When to add manure?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by greenthumb newbie, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. greenthumb newbie

    greenthumb newbie Member

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    Hi,

    I have a feeling my soil is void of nutrients. Its a new house and the landscapers must not have given us good soil. My hydrangeas, clamatis and styrax japonica tree are not flowering this year. I think I need to overhaul the soil. I assume I need a manure + compost mix. 1) When is the best time to add manure? And on that note, 2) does anyone know where I can get a good source of manure in Vancouver? I know that Lawnboy on Cambie street has compost so I'll get it from there.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. cowboy

    cowboy Active Member

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    Buying compost and applying it to your whole garden when only three plants need attention is lacking focus. Of your three plants, I only have clematis in my garden and they do take a few years to get established before putting on a good show.

    I would focus on the needs of my three plants that are not doing well and then see if the remedy there is applicable to the rest of the garden.

    If you do decide to apply compost, you only need to apply 1" or 2.5 cm. annually for most plants. Those who say that you need 2" to 4" are merely repeating a suburban myth.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sample soil and have it analyzed to find out if there may be a nutrient defiency. Then purchase and apply what will address the specific problem.

    If beds not mulched now your plants will have better conditions if they get this protective layer put on around them (not touching stems), free arborist wood chips are a good choice if they are clean (free of weeds and litter). Otherwise, cedar play chips may be available in a suitably small chip size at a soil and bark dealer near you. I have used these here on Camano Island, WA and like them best of all mulches used over the years (in various locations).
     
  4. Buzzbee

    Buzzbee Active Member

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  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It probably would not hurt at all to fork/dig the whole lot over and add plenty of compost animal manure to get the whole thing started and then continue the maintenance fertilizing/composting from year to year. Like Ron I can't stress mulching enough. It is what has kept my place alive through a ten year drought. The soil is now rich and deep and very healthy. Watering was all by nature's hand and the only things watered were my pots as we had, and still have, severe water restrictions even tho finaly some winter rain.

    Liz
     
  6. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    Building up garden soil takes time and effort. Topdressing with compost or manure will be most effective as part of regular (annual) maintenance for your whole garden.

    Right now, you could apply a couple bags of composted manure (not fresh!) to the plants that you are concerns and water thoroughly to get the nutrients down to the roots or you could apply manure on your whole garden. By applying manure on the whole garden now, you'll be improving the garden soil now. I don't recommend that you apply the manure in the autumn because nutrients could leach out during the impending winter rains and would be wasted on storm sewer pipes.
     
  7. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Adding a rose feritlizer to the clematis will make a big difference, you can also use tomato fertilizer also. Middle number of NPK should be the highest. Plus they like to have mulch over the tops of their roots and don't be afraid to cut back a bit even if it is a number 2.

    I also add grass clippings, pine needles, fish pond waste, leaves, shredded newspaper etc. to my clematis beds as well as other plants. Perlite really helps a lot as well as shredded bark.
     
  8. greenthumb newbie

    greenthumb newbie Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations. I am going to try the rose fert next spring. I believe you are right, I need more Phos. in my soil. Hope it turns out better next year.
     
  9. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Now with Autumn on its way, you will have lots of leaves to gather and compost.
     

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