Is Sheep Manure Compost Good?

Written by jack burton
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Is Sheep Manure Compost Good?
Sheep manure is good for the garden. (sheep image by TA Craft Photography from Fotolia.com)

Sheep manure makes very good compost if handled properly. The benefits are that it is low in odour and fairly inexpensive.

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Significance

According to Marion Owen, co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul," sheep manure is lower in nitrogen than many other animal manures, moderate in potassium and especially rich in potash. It can be used extensively without risk of burning young plants.

Benefits

The addition of sheep manure will improve the organic ratio of your soil, which is helpful for water retention and aeration and for providing crops with necessary microorganisms.

Is Sheep Manure Compost Good?
Fruits and vegetables grow best in organic-filled soil. (tomato image by YN from Fotolia.com)

Weed Problems

A major problem with sheep manure is that it may be full of weeds. Introducing it into the garden without taking steps to reduce the weeds will cause much work later.

Solution

One effective way to reduce the weed seeds is to let the manure "hot compost" long enough to destroy the seeds. This can take several weeks with constant monitoring and turning over to ensure the interior temperature of the pile rises high enough for a long enough period.

Is Sheep Manure Compost Good?
Plastic compost bins are easy to work with when hot composting. (nicht recycelbar image by Bizarr from Fotolia.com)

Considerations

Another, and easier, method for removing seeds is to soak the sheep manure for several days in a water-filled container. Drain the water through a filter fine enough to catch the weeds, and then use the water as a liquid fertiliser. Repeat the process, as needed.

Is Sheep Manure Compost Good?
All gardens, from small to large, benefit from sheep manure compost. (garden image by Krzysztof Gebarowski from Fotolia.com)

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