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Composted Cow Manure for Clay Soil or not?

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by daylily77 on August 04, 2006 03:04 PM
Hi everyone.. I have clay soil in my backyard so I was told I need compost for it. I called one of my local stores today asking if they had compost, and they told me yes to come and pick it up. Well when I got there it was actually "Composted Cow Manure". I didn't buy it because I read that just adding manure to clay soil can actually make the problem worse rather than better, is that true? Or is *composted* manure good for it?

Can I purchase actual Compost? Or are the only kinds available through stores composted manure? Is there a big difference? Will this composted cow manure be good for my clay soil? Please help! I need to fix this soil! Thanks for reading.

P.S. I should also say that I know I can make compost myself, and I will be doing it in the future. I just want to get this bed planted now. Thanks!
by Longy on August 05, 2006 12:26 AM
As far as i'm concerned any type of organic matter will improve any type of soil. So i'd say composted cow manure is fine for any soil deficient in organic matter. Be it sand, clay or somewhere in between.

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The secret is the soil.
by netwiz on August 05, 2006 12:55 AM
Composted cow manure was one of the things the local extension recommended for my clay soil. They also mentioned peat moss, just don't use an excessive amount. I was also mixing in cocoa bean mulch until I was told it can poison my animals. I will probably switch to regular mulch since it will still help break up the clay texture and add nutrients when it breaks down. Good luck!

by johnCT on August 05, 2006 01:53 AM
Yes, you can purchase compost. Usually in bulk, but you will probably have trouble finding a nursery that sells it. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a great demand for it so it isn't that common. Most people who look for it are true gardeners who most likely will begin making their own soon after. Others who are not gardeners think compost is just garbage and stinks.

The composted cow manure in bags will work well, but as is the case with most bagged products, it's hard to know exactly what's in the bag. If you read the ingredient lists on the back of those bags you'll see that it says "not less than 51% composted cow manure". The other 49% is who knows. But it IS undoubtedly some form of organic matter and will help your soil for sure.

Best thing to do is learn about composting and start making your own. That way you KNOW what's in it.

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John - Zone 6
by daylily77 on August 05, 2006 02:18 AM
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone! I appreciate it!

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