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Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:40 pm
Location: Richardson, TX

Manure vs. Manure and Humus mixture

I was at Home Depot and was planning on buying some manure for my compost heap and for my layered beds that are resting for the winter. There were 2 manure choices. 1) Moo-Nure which was straight cow manure as far as I could tell. 2) Manure and Humus mix

I bought the manure and humus mix as it was less expensive and sounded more "broken down" than straight manure. The reason I wanted manure in the first place was to heat up my heap and layered beds as they were just sitting there, cold, doing nothing and I'm hoping to plant in Feb/Mar.

Did I make the right choice in purchasing the manure and humus mix and what is the difference between the two?

Thanks! Anna
Thanks! Anna

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

From what I have read, the word compost can mean anything from a very high quality material to a material has has less nutrients to offer than regular dirt. IMO without knowing the source and ingredients of compost, it is impossible to know anything about its quality or value. One source said that many municipalities have trouble getting rid of their compost, because minicipal compost tends to be of very poor quality.

All of these mass products have potential problems that can't be identified since the source of ingredients is so variable. On that basis it might make sense to buy a mix or rotate the product when necessary to import manure, potting soil, and/or compost/humous. And for sure IMO it is far better to locate local sources where you can talk to the horse owner or turkey farm owner, composter, or whoever, and get an idea of what you are really buying and putting into your yard and garden.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

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Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:59 pm
Location: Zone 3 Canada

Anything you're buying in a store has been sterilized and will not pass along weed seeds. This is not true if you go and find a horse owner. If you get your manure fresh it needs to be composted for a season before you apply it or you will have a lovely green hue over the entire garden.....horses pass along weed seeds that they don't digest.

You can look at the bag and see what the ratio of fertilizer value is in each bag but I'd be willing to bet you won't find a huge difference and each will be fine. No difference between cow or sheep bagged fertilizer either.

You'd have much better quality if you were keeping your own small compost pile and adding all your kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, leaves, and the like. This makes magical ingredients to add to your garden if your allowed to do that in your community.

I would argue that the community compost would be as wonderful as any other and it's cheap like crazy. If I could buy it I'd grab it up and test it in one bed one year to see .......but I cannot imagine it could be a problem at all.

If you are buying your compost it's a monsterous expense to have your beds 100% compost. Yikes! You don't need that amount at all......

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