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How to Garden With Chicken Manure

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How to Garden With Chicken Manure

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Overview

Chicken manure makes a good organic fertilizer for vegetable and flower gardens. It is high in nitrogen content and has large quantities of phosphorus and potassium as well. In fact, raw chicken manure has so much nitrogen that it can be harmful to your plants, especially seedlings. Chicken manure must be composted before you can use it in the garden. This is not difficult, but it's time-consuming.

Step 1

Pile your raw chicken manure in a sunny location on a cement pad. Ideally your pile should be between 3 and 4 feet tall. Leave the pile loose--do not compact it. The more air that can get into the pile, the better.

Step 2

Dampen the pile. Do not get it soaking wet, merely good and damp.

Step 3

Cover the pile with a black or clear tarp. Allow the pile to bake in the sun for two weeks.

Step 4

Remove the tarp and turn the pile, allowing the middle of the pile to become the outside of the pile. Turn the pile with a shovel or pitchfork. The pile should be hot. It may even steam. The heat will kill unwanted bacteria. Dampen the pile once it is turned and cover it again with the tarp.

Step 5

Remove the tarp every 30 days and turn the pile. Each time you turn the pile, you are attempting to get air into the middle of it. Re-dampen the pile and replace the tarp after each turning.

Step 6

Turn the pile every 30 days for six to nine months. The pile should be approximately half the size it was originally and it should no longer be hot.

Step 7

Spread the composted chicken manure around your flowers and vegetables as you would any other fertilizer. Water it in thoroughly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching chicken manure, especially raw manure.

Things You'll Need

  • Cement pad
  • Shovel or pitchfork
  • Water
  • Tarp

References

  • Gardening Know How: Using Chicken Manure Fertilizer in Your Garden
  • Seatle Tilth: Composting Chicken Manure
  • Earth Easy: Composting
Keywords: chicken manure gardening, chicken manure fertilizer, composting chicken manure

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.

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