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Kermieterp
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Adding composted manure for growing corn in containers

I have composted chicken and steer manure I am planning on using as a side dressing for my corn plants. My question is how much would I use for a 20" diameter pot? Do I just place it on top of the soil or do I mix it in?? Is this even something I should be doing? My corn plants look droopy and thin..... Is this good for my other plants? (cucumber, strawberry, onions)

Sorry for the unending questions! I am concerned because this is my first attempt at gardening and I want to learn as much as possible!

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Kermieterp
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Re: Adding composted manure.....

Well, after a hundred views and no replys, I went ahead and put the manure on my plants. I mixed equal parts aged chicken and steer manure, dug a trench around my plants, placed the manure, then covered it up again. I also watered and we will cross our fingers I don't kill anything. I only used about a cup and a half for each 20" container. I will do this again in about a week......

if anyone has any suggestions, I welcome them!!!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Adding composted manure.....

Sorry you didn't get a response. Things to watch out for now that you added it : Manure, even composted, is notorious for adding weed seeds to the garden. The nitrogen in composted manure will be primarily in stable organic forms and first year release rates will be significantly less than with fresh manure. In soils low in organic content, this can lead to a nitrogen deficiency unless an additional quick release nitrogen source is supplemented.

I don't use manure at all myself, so I don't really know a lot about it. But 1.5 cups per container seems like plenty and I don't recommend adding more in a week. The plants won't even be getting the benefit of what you did add by that time and you can over do manure.

But how many corn plants did you put per 20" container and how many such containers do you have?
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Kermieterp
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Re: Adding composted manure.....

Thanks rainbow Gardener! I have two 20 inch containers with four plants in each. May I ask why you don't use manure? Is there something wrong with it? After doing some research I found that I could have used blood meal to add nitrogen instead. Is one better than the other?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Adding composted manure.....

Nothing wrong with composted manure. I'm a city gardener without easy access and I like thinking of my garden as a closed loop - nothing leaves or gets wasted and nothing (much) comes in from the outside. I garden as much as possible just with the resources I have. Not suggesting everyone needs to do that.

Blood meal is a source of pretty much nothing but nitrogen - NPK = 12-0-0. Since it is so high in nitrogen, it can burn your plants if over applied. Feeding plants nothing but N can lead to big leafy plants at the expense of fruiting. Its release time into the soil is 1 - 4 months.

Manure is a better balanced nutrient source. Chicken manure's N-P-K ratio ranges from 3-2.5-1.5 to 6-4-3; that of steer manure is usually a little less than 1-1-1. However:

Nutrient Release Rates from Compost and Manure

Gardeners need to understand that the nutrient release from compost and manure is slow, taking years. Adding compost or manure to improve soil tilth is not the same as fertilizing.

The typical nitrogen release rates from manure is only 30 to 50% the first year (fresh manure), 15 to 25% the second year, 7 to 12% the third year, 3 to 6% the fourth year, and so on. With compost and composted manure, the release rate is even slower, 5 to 25% the first year, 3 to 12% the second year and 1 to 6% the third year.

Since the nitrogen percentage of compost and manure products is typically only 2 to 4%, the amount of actual nitrogen release to support crop growth is very small.
##For soil with 4 to 5% organic matter, the mineralization (release) of nitrogen from soil organic matter will likely be sufficient for crop growth.

##For soils with 2 to 3% organic matter, the mineralization of nitrogen from soil organic matter will not likely be sufficient for heavy feeding vegetable crops. Supplement with 0.1 pound nitrogen fertilizer per 100 square feet.

##For the typical garden soil with 1% organic matter or less, the mineralization of nitrogen for soil organic matter will be minimal. Add 0.2 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per 100 square feet.
https://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/711.html
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applestar
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Re: Adding composted manure.....

I thought I already asked about how many corn per 20" container, too! (I guess I meant to but got sidetracked).

I seems to me that's only 2 sq. ft. and four plants is too many.... I almost want to say only one plant per container. Is the corn a short growing variety (4-5 ft?)

There was a post by I think albopepper about how he successfully grew corn in SIP (sub irrigated planter) though.

...found it...
Subject: What Can I Grow In a Container?
albopepper wrote:I had good success in my 1st year with corn.

I fit 11 corn stalks per 30 gallon SIP tote:
Image

Image

I'm gonna do it again this year!
Subject: What Can I Grow In a Container?
albopepper wrote:I did 2 types from Botanical Interest:

Buttergold (se)
Image

Argent (se)
Image

The plants pretty much were full size. So were the ears, although a few had incomplete pollination. But it was totally worth it! :-()

I think I had Phosphorus deficiency as time went on. So I plan on boosting the levels for this year.

The totes are a pretty simple design. I don't have them tied together or automated in any way. Watering them was very easy though and hardly a chore.

This is my basic schematic:
Image

This is such a great way to container garden!
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Adding composted manure.....

Yeah, that is why I asked also. I do think 4 corn plants per container is too many. They will crowd each other out and compete for light, water, nutrients and many not produce any corn that way. One or at most two per container. And note the person growing them in containers, used self watering containers, that kept the plants moist all the time and presumably regularly fertilized.

And the reason I asked about how many containers, is that one or two corn plants usually don't do very well by themselves. Each individual kernel on a corn cob has to be individually fertilized. For that to happen, there has to be a lot of pollen flying around. Corn grows best in a block of plants at least 3x3 .
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Kermieterp
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Re: Adding composted manure for growing corn in containers

Thanks for the info! I've got a lot to consider.....thinking I need to cut out some of the plants so others have a chance. If I don't succeed this year, I'll try again next!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Adding composted manure for growing corn in containers

I just noticed. Is that your corn in your profile picture, in the blue container? I think definitely you need to thin it out some. Corn plants are big:

Image
https://cache1.asset-cache.net/gc/184831 ... 0jCOeBo7Ml

Is it corn in the containers behind the blue one, also? Then it would help if you can group the containers instead of stringing them out in a line.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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