Forum home Tools and techniques

Chicken manure pellets on compost

I've got a giant compost bin full of leaves from Autumn. They are breaking down nicley but i hear they might lack Nitrogen. I have two big buckets full of Organic chicken manure pellets. Would these be good to mix in the pile to add Nitrogen?

Thnaks.
«1

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292
    What you have is leaf mould. It's basically a soil conditioner/mulch, so it doesn't need anything added to it  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • bellysherebellyshere Posts: 20
    Okay. Thanks. I was hoping to turn it into compost to save me buying it all the time. Do i need to add other types of compostibles to achieve this?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292
    Compost is made from all your soft prunings, dead headed flowers and top growth of perennials, veg waste, grass cuttings and any other greens, and then some browns- cardboard, paper  etc. It's a mix of various materials. 
    It's also not the same as commercial compost, as it doesn't contain extra nutrients. It's more of a soil conditioner, like the leaf mould is. 
    Leaves don't break down quickly enough which is why they're kept separate.  :)  
    You can shred them if you have a shredder, or a lawn mower. You can then add them to a compost bin as they'll break down quicker.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,074
    It's an interesting question - what do you get if you mix just leaf mulch and manure? Would it be good to grow anything directly in?  In terms of the green and brown balance - manure counts as 'green' because it is high in nitrogen and leaf mulch counts as brown/high in carbon.

    Generally leaf mould is often treated as one product and compost as another (though you can mix the two).

    I have compost bins where I add small leaves and sometimes manure. But I add other things too - kitchen waste, garden prunings, newspaper. I tried having big bins of just leaf mould but they took too long and took up too much space. So I have gone for just making compost and mixing small leaves into it (and manure). It works fine, it's rich, balanced and I can plant things straight into it. Chopping up the leaves, or using small leaves will help them to break down faster in a compost bin.

    That doesn't really answer your question @bellyshere
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,441
    You can make potting compost using one part leaf mould, one part loam and one part home-made compost.  There are lots of different "recipes" on the Internet - exactly what you put in will be determined by what you want to use your "alternative to commercial compost" for.  Some plants will need more feed and you could add fish, blood & bonemeal to your mix.  Others (eg mediterranean plants which need good drainage) would appreciate sharp sand mixed in.

    The professional gardeners you see on the telly all mix their own seed & potting composts.  The main disadvantage of doing so is that you'll very likely get weed seeds in your garden compost and in the leaf mould, which will germinate in your pots and seed trays.  Commercial compost is (or should be) heat treated to sterilise it.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292
    An even bigger disadvantage is that you have to have the room, and the time, and the appropriate plants/trees, in order to make all the stuff in the first place @Liriodendron ;)

    I'd just use the chicken pellets in your beds/borders @bellyshere, assuming you don't have any acid loving shrubs. Chicken pellets tend to be alkaline. If your soil isn't too near the alkaline end of neutral, a small amount probably wouldn't do any harm though.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,441
    Probably right, @Fairygirl.  I don't make my own potting compost, though I modify bought stuff by adding grit etc if necessary.  But maybe @bellyshere has a huge garden and a massive potting bench... who knows?   :)

    I use leaf mould, "neat", for shade loving plants to improve the soil structure.  It's great as a mulch round hardy cyclamen.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,292
    I was being a bit cheeky @Liriodendron ;)
    I shredded a bucket or two of beech leaves that I got from a neighbour, and stuck them round the rhodo I moved. Fine for round shrubs or trees, or 'woodland' plants as you say. I haven't got any suitable trees in this garden, which I miss, but I also got a load from the chap across from me, as he has a big Maple in the front garden. Folk probably think I'm mad!

    I do the same re compost, by adding Perlite usually. Just for seeds though. Experimenting a bit this year with some peat free stuff as well. Fingers crossed....
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 992
    I'm a great fan of Chicken Manure Pellets, and I use them for more or less everything including things like peas that are reputably alkaline loving.  To get the best of both worlds, I always keep a bag of granulated lime that I also apply to such things, and together they seem to work.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,106
    I don't get a huge amount of fallen leaves so they get chucked in the compost bin with everything else, usually some with the last few batches of lawn mowings, and some saved in an old compost bag to add with kitchen waste when there isn't much green waste from the garden.. Chicken manure - sprinkle it around the borders, which reminds me - must do mine next time there's a fair chance of rain in the forecast. I find that it sometimes niffs a bit if it doesn't get rained on fairly soon after application.
Sign In or Register to comment.