sheep manure application

Can you tell me something about application of well aged sheep-straw manure. Is late fall or spring good time to spread and cover it with sawdust? How close to the bushes? Thanks !

The best time to apply manure to large areas such as fields is in the fall, using a manure spreader. Spreading the manure ensures that you manure the fields evenly.

Do not apply more manure than your crops or plants can use, and don't spread it too close to water sources as run-off or leaching will pollute your water.

Some states have rigid rules of where, how and if you can spread manure as determined by the lay of the land, whether it is close to rivers, has a high water table, whether the land slopes more than 15% etc.

Therefore, before spreading your manure check with your Natural Resources Conservation Department and see if there are any issues that would prevent you from spreading your manure as you would like.

If you are just applying manure to small shrubs, trees and roses etc., then this is a different approach altogether. Here you can apply manure both in the fall and in the spring.

Applying manure in the spring gives your plants an initial boost after the winter, and again in the late fall after it has spent most of its energy growing during this time.

No matter how well-aged your manure is, never place it too close to the stems or trunks as this invites disease and could burn your plants, especially if you are using chicken manure that is still hot. Place around the drip line for trees and about 10 cm away from the stems of shrubs and roses.

Sheep manure is not a hot manure like that of chickens, so it doesn't have to be aged to use it. Using it with straw, as you want to do, is very good as you will be able to use it either as a mulch on top of the soil and retain moisture in your soil for longer, or you can dig it in lightly.

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Nov 16, 2011
re: sheep manure
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much for your detail response.! ..I should provide some info. in order to get more specific response. I am growing blueberries organically. Most of the bushes are 5-6 years old and some just planted as well ( 2years old from nursery ) for replacement. Bushes are planted in a rows with mulch mix on the top of the soil. PH is ok; I was just wondering about application of sheep manure and straw (well aged) in late fall (now) or to wait until spring. I am taking into consideration that sheep manure is not as rich in Nitrogen ( ?),so in order to have the best benefits for the plans growth what should I do ? Mature manure is having slow release, but still considering lower level of Nitrogen, I am wondering if I am going to loose benefit of it if I apply it now. Also, I am considering newly planted bushes....Do they need some manure now, in a spring or none whatsoever in a first year ? If I understand correctly I should have manure placed around 10 inches from the stems in a circle and covered, in my case with less than 1 year old saw dust.. ( in order to provide slow release and retain moisture in a mulch ) I came a cross some info. ( if it's correct ?) that fresh saw dust can take Nitrogen from the soil...The thing is, that I have to put some more mulch around my bushes, because older layer decomposed pretty much and additional layer is necessary as well as for weed control. fresh saw dust is only mulch material i have on dispose at the moment.... Any comment or advice please !

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