Toran26
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Over Fertilization Issue

Again the same question, I know that there are topics like this, but I have a bit different question.

I used a granular chicken manure and a bit of cow manure on my container plants (tomatoes, cucumbers). Tomatoes are looking OK, no problems with them. But cucumbers are wilting on sun an have a little dry spots, the spots are really small and have I would say normal color, otherwise it's ok. (maybe the color of the leaves is a lot green but I am not sure, I don't have many experience whith this)

So I don't know if I did not over do it, the tomatoes look like they can handle more (or they are just not over fertilized?) But the question I have is : If the vegetables would be over fertilized, is it safe for eating? Aren't there any health issues? I am trying to grow the organic way.

I added the fertilizer few months ago so I would expect that the plants would absorb it (I tried an experiment, I really over fertilized a flower on purpose, the slats have built up, flower was always wilted, but after some time it over came it and is ok now) but the cucumber is still the same. I did not see any pests that could be responsible for that.

Also could anyone tell me please what is the best amount to add in a container for this type of fertilizer and what is already too much? There is no exact amount on the product itself for container for chicken manure, only for normal garden there's a description - about the cow manure (used only on 2 containers-cucumber, raspberry-raspberry actually stopped growing and died) there is specified amount for containers, which is 1:20 up to 1:10. The container with cucumber has about 18 gallons of soil, so even if I consider 1:20 I get an amount which I did not gave there for sure. On other cucumber I used chicken manure and is also wilting on sun, although it has no dry spots and color of leaves also look ok to me.

Thank you for your answer.

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jal_ut
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Manure as Fertilizer

Any fertilizer increases the density of the solution in the soil. Too much will cause the plants to wilt because it becomes denser than the solution in the plants. Chicken manure is hotter than cow manure. You would not use as much chicken as cow. If I were preparing soil for a bed or pots, I think I would use maybe 3 or 4 gallons of cow manure to a wheelbarrow full of soil. Less for chicken. When putting it on my plot, I just dump it on and spread it out so it is not over an inch thick then till it in. I don't know of any firm guidelines for adding manures like you get with packaged fertilizers. I do know that too much can cause plants to wilt or even die.
Last edited by applestar on Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Misplaced post merged into the thread per author's request.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

jal_ut did a post on manure as fertilizer which now that I have read your post, I believe was meant to be an answer to this, but for some reason got posted as a separate thread. Look for it or maybe some kindly mod will come along and merge them.

I don't have any experience with using manure, but I think it is very concentrated for use in pots. If you are going to use it, you need to be sure it is well-aged composted manure and only use a small amount mixed in with regular potting soil.

Currently I use a mix of mushroom compost, coconut coir, and perlite for containers, which I supplement with whatever nutrient sources I have around: compost, AACT, used coffee grounds, worm castings when I have them, etc.
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Toran26
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

Thanks, I did see the post, maybe it's because I made my topic in wrong section, sorry for that...

Well if it should be as jal_ut said "3 or 4 gallons of cow manure to a wheelbarrow" then I did not over fertilized, if I can count that a wheelbarrow has about 45 gallons and that package of soil I bought was correct about the 18 gallons capacity(the amount of soil shrinks by some time, but I guess that's normal in new soil).
So maybe there's something wrong with the cow manure and it was stronger than it should be..

But the plants look fine, no yellowing, not even on the wilting cucumber, which wilts only on direct sun, and that's about half of a day ... so it's not safe enough for eating?

Sadly I have no idea if it was well composted, there is nothing about it in description, but I heard that processed manure loses some of it's nutritients and shouldn't be as strong as fresh. Funny thing is that I thought that manure will be better for not burning my plants. I have no options for producing my own fertilizer like compost or so..

imafan26
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

I always have problems using manure and compost in pots, but vermicast was fine. My plants died but I probably put in too much and the compost and manure made the mix heavy and it held way too much water. I did not try it on edibles, just ornamental plants. Manure should be aged or hot composted before you use it on edibles.
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jal_ut
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

Been hearing about getting sick from fresh manure....... because it may contain ecoli bacteria. Surprise! Ecoli is all around us. It is a fact of life. There are many different types, some more of a problem than others. The key to survival is wash your hands, wash your produce.

I grew up on a farm with dairy cows. From age 10 I was milking cows. If you have never had to milk cows you won't understand, but they are dirty animals, they slop their poop around on every thing even hitting one in the face with a nasty tail covered in -----. Frankly the guys who do the milking and cleaning up after them are exposed to whatever daily. I don't see them getting sick any more often than others. My point is: perhaps you worry too much. Wash your Hands and produce.

That said, it is still good practice to compost your manure first for the sake of your plants. Fresh manure is too "hot".
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Toran26
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

Thanks to all for your advice.

Maybe you are right jal, but I had this question in my mind for some time, so I was curious...
Though the vegetables taste good and had a lot of it from pots.

imafan26
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

E. coli and salmonella can be killed with proper cooking, the risks are greater for produce that is eaten raw. Washing hands and produce do reduce the risk, but does not eliminate it completely. The people who are at the greatest risk are small children, elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Susan W
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Re: Over Fertilization Issue

Just worked another couple of containers, so will weigh in. Both are 16". One had green bush beans, now history, other was empty. I pulled out the beans and about 6" down.

In a garden cart mix top soil, poo and compost. This is my whatever mix I have mentioned before. I like the cheap top soil that is loose, enough sand. Then some black kow poo (that is registered at .5-.5-.5.) It has sand, mixes in great. Then hand fulls of cotton burr compost. Sometimes the enriched dirt from the compost mixed in. I admit forgot today, but will work some in the pots.

I put the mix in the bean pot, and potted some spinach starts. The other put the cheap dirt in about 1/3, then added the mix to the top. Planted spinach seeds. How much 'just dirt' to fill bottom depends in part on what's in the pot! Deeper root stuff get more of the richer mix.

Hope this helps in my rambling. I do have over 150 containers, and don't do any of this with precision!
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