Most Effective and Cheapest organic fertilizer?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by GTC1187, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. GTC1187

    GTC1187 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Would it be composted horse manure spread as a top dressing?
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Sounds good to me. Can I assume by the question you have a source of this available to you?
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,234

    Perhaps the compost just create a better seed bed and nutrient source. I have a canal road that runs behind my house that I have mulched with grass clippings /leaves to keep the weeds down for a couple of years . Last year I didn't and I had the thickest stand of weeds along the whole line of houses before I got them cut down. They were easily two feet taller behind my house than any other house on the row.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The weeds were probably growing with most of their roots in the "Soilless" pile of rotted material, correct? No added Fertilizers I assume... :)
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,973

    Isnt chicken manure very cheap and plentiful? Outside of human based like Milorganite. My uncle was a corn farmer and growing up I remember after they plowed and disked the fields they put down chicken manure. Weeds weren't a problem.:usflag:
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I don't think chickens really eat any thing that they don't grind up in their gullet... Seeds are a big part of their natural diet, and their droppings are probably weed-free...
  7. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    It certainly could be cheap, but Composted horse manure is risky business in some parts.

    The risk is that the horses may have foraged on fields sprayed with herbicides. Noxious weed herbicides can have a very long residual, and pass right through the horse and the composting process.

    You certainly want the source tested, and then you want to grow a few vegetables out of it to be sure. Look for any twisting or stunting. Radishes and tomatoes are good ones to plant.
  8. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    IMO the biggest concern when it comes to weed seeds in the compost is the techniques used to compost it.

    If the pile was turned and or aerated without letting weeds grow on the top layer you are going to be more weed free than if they just piled it up and let it sit for a year...

    letting weeds grow on the top layer of an unmanaged compost pile and spill their thousands of seeds right into the pile... not good
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    JD is correct... If there is no 'good' source of compost, maybe better off w/out it... :)
  10. Pauly V

    Pauly V LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Organic matter adds space among the soil particles, which improves water circulation and drainage, as well as aeration. It also creates a friendly environment for worms. They set up residence underground and keep passageways open for nutrients, water and air to reach the plants' roots..Although you do not say what you are fertilizing? Garden..lawn..?.Compost teas or Fish fertilizers would be an inexpensive option. Poultry Manures work well as does Millorganite..but the smell is a bit offensive when wet to some..The heavy metal content in Millorganite is miniscule altho NOFA and others dont accept it as "true organic"..Those are the cheapest I know of besides Composting correctly at your house..those tumblers make short work of it!


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