What types of manure are there and what are their characteristics?

Tropical garden

To have a dream garden you need a lot of patience, and take care of it in the best possible way, using products that are respectful for both plants and fauna that attract and that, in one way or another, helps them grow without too much trouble.

One of the most important jobs that every gardener or gardener must do is to fertilize from time to time, since the soil, especially in pots, loses nutrients easily. And this, although at first it may not seem like it, will end up harming our plants. So how do you pay for them? With manure, for instance. But there are several types of manure, so we are going to see the characteristics of each one.

Before mineral fertilizers appeared, both farmers and anyone who had a plant at home or in a garden fertilized with the most natural things available: farm animal manure or, later, with the guano from penguins or bats. Thus, the green grew that was pleasant.

I have a friend who told me that his family had a garden and that, in it, nettles always grew with an unusual speed, reaching incredible heights: more than one meter, which is not surprising because when natural products are used to fertilize something as natural as a plant, what is achieved is that this plant being is so healthy that it will be able to grow at an incredible rate.

If you want to have a healthy and beautiful orchard, garden or patio, fertilize with these organic fertilizers:

Horse manure

Horse manure

This type of manure is very poor in nutrients, in fact it has 0,6% nitrogen, 0,6% phosphorus, 0,4% potassium and trace elements. If you have horses, it is highly recommended that you let it dry in the sun so that it finishes fermenting and its smell diminishes; On the other hand, if you buy bags, they will not give off a bad smell.

It is especially suitable for mixing with land that has eroded or is eroding, as it aerates them and makes them more spongy, something that helps plants grow. The dose is 1 to 5kg per square meter.

Rabbit manure

This is a very strong and very acid manure. It is rich in nutrients, in fact it has a 4% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus and 1% potassium, plus all trace elements, so it is one of the most interesting. Of course, you have to let it ferment for several months, and not put it too close to the trunks of the plants.

The dose is 15 to 25 grams for each square meter.

Sheep manure

It is one of the richest and most balanced, as long as it comes from sheep that graze in the fields and do not live confined in narrow enclosures eating feed. If it is obtained fresh, it must be allowed to ferment for two or three months, as it is very strong, but once that time has passed, it can be mixed with the soil or substrate without problems, enriching it with a 0,8% nitrogen, 0,5% phosphorus, 0,4% potassium and with all trace elements.

The recommended dose is 3-5kg per square meter.

Chicken manure

It is one of the richest in nitrogen, but it is very strong. It must be left to ferment well for several months, and then mixed with other manures. In addition, it must be taken into account that it has a high calcium content, so it should not be abused if you have a calcareous soil.

The chicken manure that is used as compost must come from animals that live in the most natural way possible; that is, maids in the open air. The nutrients it contains are: 4% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus, 1,5% potassium, and trace elements.

The recommended dose is 20 to 30 grams per square meter.

Cow dung

cow dung

Cow manure is also very poor in nitrogen, but it is often used in cold climates as it serves, in addition to compost, as mulch for plants. Contains a 0,6% nitrogen, 0,3% phosphorus, 0,4% potassium, and trace elements.

The idea is to get it fresh in one of the farms that are in the towns, but in the nurseries or in agricultural stores you can find bags. The recommended dose is 9 to 15kg per square meter.

Goat manure

It is one of the richest in nutrients that you can find. In fact, it contains around 7% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus, 10% potassium in addition to all trace elements. And as if that were not enough, it also usually carries animal hairs, which gives it more nitrogen.

The recommended dose is 0,5 to 2kg for every square meter.

Dung from pigeons and other birds

Is the only one Not recommended to fertilize the plants. It is very strong, even stronger than that of chickens. It can be used instead to fertilize a field for the first time, but mixing it with another type of manure.

The dose should be less than 0,5kg for each square meter. Anyway, as an alternative you can use bat or penguin guano. Even before mineral fertilizers appeared, it was one of the most used, since its effects were noticeable (and noticeable) after a very short time. Of course, you have to read the label on the container so as not to add more than necessary.

Lilac flowers

Manures are one of the most used organic fertilizers by all gardeners, because if they are used well, plants grow in an incredible way. If you don't believe me, try it and tell me 😉.


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  1.   Pili said

    Hi!
    I have had a lemon tree for almost 1 and a half years. I can't get it right, the leaves are falling a lot, light green in color, the branches dry out… I live in the north and it is possible that I am suffering a lot from the cold (reading the advice you give is what I understand). I would like to be able to help you to make this beautiful. I want to transplant it into a bigger pot and fertilize it properly. In my area I can get cow manure, is it adjusted for the lemon tree or is it advisable to use manure from another animal? And when is the best time to transplant it?
    To start taking care of it, I have already put it inside the house since lately we have had a lot of frosts with its snow included ... The good thing is that where it usually is, on the balcony, it gets a lot of sun.
    I would appreciate it if you would give me a hand !! Since I am not very good at taking care of plants and I would like to learn and enjoy them. All the best. Thank you for all the info

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Pili.
      Yes, you have had beautiful snowfalls in the north 🙂 (and what healthy envy, I who live in the south of Mallorca do not know what it is to wake up with the snowy landscape heh heh).
      Well, answering your questions. The lemon tree can endure the cool, but it is true that very strong frosts harm it, especially if it has been in the same area for a short time.
      Just yesterday I published an article about something that I think you can do very well, the anti-frost fabric. You wrap it as if it were a gift, and thus it is already protected from the cold.
      Cow manure is fine. You can transplant it in spring, when the risk of frost has passed.

      If you have any further questions, ask 🙂.

      A greeting.

      1.    Pili said

        Hello Monica

        From your answer I see that you are (or were) in Mallorca. I also live here and I am going to move to a farm that has land and we want to start our own garden.
        Do you know places that provide these different types of manure?
        Thank you!

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Hello Pili.

          I'm still in Mallorca hehe Well look, in the nurseries (in Llucmajor for example, or Santa María if it catches you closer) they usually have horse and cow manure. But if you can get closer to a better farm, to get the freshest manure. Of course, if you get it from the farm, you have to let it dry in the sun for at least a week.

          Greetings.

  2.   Filiberto Martinez said

    Thanks for the advice, at home I have most of these fertilizers, I am going to try and I hope to get good results.
    Manure, must it be pulverized? normally the cow when it is fresh is in the form of pastes.
    I hope you can help me.
    Greetings from Mexico.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Filiberto.
      The best way to use manure to fertilize the plants and the soil is in its most natural form 🙂 You spread all around, a layer of about 5cm, mix it a little with the most superficial layer of the soil, and finally you water.

      Of course, if they are potted plants, it is recommended that it be liquid so that the water that is left over when watering can come out quickly.

      Regards!

  3.   Isidro Tavira M said

    The DOSES do not add up, for example, in GOAT FAECES, you recommend up to 2 Kg per square meter, while in rabbits and chickens that have less nutrients, you recommend doses in grams.

    1.    Aldo A. Gomez said

      Less doses are applied because it says so, rabbit and chicken manure, are very strong and therefore take less doses ...