Oh, poop…

A very productive weekend. Neighbours helped muck out our barn in exchange for a share of the sheep manure. A giant pile is sitting next to the vegetable garden waiting to be spread on the beds. I spent most of the weekend on my hands and knees pulling weeds in preparation for top-dressing and planting.

Manure is great fertilizer, but be careful! Pig manure should never by used on a vegetable garden because it contains pathogens that can be passed to humans. Horse and cow manure are pretty good, but they are hot and need to be well-composted before use. Chicken manure is rocket fuel for plants, but it also needs to be well-composted or it will burn plants. Sheep manure and llama manure can be used right away and don’t smell terrible (unless you’re digging it out of a mucky barn).

Sheep manure can contain weed seeds, but the worst I’ve run into is a bit of grass popping up. I usually spread a couple of inches on the vegetable beds. I put more around heavy feeders, like rhubarb. It helps weed suppression and the plants love it. Just don’t put it where you plan to grow potatoes. Manure makes potatoes scabby. No one wants to be scabby.