Cow manure - Knowledgebase Question

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mi
Question by jeanfreeman4
February 10, 2010
I have access to a lot of cow manure but really don't know what I should do with it after I get it. Do I have to do anything special like chop it up and let it dry for a certain period and what I can use it on. I will have a vegetable garden and also LOTS of flowers and shubs I can put it on. Please advise and thanks in advance. Jean Freeman


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Answer from NGA
February 10, 2010

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Fresh manure can contain lots of weed seeds and an abundance of urea so it's always suggested that you age the manure by spreading it out on the ground, or by composting it. You can lay it out in a long row, piled about 6-8 inches high and allow it to weather for several months, then turn or rake the row to expose the inner material and allow it to weather a few months more. Natural rainfall will help leach out the urea. Once the manure has aged in this fashion it will be safe to use in the garden. Composting the fresh manure in a working compost pile will usually heat the weed seeds up to the point where they are killed. If you are not going to compost the manure, you'll want to pull any weeds that emerge from the rows of manure, before they go to seed. Hope this answers your question!

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