Cow manure is used by farmers and gardeners for fertilizer. Farmers spread manure on their fields and till it into the soil a few weeks before planting. Manure is stored in a pile during the summer and again in the winter so it can decompose. Purchase composted cow manure at garden centers for amending the soil in your garden beds.
Turn the soil with a spade before amending it with manure. Break up large clumps of soil and rake the garden.
Apply composted cow manure evenly across the bedding area to a depth of at least 2 inches; it is hard to add too much manure. Add other amendments at the same time, spreading them evenly.
Turn the manure and other amendments into the soil with a garden fork or pitchfork. Mix the amendments--don't just bury them.
Give the garden bed a week to begin absorbing the nutrients in the manure before planting bedding flowers and vegetables.