Originally Posted by LisaYolkUm
Its not spring yet but lets just talk about it like it is..............OKAY?
I was reading about using chicken manure compost not too long ago and I recall it said something like the stuff needed to be in the compost pile for at least 6 months so that it doesn't burn the plants etc.
I have a very simple composting method.............its empty the coop bedding and run stuff into a pile on the compost heap and let nature do its work.
So considering this winter and all.............maybe the top of the pile has some early Feb additions coop bedding etc...............6 months from feb is August!
I want to use the stuff in like April.
So do I just mix it all up and add some other dirt to it?
Or just use from the bottom of the pile.............
anyone have any experience with this.
I am clearly not ready to use it yet..................but am mentally planning my veggie garden.
thought I would ask you all
Fertilizer of any type "burning" plants is often misunderstood. Plants absorb water by osmosis, which requires that the water is the soil around their roots (think tiny film of moisture, just slightly damp to us) have a lower concentration of salts than the fluid inside their cells. Any sort of salt has this effect, and fertilizers of all type counts as salts. If the concentration of these salts is too high, the plants lose water out of their roots rather than absorbing it, hence the "burning" effect.
No manure can ever burn unless it is too concentrated in the area immediately around the roots. And the quick fix for too much fertilizer is to add water, which dilutes the salts and restores the flow of water into the roots. So use the manure carefully, spread it thin and mix it well with the soil.
Composting actually gets rid of the fertilizer chemicals in the manure by 1) offgassing (smell that ammonia? It's drifting off into the air instead of adding N (nitrogen) to your soil 2) leaching (weeds grow great downstream of the manure pile as rain washes the nutrients away) 3) uptake into the bodies of organisms that are rotting the carbon components of the pile, like straw or wood shavings. This last one merely ties up the N and it will be released later when the organisms die, so it's not a real loss, and it creates other good things in the process.
I'm not trying to denigrate composting, it works, but it does not magically make manure non-burning after 6 months. Understanding what's really going on can help you avoid problems, and I think it's fun to know what's happening.