weedsnseeds
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Composting Goat Manure

Hello!
I'm pretty new to gardening (never ever done it!) and I think I have made a grave error before I have even gotten any seeds in the ground.
I read once upon a time goat manure makes great fertilizer for your garden, so I found me some goats. I collected 15 gallons (3-5 gallon buckets full) of bedding and manure and eagerly put it in the are I am planning to use as a garden. I got some fresh dirt from a fellow I know, and layered it on up with goat poo, grass clippings, twigs and branch bits, and then the dirt on top (I'm doing a raised bed). Anyway, I have now heard that you should not add manure directly, but should wait until it is nice and broken down. Will I still be able to plant? I finished the box maybe a week ago, and would like to get some spinach and lettuce in the ground asap.

Have I made a mistake that will set me back? I'm only in a rental, and really wanted to get some practice in this growing season before I abandoned it all. If so, please provide me with tips on how to remedy this, or maybe recommendations? :| I'm feeling desperate right now.

tomc
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Re: Composting Goat Manure

The older standard was to have a 90 day window between application of manure and harvest. I might not plant root crops (carrot radish etc) into such a new bed.

There are some agricultural practice of feeding by-product (use your imagination on what that means) that make many gardeners want to compost all manure before use in garden.

Most food borne disease links back to fresh manure outflows soiling plants at or near harvest.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Composting Goat Manure

You didn't say where you are. There are hardly any gardening questions that can be answered without reference to location and climate. But unless you are maybe in Minneapolis in zone 3 or somewhere in Canada, you pretty much already missed your window for planting spinach and lettuce seed.

I am in zone 6 and already have my pepper and tomato transplants in the ground.

You might want to just leave your bed sit for a couple weeks, give everything a chance to at least start breaking down, then plant your warm weather crops. My personal idea for remediation would be to brew up some compost tea (see http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... php?t=9219) and pour it over the bed, to add some healthy microbes. If you don't have your own compost, you can used bagged mushroom compost. Do that first and then let the bed sit a couple weeks.
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weedsnseeds
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Re: Composting Goat Manure

Sorry about that! I'm in zone 5b. Will I have to wait until fall for another chance at spinach and lettuce? I have tomato and pepper seedlings ready to go, but I should wait a few weeks to put them in?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Composting Goat Manure

Yes, wait until fall for the cool weather crops. And yes I would wait a couple weeks - not because of the weather, but to give the fresh manure a little time to break down. You can put your tomato and pepper seedlings in containers in the meantime.
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

weedsnseeds
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Re: Composting Goat Manure

Thank you for your advice and time! I hope you have a good day

toxcrusadr
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Re: Composting Goat Manure

How thick is this layer of goat manure and how deep is it below the surface now that you've added all the other stuff? If it's deeper than you would be planting the root balls of your pepper and tomato plants, I would go ahead and plant them. By the time their roots reach the manure, it should be broken down enough not to burn them.

IMHO the compost tea is nice but not essential, the soil you layered in plus the manure have plenty of microbes to digest all the organic matter and make a very nice soil in that bed. Certainly doesn't hurt anything though.
Tox

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