composted, it becomes more nourished and useful for structuring the soil. And to speed up the process of decay, add a little chicken or horse droppings to the pig manure.
Pork dung is put in for composting in a compost shoulder or container. In the process of decay, it loses weight up to 75%, but at the same time all parasites, bacteria and other pathogens die in it. The composting period for pork litter before the formation of rotted manure is 1 year, and such fertilizer will have an active effect for 3 years. A simpler way to get rotted manure or humus is to lay manure for the winter with the first snow in a pit up to 2 m deep. Cover the manure with a layer of soil 20-25 cm thick, and before the onset of spring the litter manages to over-heat and be saturated with useful substances. They place a compost pit on a hill and as far as possible from landings. Half-rotted pork manure, which has been composted for less than a year, is still dangerous for plants: the weed seeds contained therein, harmful bacteria and microorganisms are still active. It is better to close semi-overripe manure into the soil in late autumn, spending 2-3 kg per 1 m². During rapid growth or flowering, half-ripened pig manure is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10 - this fertilizer is perfect for zucchini, cabbage, cucumbers and pumpkin. But keep in mind that after applying pig manure, other nitrogen fertilizers can not be used.
In 1.5-2 years after laying pig manure in a compost pit, you will receive rotted manure in which there will be no weed seeds or microorganisms dangerous to plants. At this point, the manure loses half of the mass and darkens, and if you put straw in the pit, then at this stage of composting it easily disintegrates. Such fertilizer can be applied to the soil for digging in the amount of 6-7 kg per 1 m², and for the preparation of liquid fertilizer take 2 parts of manure to 10 parts of water.
Pig manure, which has lain in a compost pit for more than two years, turns into humus - the most valuable fertilizer containing a minimum of moisture and a maximum of nutrients available to plants. Since the amount of nitrogen in manure has been largely lost at this stage of decomposition, it is safe for roots and can be added to soil mixtures for growing seedlings. Pork humus is introduced into the soil in the fall or spring in a ratio of 1: 4, but still a mixture of pork and cow humus is the ideal fertilizer.
It is not recommended to use pig manure in greenhouses, hotbeds and in places with a high level of humidity, which activates the pH shift to the acidic side. It is also undesirable to use pig manure as mulch.
Fresh goat manure, like any other, should not be used in its fresh form due to the fact that the nitrogen in it is in a free state and, in close contact with the roots of plants, can cause them burns. But you can make liquid fertilizer from fresh manure: pour 1 part of feces with 10 parts of water and insist for a week by placing the container in a greenhouse. Before use, the infusion is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10.
The quality of goat manure depends on the animal’s nutrition, and the best litter in this respect is obtained from eating coarse feed: bran, hay and legumes from legumes . If animals graze in roadside landings, it is likely that their manure will contain heavy metals that are harmful to plants and people.
In general, goat manure is 7-8 times more effective than cow manure, since it contains twice as much nitrogen. Goat manure is considered hot: it quickly disintegrates, emitting significant heat, so they are used to fertilize cold and dense soils. One ton of goat excrement contains 2.5 kg of phosphorus, 5 kg of nitrogen and 6 kg of potassium. They can be brought into the soil five times less often than mullein, and 4 times less often than horse manure. This type of litter is used as fertilizer for vegetables, grains and fodder crops. On the beds fertilized by goat humus, cucumbers and tomatoes give an excellent crop, and the onions turn out to be juicy and acquire a delicate taste.
Most often, goat manure is stored in briquettes under a canopy or in a ventilated room, laying on a bed of straw. Nevertheless, it is desirable to compost goat manure, for which briquettes are placed in a compost pit or container and mixed with other organic waste: vegetable and fruit peelings, wood shavings, sawdust, straw, foliage and so on. If litter manure is placed in the pit, adding organic waste to it is not necessary. Manure strata are interspersed with soil strata; a heap is also covered with a layer of earth from above and watered with water. Within 2–3 weeks, the manure will be bred at a temperature of approximately 65 ºC. During this process, pathogens, helminth eggs and weed seeds die. However, decomposition of manure will require regular wetting of the compost heap, since goat manure is highly dense. In addition, the litter must be turned over from time to time to saturate it with oxygen. To keep the compost in a slightly wet state, it is covered with a plastic film that does not allow moisture to evaporate. Fertilizer can be applied to the soil after four months of composting for digging in the fall, and in spring, if necessary, the procedure can be repeated, but the humus is laid directly in the pits prepared for the seedlings 2-3 weeks before planting.
