Re: [tomato] Dianes questions on manure.

Thomas Giannou (
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 07:14:08 -0800

Dear Pete,

Your own words detailed part of the problem with green manure.  Green manure
will have a detrimental effect on micro-organisms in your soil in a couple
of ways.  That is why well aged composted manure is advised.  Other types of
manure like Chicken manure and Bat Guano should be avoided because of their
soluble phosphorus content which has a detrimental effect upon beneficial
fungi forming a relationship with your plants.  If a lot of beneficial fungi
already have a symbiotic relationship with your plants then adding levels of
soluble phosphorus above 1% could damage the plants to the point of killing
them.  Green manure, with it's urea content has a lot of quick release
nitrogen.  That is also detrimental to micro-organisms in the soil.  It's
the wrong form of nitrogen.  With well aged composted manure, the
micro-organisms will break down the organic material and make the nitrogen
available to the plants either through the beneficial fungi or it will be
added slowly to the water around the roots of the plants and be taken in by
the roots.

Of course, if prior fertilizing practices used a lot of chemical fertilizers
then there quite likely won't be a lot of micro-organisms present to do much
with the manure.   I gathered about five gallons of soil last fall from a
wheat field west of Spokane.  After removing the wheat plants, I noticed
that the chaff and stubble from the prior year or years had not broken down.
In fact, it wasn't even moldy.  There wasn't a worm present and I found no
insects.  I know a few vegetarians and what they were saying about food
stuff grown in soil like that was starting to make sense.  I was using the
soil to test some Red Winter Wheat with Bio-Vam's Biotics.  The test showed
good root development in the test group over the controls.  But I had to end
the test because the fungus flies which came in on my Pepper plant were
greatly increasing in numbers.  They are beneficial, but my wife didn't
appreciate having the fungus flies all over the house.  --go figure.  Our us
e of sticky fly traps eventually controlled the fungus flies.

Thomas Giannou
Spokane, Washington
-----Original Message-----
From: Orchid <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 1999 5:24 AM
Subject: Re: [tomato] Dianes questions on manure.

> I deleted some of the manure posts.  My sister has one rabbit, certainly
>not able to fertilize my entire garden.  I asked her to save the rabbit
>pellets, and then I wondered if it would be good for my garden...something
>about urine, urea in the manure?  I don't have, nor do I have the room for
>compost pile, can the rabbit manure be used directly in garden, or as a
>manure "tea"?  Any precautions I should know about?  Should I even bother?
>Pete, Zone 10, South Florida
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Paul Reynolds <>
>To: Tomato List <>
>Date: Monday, March 08, 1999 9:28 PM
>Subject: [tomato] Dianes questions on manure.
>>You can either directly apply the manure or compost it.  I don't know
>>how much you produce, but, if the urea in the urine is a concern in the
>>rabbit manure, composting will help with that problem.  Composting is a
>>way of getting ammonia and urea to a more organic form instead of losing
>>them to the environment as a gas.
>>Basically, what happens is composting helps the inorganic forms of
>>nitrogen (N), such as ammonia, urea, nitrates and nitrites change to a
>>organic N.  This is called denitrification.  Nitrification is the
>>reverse.  However, nitrification generally goes to just the nitrate
>>form.  Nitrites are an intermediary and aren't of much concern because
>>they are so short lived, but, just the same, they are highly toxic to
>>most living forms.
>>If you have tight soils, the addition of just the manures as they are
>>will help with the tilth of those soils.  Basically making them easier
>>to work if there is enough manure put down in a small enough area.
>>Of course, any urine is raunchy, as you call it.  :-))
>>Paul Reynolds
>>Austin Texas