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CULT: Manure


Anner Whitehead's comments about the effects of various manure sources and the
burn symptoms suggested the same to me as it did to her...the possibility that
the chemical fertilizer may be the source, rather than the organics.

One other aspect of cow manure vs. horse or sheep manure in the highly
calcareous (calcium rich) soils of the high and dry Intermountain West has to
do with the relationship of cow manure components and the clay fraction of the
soils.  Cow manure is notorious for causing zinc radicals to adsorb more
tightly to the clay components, I believe, as zinc--and other micronutrient
deficiencies--are common in calcareous clay-rich soils of alkaline pH when
amended with green cow manure.  The very visible chlorosis in most plants is a
bit of a shock.

As an aside, there is a marvelous anecdote about a conversation between Tell
Muhlestein and one of the rather earthy and elderly women who cross-bred and
introduced some famous irises in California.  Tell asked her how she got such
marvelous growth on her irises.  She responded with the four-letter Germanic
equivalent to sheep "manure."

Tell corrected her.  "Don't you mean Sheep 'sugar'?"  It is not recorded how
she responded.

Needless to say, many have found sheep "sugar" quite useful where cow manure
caused problems.

We often when replanting rhubarb would dig a rather large and deep hole, fill
the bottom with a lot of raw, undigested cow manure, then separate the rhubarb
replant from it with a layer of soil.  In the spring the heat of the
decomposing manure plus its rich contribution to our almost clay-less loessial
soil brought huge and early rhubarb growth in the spring.  The result was some
rather marvelous pies.  Which, of course, required a hefty addition of
sugar--the white kind.

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Region 4  western NC mountains

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