One of the best things you can do for your landscape is to use compost. Mulching a landscape refers to covering exposed soil with inert materials. It can help plants grow, reduce weeding labor, save water and make a garden area look cleaner and more decorative.
By spreading over and tilling in the bare soil with compost you create a buffering layer. That layer will help insulate plant roots from radical temperature changes. It also keeps moisture from evaporating fast so you can reduce the water needs of your plants. That same buffer zone will make it harder for weeds to germinate and using wood chips or pecan shells to fill in the empty spaces will make the landscape more attractive.
No matter what kind of manure you use, use it as a soil amendment, not a mulch. In other words, don’t put raw manure directly on garden soils. Raw manure generally releases nitrogen compounds and ammonia which can burn plant roots, young plants and interfere with seed germination. In fact, it’s recommended that all animal manure should be aged for at least 6 months. Many gardeners spread fresh manure in the fall and turn it in to the top 6 inches of soil a month before spring planting.
A better treatment is to hot-compost manure before applying it to the garden. Hot composting, where the pile reaches at least 150 degrees F) helps to reduce the probability of passing dangerous pathogens on to people who handle the manure or eat food grown with manure compost. Anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of the plant nutrients fed to animals are excreted in their manure, so it should be no surprise that the stuff is an excellent fertilizer.
A cubic yard of compost-manure weighs approximately 900 lbs = about 0.45 tons.
|TBOC Tank's Green Stuff™ is "Tucson’s Best Organic Compost". It's ASCO Verified for use in organic agriculture, containing a balance of 30/70% of organic dairy manure and controlled plant waste resulting in a rich, highly nutritious, moisture holding, porous material. It is composted to 130 degree for 30 days, screened to 1/4" with an occasional twig or two, until it is a well cured, with no continued decomposition and no odor. TBOC is supplemented with Bactifeed, a biologic additive providing the microbes that help composting. Bactifeed is certified organic by GOCA, CCOF, and ICS. It has a Carbon to Nitrogen ratio of 18:1 and a Carbon to Phosphorus ratio of 77:1.||$39.00|
|NCOMP This "happening" compost is a composition of green waste materials from the Phoenix valley. Green waste materials are recycled organic plant materials that include grass, leaves, bark, sawdust, and shrub trimmings. Gypsum is added to improve heavy soil structure, help break up caliche, remove sodium from saline soils, and act as a gen-eral soil conditioner. Native Compost is a humus-like soil booster that provides the correct balance of nutrition, organic matter, and particularly active bacteria that are vital to soil nutrition.||$32.00|
|PMULCH A finely screened ¼” pine wood mulch that is primarily used as as an insulating layer of organic material spread out on top of soil. Pine Mulch blankets topsoil to conserve moisture and can maintain a more even topsoil temperature. In thick enough layers it can be used to prevent weed growth. Pine Mulch can also be used in a decorative manner, giving plant beds a neat, landscaped appearance.||$27.00|
|MMB Manure Mulch Blend is a high quality lawn top dressing and over-seeding fertilizer made from 50% Pine Mulch and 50% Steer Manure. The high nitrogen content in Steer Manure helps keep grass seed warm and promotes germination during the cool fall nights. MMB provides the warmth and nutrients of steer manure and the moisture retention of the pine mulch.||$32.00|
|SMAN An excellent fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassi-um and other nutrients. It has been aged and heat treated to kill foreign plant con-taminates and seeds. It has been leached of salt to prevent leaf and root burn when applied to growing plants. We have also amended gypsum to prevent clumping and promote drainage. The high nitrogen content in Steer Manure helps keep the manure warm and helps to promote continued germination during the cold winter months. Because of this, Steer Manure makes an excellent winter over-seeding fertilizer where its elevated tem-perature protects germinating seeds at night. Steer Manure also has great moisture retention properties and can hold eight times its weight in water. Steer Manure is also a great soil additive that elevates soil nutrient content and promotes water infil-tration.||$36.00|
“Take care of your garden, and it will take care of you” unknown author