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Use this winter's DL for this spring's garden compost?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by biddyboo, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    In anticipation of this spring's garden, I'm wondering if the Deep Litter compost that is accumulating in our hens' coop and indoor pens will be suitably broken down to apply to the garden before planting? I'm unclear if the pooh and ammonia in the litter will loosen and fertilize well and not burn the new garden. Is it okay to use this spring, or should I pile it separately to be used in the next year's garden after aging? Knowing that many of you use Deep Litter and also plant gardens, I trust your input. Thanks, ~G
     
  2. Roy

    Roy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use my litter every year on my garden, and I have a really productive garden. I just cleaned the coop last week and dumped it on the garden. I like to get it out there early so starts to decompose. Try to get your litter out there as soon as possible...
     
  3. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Roy. If you do that yearly, then you know that it won't burn the new spring garden. This is what I was hoping to hear! ~G
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    As long as you're not going to plant into it immediately it should be fine, especially if you till or dig it into the soil right away. Ideally you'd let it set there for 6 weeks or so before planting, but depending on what the litter is like, what your soil is like, and what you're planting, you certainly might in some cases be fine planting into it a lot sooner than that.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I put mine in the compost to turn over along with the coffee grounds and egg shells for a while. I put a deep amount of cypress/pine needles a few weeks back, but with over 50 chickens in an 8X10ft roosting room, they seem to have covered up the litter completely with poop. I would use it immediately if it was well mixed and in small to medium amounts, but in large amounts, I would give it some cooking time.
     
  6. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put in on the section where the crop needs lots of nitrogen. I put mine where the corn grows at least 1-2 wks before planting and till it in.
     
  7. Roy

    Roy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Central Illinois
    I put it all over my garden during the winter months and then till it in real good in the spring. I have not burned my plants with this method...
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  8. matte

    matte Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2009
    BrushyCreekHome.com
    It all depends on how much manure (nitrogen) you have compared to wood (carbon). I agree that in most cases you should give it several weeks. Too much nitrogen and you'll burn, too much wood that's not decomposed and you'll tie up nitrogen in the soil. If you can't put it on the garden right away, at least pile it outside for a couple of months and you should be good to go.
     

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