Friday 8 July 2011


Manuring is the addition of organic matter in your soil. Manuring will improve the crumb structure of your soil and increase the water and nutrient capacity. Organic matter can include animal manure, plant material and compost.

If you are working a crop rotation system in your bed then you should incorporate manure into beds that arent used for root or brassica crops. There are many different types of manure available, with each will bring different advantages to your plot.  I always find it advantagous to change the type of manure used after a year or so to add something new to the soil.

Types of manure
Farm yard manure is the bedding of farm animals and contains faeces, urine and straw. This includes manure from cattle, chicken, horses, pigs, rabbits, sheep. In addition, manure is made from human sewage, and guano is produced from the faeces of sea bird and bats. 

Green manures are plant materials that can be grown to increase fertility and organic matter in the soil when they are ploughed back into it.  These include clover, which fixes nitrogen int the soil using specialised root nodes, and other Legumes. Other plant materials used as manure include seaweed, and hops from the brewing industry.

Compost is decomposed organic material such as plant material and paper, and includes compost from your compost heap, leaf mould and mushroom compost.

Application of Manure
During autumn or early winter spread organic matter over the surface of your bed at a rate of one barrow load over ten sq. metres. Fork the organic matter into the bed during the following month.

For related articles click onto:

Feeding plants
Grass maintenance - laying turf
Grass maintenance - sowing a lawn from seed

Green manure: Broad beans
How to build a cold frame
How to make compost

How to take a stem cutting
How to propagate from root cuttings
How to propagate from seed

What is a potager?
Plants for free
Preparing a seed bed
Soil structure

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