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Container Gardening: Cow manure compost

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Sugar_fl
montgomery, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 14, 2003
5:46 PM

Post #510848

Have any of U used the bought cow manure compost in pots? If so did U use anything else? What were the results?
Sugar
Zanymuse
Scotia, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2003
7:48 PM

Post #510910

I used it a lot but always mixed it 50/50 with potting soil. It worked great and the plants loved it. But mine was from the neighbors cow and was always at least a year old. I will be trying the bagged stuff this time around and just hope it is aged enough not to burn the plants.
broots
Cochrane, ON
(Zone 2b)

April 14, 2003
11:51 PM

Post #511056

I always use the bagged cow manure compost in my pots & hanging baskets. I do just like Zany & mix it 50/50 with potting soil & add osmocote. Works great.
flowox
Newark, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2003
12:58 AM

Post #511102

I bought it last year too and used it the same...50/50...worked great
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 17, 2003
4:57 PM

Post #585800

Definately use the bagged, sterilized manure from a garden centre as opposed to manure straight from the source!! Aside from the stench, which your neighbours may or may not enjoy, bagged manure will NOT burn the roots of your plants nor does it contain any seed or material that you don't want sprouting in your garden or containers. I swear by using generous amounts of manure in pots & containers, adding a layer to the garden in spring & fall & using generous amounts for new plants right into the hole you've dug & mixed in with your existing soil. You can't have enough manure in the garden!!
In containers, I use about the same ratio as mentioned above...half & half or 1/3 manure to 2/3 potting soil, triple mix or even top soil. The secret is all in the manure more than what soil you use. I garden in heavy clay soil in-ground & regular applications of manure creates beautiful soil over time. I have lots of worms & lots of worms means good soil. Worms are good!!
I might add that I still fertilize my containers weekly with a water soluable fertilizer in addition to the manure because each time you water, which is frequently with any container, nutrients wash out & need to be replaced for maximum performance of plants & flowering.
Sugar_fl
montgomery, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 17, 2003
5:55 PM

Post #585849

Sue we have horses just a few yards from the house & used to have cows just as close. I used aged horse manure at 1st but did find I had more weeds so no longer doing that. I have had some homemade compost & should have more next year. I do like the bought cow manure too. You say you fertilize weekly but do U fertilize ALL pots. I am unsure whether to use it on some of mine like the pot of Lemon Balm or the trailing verbena. I'm gonna get more today matter of fact when we go to Wally World.
Sugar
roof57mi
columbia, SC
(Zone 8b)

July 18, 2003
1:54 AM

Post #586213

will try this next yr in my containers
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 18, 2003
12:14 PM

Post #586482

Hi Sugar...Yes, I do fertilize ALL my pots weekly in addition to the manure in the soil. However I don't think that Lemon Balm requires any extra fertilizer as it's a herb. Most herbs really don't need soil that's pumped up too much. I DO fertilize my Verbena weekly with the water soluable fertilizer. This plant is in a hanging basket from a nursery so it doesn't have the benefit of having manure in the soil. Nurseries usually use a very light pottng mix for hanging baskets. I'd fertilize it regardless though.
In most cases & in my experiance you just can't go wrong using manure in your pots/containers, in the garden itself & I even spread a layer on my lawn in the spring too. There are some exceptions; herbs are one & too much manure can grow "hairy" carrots & produce LESS bloom on perennial Sweet Peas for example. With lilacs, too much manure or an annual application of manure will produce lots of foliage, but few blooms. Some manure around the base of lilacs every 4 or 5 years is okay though. In general though, most plants love the manure & produce well. There's always the odd exception though.
I live in a townhouse & we can't have composters in our gardens, so bagged, store bought manure really does the trick for me. If you look at some of the pics I've posted you'll see that my plants really do well whether in-ground or in pots/containers. I even put some manure in a plant that I was transplanting into a larger pot, a Peace Lily. It's a house plant for indoors. So far, so good with that. I used a couple inches in the bottom of a quite large pot for that one. NOT 50/50 as I might for outside plants.
So far, 2 neighbours that I encouaged to try manure are thrilled with their results. Some people think...yuk, manure are you nuts!! They think of it as smelly poop!! hehe, but it's not of course when it's store bought & no unexpected seeds or things popping up in your garden because it's sterilized. Good luck!!

Happy gardening to all!!!
Sugar_fl
montgomery, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 18, 2003
6:37 PM

Post #586757

SS.. I think in zone 6 & below U have greener lusher plants I guess because of less heat. I have a time keeping mine watered. We made some compost last year but I'm almost out of it now.. I'll have more next year. I did buy a couple of bags of the manure yesterday. One other thing I'm learning is a lot of your plants are herbs.. one U wouldn't think were.
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 20, 2003
1:27 AM

