You may be wondering about which vegetables do not like manure.
It is a fact that many organic gardens use animal manure as fertilizer. This is a natural source of nutrients that help ensure the growth and development of your crops. With healthy soil, your vegetables will also thrive.
However, did you know that some crops are sensitive to manure? There are even health issues linked with the use of this organic type of fertilizer.
Keep reading to know about the risks of using animal manure and what you can do about these issues.
Exploring Which Vegetables Do Not Like Manure
First of all, let us talk about safety concerns with manure.
For instance, manure has often been linked with E.coli breakouts. This is why there are issues on which vegetables do not like manure and if it is even safe to use in your garden at all.
It is important to note that plant roots already have bacteria in them. Moreover, there are also fungi and other components present in the soil. Thus, it is possible that these elements would help to counteract the effects of E.coli.
There is also the assumption that fungi may feed on the bacteria. In this case, it should not be an issue anymore.
Additionally, there is a need for further research on whether E.coli is indeed a threat to health due to it being a contaminant on the surface of the soil.
With this in mind, manure is likely to spread ailments to animals and humans. This is still a debatable issue, though, since there are no sufficient studies on manure and its effects to humans.
Yet, researchers argue that pathogens present in manure can be passed on to humans. These pathogens include listeria and salmonella, as well as a range of parasites including tapeworms and roundworms.
As a result, many organic gardeners wonder if it is indeed safe to use manure in their vegetable gardens or if it should be avoided completely.
How to Avoid Contamination and Health Risks Caused By Manure
While there is a possibility for manure to cause health issues, you can implement certain precautionary measures to avoid all of these.
For instance, you should avoid using fresh manure in your vegetable garden. Keep in mind that fresh manure has a high composition of ammonia and nitrogen. These components can easily burn the roots of your crops. Moreover, they can negatively affect seed germination.
Fresh manure is best to use before you plant your crops in the garden. This way, it will have time to be absorbed by the soil instead of directly impacting the roots of your plants.
The ideal time to put manure in the soil is about 120 days before you harvest and consume vegetables that are in close proximity to the manure. The shortest length of time would be 90 days but the longer it is, the better.
Which Vegetables Do Not Like Manure?
Experts also do not recommend using animal manure to certain crops.
These include vegetables that grow underneath the soil such as root crops. These include radishes, potatoes, carrots, and beets. The same holds true with greens and vegetables that sit on the ground such as lettuce, herbs, squash, cucumber, and spinach.
Some people tend to put lime with manure. This is not a good practice at all.
In fact, it is a dangerous thing to do because of the chemical reaction that arises by doing so. When you add lime, this transforms nitrogen to ammonia gas. Then, the gas drifts off and will no longer be usable in the soil.
A viable solution to this concern is by determining the right time to apply animal manure. The best time would be in the fall while lime is best in the spring. Furthermore, you should not use lime depending on the type of soil you have. It is something that you can know for sure by testing the soil’s pH level.
Tips for Using Manure in the Garden
A better way to use manure is as a conditioner for the soil.
We recommend that you mix in fresh manure to your soil in the fall. This way, it should be good to go for your spring plants. As a result, manure can work into the compost and soil to further enrich them with nutrients.
Be sure to harvest all of your vegetables first before you incorporate manure into your soil.
Here is a video that should help you in using the right fertilizer in your organic vegetable garden:
Another smart way to use manure is by mixing it with other components. The best way to go is by composting the manure at first. Once you have composted animal manure, this reduces your chances of contamination. This is the case when you heat up the pile enough that kills the bacteria (140 degrees or so). No wonder E.coli dies during the hot summer months!
Some people prefer to buy manure from their local farmers. This is actually a smart way to do it, although not the easiest. Why? Because you have to carefully choose a bag that states it is free of pathogens.
Always remember that a fertilizer sold in markets is not guaranteed to be free of pathogens. They may or may not be fully composted, as well. It is always a great idea to ask your local farm if the animals suffer from certain health problems or not.
Lastly, always practice good hygiene. You need to be mindful of your cleanliness before and after the harvest process. Considering the fact that leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chard are at an increased risk of contamination, you need to wash them carefully and peel the skin off for added security.
Animal manure may offer certain benefits and risks. However, they may have unique features that affect your garden. Chicken manure is supposed to be the best to use.
On the other hand, it is best to stay away from manure obtained from dogs, cats, or pigs. These sources contain parasites and what-nots that live in the coil and affect you.