how to apply organic manure. what organic manufe? Manures are plants and animal materials that are added to the soil to supply nutrieiits needed for the growth of crops. A well decomposed organic matter is called humus. Humus is a rich source of plant nutrients suitable for vegetable gardening.
Types of-Organic Manures
The major types of organic manures are green manure, form yard manure and compost manure
(i) Green manures: These are undecomposed green plants parts which are turned into the soil. Some plants are grown specifically to be worked or dug intp the ground to serve as source of plant nutrients. Examples arc mucuna, centrosema. pueraria. calopogonium and fresh green weeds.
This is done mostly when they are young and succulent tor easy decomposition. It also involves the growing of leguminous plants for the purpose of soil improvement.
This is the reason for increase in yield of other crops planted after a legume, such as groundnut, pigeon peas, and cowpea which add nitrogen In the soil has been harvested.
Advantages of how to apply organic manure
(a) It provides organic matter to the soil to improve its physical condition.
(b) It supplies nitrogen and other plant nutrients.
(c) It protects the soil against erosion.
(d) It reduces the loss of nutrients through leaching.
Disadvantages of applying organic manure
(a) There is competition for basic nutrients and water.
(b) They may harbour diseases and pests of crop plant.
(c) It may be expensive to grow green manure plants.
It is advised that plants to be used as green manure should
(a) Easily establish.
(b) Grow quickly.
(c) Produce abundant succulent shoots and roots in a short time.
(d) Easily cover the ground.
(e) Grow on poor soils.
how to apply farm yard organic manure
(ii) Farm yard manure: This is a mixture of animal droppings, urine, food remains and beddings or litter. Manure from poultry, goats and sheep are the richest forms of farm yard manure.
They are followed by those of pigs, horse and cattle.
The materials are heaped under a shed to decompose for sometime before use. They could be used direct on the farm. They should be properly handled, as too much exposure may lead to breakdown of the nutrients
. The more volatile constituents such as nitrogen could be lost as ammonia gas. It is often better to mix manures from different types of animals to be used as pen manure than to apply only one type.
The quality of farm yard manure depends on:
(i) The species of animals producing the materials
(ii) Age and condition of the animal.
(iii) The type of feed given to the animal.
(iv) Nature and amount of litter. That is, whether absorbent materials are used as beddings
(v) The handling and methods of storage before use on the farm.
Farm yard manure can be applied by broadcasting before tillage especially when the soil is moist or wet. It can be spread on the bed and mixed with the soil before planting.
advantages of use of Farm yard manure
1. It contains ail the required plant nutrients.
2. It is reasonably cheap as it can be obtained from the farm.
3. It has a lasting effect on the soil.
4. It binds loose sandy soil together.
5. It also loosens compact clay soils.
6. It enables the soil to absorb and retain moisture easily.
Disadvantages of the application of farm yard organic manures
1. It is very bulky.
2. It requires much labour during application.
3. It has the tendency to encourage rapid growth of weeds.
(iii) Compost manure: This is the decayed plant and animal remains in heaps or stacks or pits, used as
manure on the farm.
The materials needed for compost making include grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, weeds, vegetable wastes, leaves and otner organic wastes from the kitchen.
Ash or lime or animal dungs or old compost, chemical activators such as sulphate of ammonia are also added. Young and succulent plant parts should be used instead of woody and tough parts. This is because decomposition is easier and contains much nutrients for healthy plant growth.
A suitable area of the farm, preferably near the edge, should be chosen. The area should not be water-logged. When prepared during the dry season, there should be a nearby water source.
Methods of compost making: Two methods can be used in compost making.
These are the pit method and the stack or heap method. The pit method is used in areas of low rainfall or in the dry season while the stack or heap method is used in high rainfall areas or during the rainy season. Whichever method is used , the processes as well as the materials used remain the same.
Processes of compost making
1. Dig lour pits or peg out four areas.
2. Add kitchen wastes, yam peelings, orange skin and pulp, rotten fruits and anything that rots easily.
3. Then, add grass cutnnus. hedge trimmings, vegetable wastes and illled or the desired height is compress.
4. Repeat this process until the pit is filled or the desired height reached if heap method is used.
5. Cover the top with soil to prevent the entering of flies.
6. Insert a stick at one end or at the centre in case of pit method. This is called a “tester”. It detects if decomposition is going on or not. The stick will be hot if there is decomposition after about 5 days or else, it will be cold.
7. Turn materials or the content of pit A or heap A into B after two weeks. Refill pit or heap A. Repeat this step until pit or heap D is reached and the desired quantity obtained.
8. Cover the final products with suitable materials until it is ready for use. This will prevent the loss of important nutrients due to strong sun or rain water.
‘Starters’ are materials used to initiate decomposition process of compost materials. Examples are animal wastes, old compost or materials that rot easily.
Chemicals such as sulphate of ammonia could be used to induce decaying process in the absence of starters. Such chemicals are called ‘activators
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