Post #587819

Hi Sugar...Nope, I don't have any herbs! All the plants in my containers, pots, hanging baskets etc. are annuals; petunias, verbena, impatiens,ivy geraniums, trailing lobeilia & varies ivies. In-ground, they are mostly all perennials, many differnt kinds from Hosta to Clematis to Asiatic Lilies to Bellflower & then some!! I do use some annuals inground as fillers also. I'd have to say that my garden has more of an English Country Garden look I guess. I don't have a big garden by any means, but I do have many plants. If there's a spare 5" I'll put something in!! As for watering, in-ground I don't water often, maybe every 3 weeks, if I think of it unless we have a real drought period which isn't unusual here in the summer. Our summers can get very hot & humid. Last year it was like the tropics & everything grew amazingly & quickly. This summer is cooler ranging from about 75 to 80f. That's not to say that we haven't had some real hot ones. Just not as many or for extened periods like last summer, which is fine with me!! I do still have to water ALL my containers, pots etc. twice daily. Last summer, many days were 3 times daily!! That got to be a drag!!
You must be way hotter there in Florida right around now, so yes, your watering habits would be maybe like mine were last summer...too much!! lol Happy gardening & watering!!

This message was edited Saturday, Jul 19th 9:52 PM
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 20, 2003
1:50 AM

Post #587839

Sugar...Just had a thought as I reread your post. If you're having a time keeping your pots, containers watered, have you ever considered using packing peanuts in the bottom of the pot to hold the moisture? Another idea I heard recently for people on balconies, was to use an adult diaper, slit down the sides & turned inside out. You put this in the pot before you fill with soil. Probably 2 baby diapers would work too. Balconies are notoriuos for pots drying out. I heard this tip after I had potted my planters, but I sure kept it in mind. Makes a lot of sense as diapers hold water (or whatever!!) hehe I think they'd work even better than packing peanuts. Another tip I heard was using newspaper, a couple of sections from your local paper in the bottom of the pot laid out thickly. Good luck!
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2003
3:14 AM

Post #587938

S.Sue, I use bagged manure every year throughout my garden and in my pots and that must be the problem with my lilacs. I will lay off. I also toss alphalfa pellets out in the spring. Thanks for the info.
Sugar_fl
montgomery, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2003
3:56 AM

Post #587970

SS.. I don't have any luck with impatiens or ivy geraniums.
I have never seen trailing lobeilia here.. a lot of flowers I can't get here but larger areas may have them. This is a very rural area that don't go big for flowers. Lots of hay here *LOL*

Here is pictures of my garden but as U see this was almost a month ago & I have added more too..
http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid2308832

DH's Hosta garden in the front
http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid2330632
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 20, 2003
2:24 PM

Post #588190

Hi Anastatia...Good luck with the lilacs & yes, forget about the manure for them for several seasons. You should get blooms once they work that excess manure out of their system. I don't know when you prune your lilacs, but NEVER prune in early spring as you'll be cutting off this years bloom. ONLY prune lilacs AFTER they've bloomed. There's 2 schools of thought about cutting off the spent blooms too. There's a brief window of opportunity to cut-off the spent blooms from about 3 weeks after they are finished blooming to about mid-July. The other school of thought is to not cut-off the spent blooms at all. If you do cut them off, you have to be careful not to cut off next years buds, so you wouldn't cut too far down past the spent bloom but rather just beneath it. I've tried both ways & I can't say that I noticed any difference.
As for pruning, the idea is to cut-back to the ground any old wood that's not producing well. The trumk on these will be almost like a small tree trunk & usually found towards the centre of the shrub. The plant will send up fresh, new growth to replace these. Cut-off the small suckers that shoot-up from the base of the plant towards the outside perimeter as well. These suckers merely take energy from the main plant. Never prune a lilac by cutting it back all uniformly at eye level as if it were a privet hedge or some such. It'll look odd & they aren't meant to be boxy. It's fine to prune off any dead branches to clean up a plant. Just cut back to where it's alive.
Keep in mind that this pruning advice is for older lilacs that have older, less productive wood in the middle. You really don't need to prune a lilac much for several years after it's planted. You'll know by looking when it's time to thin it out in the middle & you'll need a good saw.
I love lilacs & if you think of it, pioneers planted lilacs around their homestead 100 years ago. I doubt they fussed with them very much. You still see stands of lilacs in the country, the farm house long gone & most of these are beautiful with no care at all. We're from a generation perhaps of over-babying plants!! Happy gardening & glad to be of any help.
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 20, 2003
2:38 PM

Post #588195

Hi Sugar...Impatiens are usually fool proof, but they do require a lot of water, particularily in pots & containers. Ivy geraniums usually bloom better in cooler temps as with any kind of geranium. Come September & cooler weather, geraniums just glow, the color gets so brilliant. That's here though, in Southern Ontario.
Great pics Sugar. Is that a type of Blue Salvia there in that first pic? I love that stuff. Have something similar in my front garden. It's an annual here, but there are many perennial ones also.
The hostas are great. I can see a nice, Japanese Maple in amongst them, the kind with the wine/burgundy leaves that are jagged!! Would that grow well in your area?? I can also see some Heuchera (Coral Bells) Palace Purple or Chocolate Ruffles for example here & there as well as some ferns. You have a nice start there for a very attractive shade-type garden.
Sugar_fl
montgomery, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 20, 2003
6:07 PM

