The Q&A Archives: Chicken Fertilizer Ok In Vegetable Garden?

Question: I was advised to till chicken fertilizer into the soil where I'll be planting my vegetable garden. Now someone else told me it's unsafe. Is it OK for me to use chicken fertilizer to grow vegetables in?

Answer: Chicken manure is a particularly good fertilizer for your garden. Some words of caution, though: Chicken manure is very potent -- it's so concentrated that large amounts applied directly to plants can burn plants, much like overfertilizing with chemical fertilizers. Two or three gallons of fresh chicken manure is sufficient for about 100 square feet of garden space. Work it into the soil in the spring when you till or turn over your beds. Let the beds rest for a week or two before planting. If you'd like to fertilize with chicken manure throughout the growing season, you might try composting it first. Mix the pure manure with straw, sawdust, or leaves, and let it sit for several months, turning occasionally and keeping it moist, but not wet. The resulting compost can be used for side dressing growing plants -- it will not burn like fresh manure.

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