How to Use Cow Manure for Bedding Plants


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.

Step 1

Turn the soil with a spade before amending it with manure. Break up large clumps of soil and rake the garden.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Turn the manure and other amendments into the soil with a garden fork or pitchfork. Mix the amendments--don't just bury them.

Step 4

Give the garden bed a week to begin absorbing the nutrients in the manure before planting bedding flowers and vegetables.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some manures are unsuitable for gardening, namely those from carnivores. Do not use manure from dogs, cats or primates (including humans), as it may contain parasites and other pathogens that are easily transferred. Fresh manure can burn plants, just like using too much chemical fertilizer. Composting solves this problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Composted cow manure
  • Garden fork


  • Manure Matters

Who Can Help

  • Using Cow Manure in Garden Beds
Keywords: bedding plants, organic gardening, composted cow manure

About this Author

Michael Logan is a writer, editor and web page designer. His professional background includes electrical, computer and test engineering, real estate investment, network engineering and management, programming and remodeling company owner. Logan has been writing professionally since he was first published in "Test & Measurement World" in 1989.