Using Sheep Manure
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Christine Léger
Posted on: May 23, 1999

I have a plot in a community garden here in Montréal, Quebec, Canada which I have divided up into one long border (2 x 20 feet) and 8 squares, each measuring roughly 4 feet square. I grow herbs, vegetables, berries and flowers and use no chemical herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or additives. However, I do use blood and bone meal, vermiculite and garden lime when I plant, spread compost whenever I have it (usually in the fall), and spread peat moss all over the garden every second year.

My question is: is now a good time to spread sheep manure which I can get at the local garden centre in 15kg bags? I was thinking of using a 1/2 bag for every 4 foot square and a couple of bags in the border. I welcome your input.

The rate at which you fertilize your growing beds is probably doing wonders for your vegetables, but it may be too rich for your herbs. If herbs get too much food they will grow lush - and tasteless. Using half a bag of sheep manure on the 20 foot long (6 meter) bed is probably plenty, unless you started out with a veritable wasteland. Sheep manure is one of the strongest manures and can easily burn roots. Therefore use sparingly to start with. If the manure turns out to be very well composted, then you can be more liberal with it.

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