Sheep manure is a highly effective fertilizer. Since it has a high decomposition temperature, it can be used to fertilize loam and clay soil. The composition of this type of manure, in addition to nitrogen, includes magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. However, sheep manure does not contain as many nutrients as the litter of other animals. It differs from cow, horse and pig litter by its tight build and dryness, and in order to improve the quality of sheep manure, it is watered with slurry.
Basically, sheep dung is used as fuel.
How to apply manure
The use of manure in the garden
Actually, we talked about this in each of the sections, but let's refresh the memory of the procedure for introducing manure into the soil. So:
- soil cannot be fertilized with fresh manure. To do this, use half-rotted, rotted manure and humus;
- a solution of fresh manure is used to fertilize mature plants, but it is not poured under the root, but in a groove specially made in the aisle or around the perimeter of the trunk circle;
- real fertilizer is manure lying in a compost pit for at least a year, and not in its pure form, but layered with straw, sawdust, grass, foliage, shredded paper and other organic waste;
- the best time to introduce rotted manure or humus into the soil is autumn, because the whole next year the plants will live due to the gradual decomposition of nutrients and the release of elements in a form accessible to plants. How quickly the decay and release processes will occur depends on the moisture and temperature of the soil, its friability and other indicators. However, if you fertilize poor soil with manure every autumn, in a few years you can create a real chernozem from it;
- The introduction of humus into the soil at the beginning of the growing season is very important for plant nutrition, since in spring and early summer they grow and develop most intensively. Thus, we can say that autumn manure application is very important for increasing soil fertility, and spring - for plant nutrition. Therefore, it is best to do this: in the fall, add humus to the soil for digging, and in spring and summer it is better to feed the plants with a solution of rotted manure.
Manure in the greenhouse
Of great importance is fertilizing with manure in the greenhouse. However, it is important not only to feed, but to create conditions under which plants can easily absorb nutrients. But first you need to fertilize the soil in the greenhouse. Manure or humus is placed under a layer of soil below the depth of root sprouting since autumn, so that throughout the winter it releases heat and nutrients into the soil. If you have a little manure, mix it with straw or sawdust. Especially good respond to sowing in beds, heated by manure, cucumbers. To fertilize the soil, it is better to use rotted horse manure, but if you don’t have it, get at least a small amount to start the process: lay any manure you have under the soil, and apply horse manure pointly to initiate burning.
How to make fertilizer from manure yourself
As we already wrote, the best fertilizer is humus and well-rotted manure. To compost manure, select a place in the shade. You can dig a hole for composting, just keep in mind that water will accumulate in it, so it’s better to make a collar: a wooden box with a lid and a removable front wall, to make it more convenient to mix the compost. It is better to install it on a concrete surface. The height of the box should be 1-1.5 m. It is necessary to lay a layer of straw, leaves or sawdust on its bottom, and put on top the manure mixed with organic waste: the same sawdust, foliage, weeds, wood shavings, mowed grass or straw. If the manure is liquid, dry it for several days, and only then mix with organic matter and lay in the pile in layers, alternating them with soil, and the top layer should be at least 10 cm thick earthen. Each layer of manure with organic additives should not be thicker than 50 cm. If the manure is too dry or dense, pour it with water or slurry, and then cover the heap with polyethylene. When the temperature in the compost rises to 60 ºC, tighten the layers well.
A mature humus looks like a dark monotonous mass that has lost an unpleasant smell: it smells of forest litter or fresh ground.
Manure is stored in compost piles with a width of about 2 and a height of up to 1.5 m or in shallow pits away from residential buildings. However, in open pits, manure dries quickly.
In fact, compost collars are also storages for manure, which can be kept hot, loose or cold. During hot and loose storage, manure decomposes quickly, losing a lot of nitrogen, therefore, from an agricultural point of view, it is more efficient to use a cold storage method that does not allow the substance to overheat, lose a lot of nitrogen and promotes uniform decomposition of organic substances.
For cold storage, you will need a concrete platform or place with well-compacted soil. A layer of peat, earth or dry leaves 25-30 cm thick is laid on the site, which will serve as an absorber of flowing manure. Upon receipt, the manure is laid in layers and compacted, pouring it with superphosphate or phosphate rock every 15-20 cm. One ton of manure will require 10-20 kg of mineral fertilizer. But it is much better to shift the dung with the same height layers of lowland ventilated peat. A stack filled to the top is covered with a layer of earth or peat at least 20 cm thick, on top of which a layer of leaves or reeds of the same thickness is laid. In winter, the stack is covered with snow.
Slurry to avoid nitrogen loss is stored in closed containers, but it is undesirable to leave it in the winter because it can freeze. It is better to use it to moisten compost.