Choosing fertilizer for your garden is a big deal. Are you going to go natures way or man made, is the hundred dollar question. Both, animal or man made, have pros and cons. Mostly it comes down to what you have available to you. If you live or know someone who lives on a farm, it would make sense to go for the all natural animal manure. But if you do not have that advantage, then do your homework and get recommendations from other gardeners in your area about what brand of man made fertilizer they use. Different types of fertilizer work differently in different parts of the world. Asking your neighbors will give you a head start on making the right decision.
The next question for the natural is, which do you use: Horse or Cow
Both are good, as long as you use it after it has aged for six months or more. Manure is recommended for use in the food garden only after it has been well aged and composted.
You should never use fresh or semi-fresh manure around food crops. Studies show that pathogens can remain active for up to 120 days and have the potential to contaminate your crops.
Another reason a minimum of 120 days composting is recommended is because it can burn your plants. “Burning your plants”, means the nitrogen level are still so high that when any roots or leaves come in contact with it, they die.
If you are using animal manure as a fertilizer in a raised bed or a container it might be best to mix it with some store bought dirt or at least, some tree leaves that can be composted into the manure. This will ward off any burning surprises when using it in such a small place.
There will be mistakes made but the main thing is to keep going until you find what works best for you and your garden.