Post #588337

SS I take it by the phrase, "I SEE" U mean what would look nice there.. We do have some fern in with the hostas & ajuga. The others I'd have to look up.
I think the blue Salvia is Blue Bedder. I also have Salvia
Salvia guaranitica & 3 bedding Plant ones..purple..Red & cream white. I got them at Wal-Mart but don't know their names. I have been promised a couple more Salvia to be mailed this week from another forum.. one is seeds & I believe the other is a plant. One is Clary which is purple blue & the other is Pineapple Sage. I really like the Salvia. I know the common name of most of my plants but not the fancy names. I'm sure I could look them all up though. I have most written down & want to make name tags for them.
Japanese Maples are very expensive & not sure about the
Heuchera (Coral Bells) I'd have to look that up.
There is also a blue unnamed Hydrangea in the Hosta beds.
We are going to start on a adjoining area of the back to expand my garden soon. I want to start a lot of seeds this winter. I am having trouble finding Salvia seeds. I can't even find a site that sells them ..they have the common ones I have & that's all..
I planted some Cassias last Wed & Friday had 7 sprouted. There is a lot that haven't but sure they will or at least most will. I'm real pleased to have 7 up.
I have over 80 different plants now & with a new greenhouse hope to have more next year. I know I will lose some this winter even with a greenhouse but will just replece them ..maybe with something different.
Sugar
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2003
6:12 PM

Post #588340

SSSue, Thank you!! I learned more about lilacs in your post then I have ever learned!! I have noticed some of my neighbors have not deadheaded their lilacs and have big brown flowerheads. Yet I know they all have great spring results. Yea, lilacs are old timers and that is one reason I like them so much. Remind me of my childhood. There is a lilac garden up the freeway from me, about 30 miles, and everykind God ever made. In Woodland, Wa just off I-5. Again, thank you.
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 21, 2003
3:41 PM

Post #589206

Anastatai...You've very welcome!! In the city of Hamilton, which is not too far from where I live, we have a botanical garden named the Royal Botanical Gardens, RBG for short. There are extensive gardens there & many different types of gardens & plants. One of the most famous areas is the lilac dell. It has the largest collection of lilacs in the world & is world reknowned. If a new lilac beomes available/is bred anywhere in the world, it must be registered with the RBG before it's recognized. They have many, many types of lilacs & have a Lilac Festival every spring. The RBG must have a web site, so you could check that out also.And no, I've never been!! Not hubby's thing!
Yes, it's hard to beat a beautiful lilac. Such beautiful color, fragrance & so darn romantic & old fashioned. Sadly, too elusive as well as they are at peak form so short a time, kinda like that lost love that got away!
When we bought our townhouse 26 years ago brand new, one of the reasons I chose this one over another was because of the lilacs growing out back. Have never regretted that & every May/June they never disappoint. They are something I look forward to in the winter & the fragrance drifting into the house when they're in bloom is wonderful!
One last thing, I hope you have your lilacs in full sun. They like that, the more the better! Good luck & thanks for the kind words.
SunshineSue
Mississauga, ON
(Zone 6a)

July 21, 2003
3:55 PM

Post #589216

Hi Sugar...Thanks for the names of some of your Salvia. Yes, Japanese Maples are expensive. That's what holds me back from getting one, plus they have to be in just the right location: sheltered from too much wind, not too much sun etc., so I'd be afraid I'd loose it. They are pretty though & nice fall color & form.
Sounds like you'll be busy with your greenhouse & starting seed. Nice way to spend the winter dreaming about all the wonderful plants you're growing & how they'll look in your garden next summer.
Wish I could find something for the long winters months that would hold my interest as much as my plants & garden do in the spring/summer. Need a passion for the winter besides T.V. & the computer!!! Oh...there's always shopping!! hehehe No space for a greenhouse for me, not even a mini one like they sell in Walmart!! boo hoo
Happy gardenig Sugar

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 27, 2003
4:34 PM

Post #594816

I'm in agreement about using cow manure, although I'd use rabbit if I could get it. Last year I bought a pick-up truckload of composted cow manure for under $20. It was still a bit hot, so I just piled it up and left it over the winter.

This spring, I used it everywhere as top/side dressing. I have to tell you that an application about 1' thick at the edges of my hedge really made a difference!

Accidentally, I had 2 filled 5 gal. buckets left over, and they filled with rain water because I forgot to put on the lids. I use a jar to siphon off the water and fertilize plants with it, and now fill with the hose. I stir occasionally, and will toss at the end of the growing season. (I keep a very thin layer of veggie oil on top to keep from breeding mosquitoes.)

SunshineSue, Poppysue uses the children's diapers that have an absorbent material in the liners when she pots up containers (I think I remember she just uses the liner material). Works like the water-absorbing crystals but cheaper.

Dinu

Dinu
Mysore
India
(Zone 10a)

September 4, 2003
11:43 AM

Post #637412

Sugar
I read in a book that cow dung is good as a liquid manure. IT says that a pound of dung is to be tied in a cloth bag and soak-hung in half bucket of water. Allow it to rot for 4-5 days. Use the 'decoction' as liquid manure for the plants. It will be a weak solution and it is esp. handy for pots which require frequent fertilizing. I want to try it out.

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