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Posts: 15
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 1:54 am
Location: Belmont, MA, USA

Cow Manure Too Often?

I'm in New England and grow your basic vegetables; - tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, etc - mostly from store-bought sprouts.

And every year I apply, and turn in, composted cow manure several weeks before planting time - 40 lbs per 100 sq ft. I also mix in whatever compost I have available (not lots) from my compost pile.

But is that too much? Should I skip a season, or do less? The guy at the garden center suggested that. He felt I might be slowing down plant growth or reducing 'flowering'.

I generally get what I think is a good harvest although maybe I'm suppressing it without knowing it. The only real problem I've had is sometimes a batch of pepper plants barely grow more than a foot tall and don't yield any fruit.

Any Comments? Thanks!

Posts: 11275
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Cow Manure Too Often?

If the other plants are doing well, then maybe you need a different kind of pepper or a different location with more sun and root space.

If your indeterminate tomatoes are over 7 feet tall and you yield 80lbs or more than your soil is fine. Tomatoes like slightly acidic soils and are heavy feeders. If they get enough nutrients the other plants should too.
Peppers do need to have the sun to produce flowers and if they are only growing leaves that might be a problem. They also need root space. Try side dressing with bone meal mixed with some peat moss. Bone meal might help with root growth and fruiting. It contains some nitrogen but it is mostly phosphorus and calcium. The phosphorus in bone meal is only available when the pH is below 7.

What is your pH? if it is above 7, add peat moss or correct with sulfur as recommended by your soil test.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Cow Manure Too Often?

"And every year I apply, and turn in, composted cow manure several weeks before planting time - 40 lbs per 100 sq ft."

You should be just fine with that amount of composted cow manure on that size plot.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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