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Mountains of Muck!

We’ve got mountains of muck! Our friendly sheep breeding neighbour has cleaned out his lambing shed in preparation of this year’s lambing. And we’ve won the muck.

Sheep Muck Arrives

Sheep Muck Arrives – no mean task backing a trailer through 2 gates!

He’d got a friend with a tractor and large tipping trailer who brought the heaped loads of muck over. These were tipped by the entrance to the small field where the polytunnel and walled vegetable garden are. 10 or maybe 12 loads! I reckon around 60 cubic metres.

Most of the manure is already well rotted, but some is still pretty ‘strawy’ – most likely the top layer when the shed was scraped out. This will benefit from being turned and left to rot down a bit further before use.

Strawy Manure

Some of the manure is a bit strawy still

Value of Manure

Looking up the NPK value of manures, sheep manure is roughly equivalent to cow or horse manure for nitrogen and phosphorus except for being higher in potassium (potash). This makes sheep manure the best base manure for tomatoes and potatoes etc. It also makes a great “muck tea” feed for any potash loving plant, although comfrey liquid is as good as any commercial feed.

The real value for manure is two fold. I think it is far superior to a fertiliser like blood, fish & bone or Growmore for a number of reasons.

Manure adds humus and organic matter to the soil. Unlike a fertiliser that just feeds the plants, manure feeds the soil as well increasing microbe levels etc. Microbes work in partnership with plants to provide nutrients. Organic matter keeps soil friable and helps retain and absorb water, ameliorating drought and flood.

A fertiliser like Growmore provides the big three basic nutrients, NPK, but manure provides a wide range of micro-nutrients. Chock full of vitamins for soil and plants.

Rotted manure will not burn plants and it’s very difficult to over-dose the ground with manure.

Of course, fertiliser does have some advantages – it’s a lot less effort to spread for starters – but I’m really made up to have this job on the list.

Heaps of Sheep Manure

Mountains of Sheep Manure

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
4 comments on “Mountains of Muck!
  1. rob needs says:

    That looks great but your gunna make us all jealous.

  2. David Hammon says:

    I got 17,000 lbs of sheep manure last summer…. Great stuff!!!

  3. gwyn evans says:

    Hope your back holds out while your shifting it.

  4. Rowland Wells says:

    are you sure your not storing the manure for the village John what a site all that lovely manure just waiting to be used if that doesn’t feed your ground and you get good crops then there’s something wrong

    you can’t beat it I guess your going to store some of that lovely manure for next year well rotted what could be better I don’t think any garden should be without a good load of fashioned manure

    mind you there’s a few barrows in that heap and you need to get some help to move that with your back as I’ve always said manure like that is worth a kings ransom

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