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Animal manure can do some pretty wonderful things for your lawn or garden, and because using animal manure is one form of recycling as well, you can feel good knowing that your garden is “green” in more ways than one.

Some of the benefits of using manure when gardening include:

  • It adds nutrients to your soil and improves its overall structure.
  • It holds moisture well.
  • It improves aeration and water infiltration.
  • It is versatile and can be used in a variety of situations.
  • It reduces soil erosion and run-off.
  • It is an excellent mulch and slow-release plant fertilizer.

In order for manure to be most effective, it must be well-aged. Fresh manure can actually harm plants and gardens by burning plants at their roots, and must be well worked into and mixed with the surrounding soil and allowed to settle for an extended period of time when used. Furthermore, manure that has fermented for a period of time and been treated will lose many of the unpleasant odors associated with animal feces, and most people would prefer not to associate their flowers, fruits, and vegetables with this smell.

Manure can also come from a variety of sources, though most commonly cattle, sheep, and poultry. While you might assume that gardening and mulching manure could come from any animal, this is actually not the case, as some domesticated species have a lot of harmful bacteria or parasites in their stool. In addition, manure from different animals will contain different benefits, so if you are looking for specific results, it is wise to do some research. For instance, sheep manure is high in nitrogen and potash, while chicken manure is high in nitrogen and phosphate.

The disadvantages of manure can typically be blamed on the matter that finds its way into the manure in addition to the beneficial animal feces. Manure can at times become contaminated by animal hair, feathers, blood, and bone, but perhaps the biggest hassle that can result is when animals eat the seeds of weeds and these weed seeds then find their way into your garden. In turn, the very garden you worked so hard to build and maintain becomes infested with weeds as a result from using the very fertilizer you applied to make it beautiful in the first place. To avoid this, make sure that you always purchase your manure from high quality and trustworthy brands and suppliers.

For a wide selection of manure and other fertilizers, as well as other gardening and landscaping supplies, visit Shell Lumber & Hardware at 2733 S.W. 27th Avenue in Miami. Even if you just have questions about your lawn or garden, feel free to call us at (305) 856-6401 – we are always happy to help!


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