What needs manure?

Discussion in 'Compost, Fertilisers & Recycling' started by Louise, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Louise

    Louise Gardener

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    I have dug my first ever two veggie patches, one I have put some well rotted ( well it looks well rotted to me ) manure in , the other I haven't.
    Could some kind soul please tell me, What veggies must have manure and what veggies don't like it at all please?
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Veg that like lots of manure are potatoes and marrows/courgettes/pumpkins.
    Veg that like some manure are peas, beans & brassicas (cabbage, sprouts etc)
    It's the root crops that you should avoid manuring altogether i.e. carrots, parsnips, radish, swede etc as it causes the root to 'fork'. Also onions don't need manuring either.

    Let us know if you are thinking of growing anything else I might have missed.

    :thumb:
     
  3. Louise

    Louise Gardener

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    thanks. I think the only other things I am going to try and grow that you haven't mentioned above are tomatoes and strawberries.
     
  4. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Oh how could I forget tomatoes :dh: Well toms and strawberries both need lots of manure. You'll have no problem growing strawberries I'm sure, tomatoes do need a little extra care especially when outdoors - but both are very rewarding.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  5. Louise

    Louise Gardener

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    Will do, thanks again.
     
  6. PeterS

    PeterS Total Gardener

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    John, I have never grown veg, so know nothing about them or their requirements.

    The principle that I work on is that most flowers don't need feeding, they may like it but don't necessarily need it. The reason is that if you cut back all the foliage and return it to the border, either composted or uncomposted, you aren't taking anything away from the soil. And that process can go on almost indefinately as everything is recycled.

    However with veg, you are removing quantities of material, which are composted inside the body but are not returned to your own soil. In my ignorance I would have manured everything as a way of replacing what had been removed. If root crops aren't manured or fed, how do they cope with the continual depletion of the soil.

    Or is this where crop rotation comes in. The soil has to be replenished somehow if it is to continue to produce.
     
  7. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Peter you are right about crop rotation, the idea is to heavily manure the potatoes then the next year use that bed for growing brassicas - there will still be lots of organic matter left from the manure. Then in year 3 grow beans & peas which are lugumes. As you know legumes fix nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots, so digging in the roots of peas/beans gives enough nitrogen for the final year of a 4 year rotation. That's the theory, it's not as black and white as that in practice and all the veg I can think of really appreciate lots of organic matter incorporated into the soil (i.e very well rotted compost, peat) just to help retain water and improve the soil structure. You just need to avoid putting fresh manure on most crops. From an inorganic view you can add chemical fertilizers to your veg crops if you don't have enough of your own compost, and heavily fruiting crops like tomatoes really need a liquid feed every week once they start producing.

    Flowers are different, like you say you don't really take much away from a flower bed. Also by stressing the plant with a lack of feed you can force them to get better flowers, if you over feed/manure your flower bed you end up with lots of leaves and not so many flowers.
     
  8. Steve R

    Steve R Soil Furtler

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    I've just been watching a Geoff Hamilton DVD that a friend gave to me.."The Ornamental Kitchen garden" where he's cropping in small area, then once done he pulls out all roots and debris..forks in some more compost and a handfull of Fish Blood and Bone..to replace what the previous crop took from the soil. Then ha sows or plants out the next crop.

    Steve...:)
     
  9. PeterS

    PeterS Total Gardener

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    Thanks John for your reply. I find the principles most interesting, because they are common to all plants not just veg. What happens if you heavily manure root crops?. You said they tended to fork. Is this just a presentation problem? Does the yield (by weight) increase or do the plants really not like it.

    As you know, manure does two seperate things. It is primarily a soil conditioner, putting more organic matter into the soil, making it more open and holding more water. And to a lesser extent a fertiliser, adding nitrogen from the urine (most of which will have been washed out) and all the other minerals that were in the food that has passed through the animal.

    Do you have any views on which of these aspects root crops don't like? Or are we simply in a Euro- bureaucrat position of only wanting straight roots?

    Steve, I would have just manured and fertilised irrespective. But it is a fact that different plants have different preferences.
     
  10. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Peter the nitrogen in fresh manure causes the forking - it makes them grow too quick, overall we would probably end up with the same yield (but I'm guessing at that) - the problem with forked roots is not a presentation issue it's because they are more difficult to prepare and cook, so 4 or 5 small roots when peeled have less overall bulk than one big root. We are preparing some fresh parsnips for our tea tonight, mine are a bit small and if they had forked they would probably not have been worth having.
     
  11. PeterS

    PeterS Total Gardener

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    Thanks again John - interesting.
     
  12. NatalieB

    NatalieB Gardener

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    Great information here John - very useful! Didn't realise that the nitrogen would cause forking in root vegetables! Our allotment has been heavily manured in previous years by the previous allotment holder - but seems to have been done over the entire allotment.
     
  13. Louise

    Louise Gardener

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