As this trend of growing heirloom vegetables continues, there seems to be a transition away from synthetic fertilizers to feed them. This isn’t surprising as ‘gmo-messaging’ and benefits of organic food information becomes mainstream. As a result, health conscious homeowners like myself are returning to using manure as a soil conditioner.
But before you run out to your neighbour’s farm and load up this spring, you have to follow a few simple guidelines. Raw manure releases large amounts of nitrogen, which can burn your plants. It needs to be composted before it is garden safe. Manure is full of natural bacteria such as E. coli or other pathogens and is often sterilized before it is sold to consumers. This sterilization also helps remove the weed seeds that are naturally passed through the animal and can end up straight in your garden.