I have the opportunity to get almost unlimited amounts of well rotted (at least year old) cow manure from an organic dairy farmer. As a newby I'm not sure how best to use this. I have a 40' veg plot, putting in medicinal herb raised beds and pollinator gardens, some fruittrees started. My question is can I add a layer of this over veg plot with about only a month left before planting? Work into soil like a fertilizer when planting things that like 'rich soil'? Or does it need to be further broken down in compost bin? I don't have proper compost yet. Thanks for any clarifications!
Being a year old, it will have decomposed to some degree and lost some of the N, depending on how deep the heap is and the amount of air circulation. With a month left before planting, there is still time to amend the soil with this material. If it heats up, it will be a result of the microbes consuming the N and you may yet damage tender seedlings. If it does not heat up, it is not likely to burn or injure the plants, pile it on.
In my experience, at a year old this stuff is probably ready for use in any quantity you like.
If I had free access to unlimited organic dairy manure I'd take full advantage of the opportunity!
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