[tomato] Reply to Orchid

Paul Reynolds (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Sun, 07 Mar 1999 01:25:05 -0600


My manure isn't composted.  Just sterile.  I've not been able to buy
composted manure down here, but, don't have the space to compost my own
manure.  Takes quite a bit of Manure to get a usable quantity if
composted correctly.

However, I do have a compost "heap" that I use the soil out of.  Get
about a wheel barrow full in a years time.  I screen it once a year.  Of
course, I compost mine longer than most folks do.  Mine comes out very
fine and smelling like the richest soil there is.

You could mix miracle gro or some others with it, but, I'd not recommend
puting a liquid ferti in compost.  By being already in the liquid state,
it's immediately available for plant up take once it gets into the
vicinity of the roots.

About the only thing that I mix with my compost that isn't from the
kitchen or the yard is kitty litter.  Kitty litter helps with the
moisture content and if placed on top, will help my heap retain
moisture, thus keeping the temp up and the worms active.  In fact, I
don't even put grass climpings in my heap anymore.  80% dried material
such as leaves and 10% kitchen wastes and 10% used kitty litter.  It's
done really well so far, but, it's going to be interesting to see what
the ammonia content of the cat urine is going to do when my heap really
starts heating up in a month or so.  I'm constantly experimenting with
my compost.

Nope, don't know anything about "superthrive" but would be interested in
reading up on it if you would be kind enough to send me an address on

Believe it or not, I know of a dairy that is growing tomatos in pure
manure.  I don't see why manure couldn't be used as an additive for
potted plants.  Most folks think that cattle manure is too hot for such
things, but, in actuality, cattle, horse, sheep and goat manures are
very tame.  You really have to be careful with hog and fowl manures.
Especially fowl.  Very hot and very strong in P and NO3.  A little goes
a long way.

Hog manure tends to make soil too hot and not do well as far as
growing.  I really don't know what the components are, but, I used to
raise hogs and where the pens where, nothing would grow but a few
pigweed plants.  Even after 10 years, there wasn't much growing other
than pigweed, nettles and some other nondesirables.  I never had the
time to take soil samples and send 'em in.