For New England gardeners, the first day of spring is analogous to the start of the Indy 500 – with the wave of a green flag directing us to jump-start our gardens and lawns for the lovely, warm days ahead.
Spring fertilizing supplements soil with nutrients and organic matter to help vegetables, lawns and shrubs grow healthy roots, foliage and fruit. Composted chicken manure is preferred by many experienced gardeners because it is a sustainable, slow-release source of macro and micronutrients, acts as a soil amendment and is also rich in organic matter.
For those who are new to chicken manure, here are some guidelines to make the most of this wonderful natural resource:
When to apply
Although chicken manure can be applied at any time during the year, an application in early spring will help wake-up and strengthen the roots of lawns, perennial plants and shrubs. For vegetable gardens manure should be applied at least 90 days before harvest.
Usually, one application a year is sufficient. It is best to apply it before forecasted rain as the water will help the odor dissipate more quickly.
How to apply
For lawns, broadcast over the surface and rake to spread out. If the manure is wet, try drying it in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp to make it easier to spread. For vegetable and flower gardens, apply the manure on top of the existing soil and hoe or spade it into the soil.
When using on established shrubs and perennials, spread the manure around the plants, keeping 3 – 4 inches away from the base of the plant, then water thoroughly.
How much to apply
Apply to vegetable gardens at a rate of 1 bag per 100 sq ft and to flowers, lawns or shrubs at a rate of 1 bag per 300 sq ft.
When purchasing chicken manure at Chip-in Farm, here are some frequently asked questions to help simplify the process:
Is chicken manure available for a limited time?
We have a substantial supply of manure and expect it to be available through June. We bag manure every day, so if you visit and we are out of stock please check back again.
How much does it cost?
It is $9.00/bag
Can I reserve a few bags?
We are unable to set bags aside but please be assured that we have a lot of manure and will be bagging daily throughout the spring.
Can I return empty bags?
Unfortunately, we cannot reuse them so please discard them.
How much do the bags weigh?
Each bag weighs about 50 pounds.
Will someone be available to help load the manure into my car?
The farm is so busy in the spring, we cannot guarantee that someone will be available to help load the manure into your car so please plan accordingly.