If you’ve been looking for a proper fertilizer for your garden, why not give your backyard livestock manure a try. Hence, if you have chickens or goats on your urban farm, you have the necessary fertilizer at your fingertips. So, why pay for chemically prepared fertilizers when you can actually produce it in your backyard or find it for free. Thus, here’s why you should use manure for your garden beds and which one is a better fertilizer, chicken or goat manure.
Why and How to Use Manure for Your Garden Beds
First and foremost, before using manure or any other fertilizer, it’s crucial to test your soil and see what it lacks. What most of the soil needs is usually a boost in phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. However, most of the fertilizers you can buy don’t provide these substances for your soil. On the other hand, manure is either free or very cheap and will give a boost to your soil’s structure. Moreover, manure will make the soil keep moisture, add nutrients, and prevents the risk of crop contamination. When applying manure, it’s crucial to apply it to areas where you won’t harvest in the next 120 days. So, it’s best if you apply it in early spring.
Chicken manure is considered to be one of the most nutritive and the best manures there are. It provides the highest nitrogen and phosphorus levels. However, as nitrogen is hot and can damage your plants, it’s best to compost the fresh manure at least 4 days before applying it to the soil. Due to the high nitrogen level, the chicken manure is great for leafy greens. On the other hand, as the phosphorus level in chicken manure is also high, make sure you apply it judiciously and use a nitrogen-fixing cover crop.
Goat manure doesn’t have as high level of nitrogen as chicken manure does, but if you combine it will urine, you will increase the levels. The goat manure has a balanced pH, less salt, and it’s much drier. Hence, it can compost faster and it’s odourless. Likewise, goat manure doesn’t attract as much maggots and flies as chicken manure does. Applying goat manure is quite an easy task and you can plant the beds in several weeks.
Chicken or Goat Manure: Which Is a Better Fertilizer for Your Garden?
After considering the pros and cons of both manures, it’s left for you to decide which one to use. We would suggest using both manures. For instance, you can apply chicken manure after the early coop cleaning in March and leave it until July by turning it only a little from time to time. Then, at the end of the summer, apply the goat manure and leave it to break down.
However, it also dependson your soil and on how much time you have to devote to your garden. If you want to make it easy, it’s probably best to use goat manure.
Nevertheless, it’s always best to test your soil first and see the dirt dynamics. Moreover, keep the manures balanced and varied in order to boost the soil quality. Forget about using store-bought fertilizers, but opt for natural manures. No matter which of these two, goat or chicken manures, you decide to apply, you won’t go wrong as both will give the soil in your garden a boost.