Manure is better than fertiliser. Manure is derived naturally and adds a lot more than just nutrients to the soil. They increase the activity of the microbes in the soil and increase its fertility.
Many vegetable gardeners swear by the benefits of manure as a fertilizer. Adding manure to soil improves the soil's texture and water-holding capacity while providing nutrients needed by growing plants.
Disadvantages of Manure
The manures are reported to provide fewer nutrients to plants, and they are unable to provide high-yielding crops. Manures are slowly absorbed by the plants, and they add a lot of humus to the soil. They are made in fields, so transportation is difficult for manures.
Compost is rich in nutrients and therefore increases the fertility of the soil. Although fertilizers also increase fertility, they are artificial chemicals that can pass through the soil to the water, and these chemicals can be fatal for aquatic life. It increases crop yield and disease resistance in plants.
Cow manure is a great all-purpose fertilizer. It's low in nitrogen so it won't burn your tender plants, and has a good balance of nutrients. What's more, since a cow's four stomachs digest its food so thoroughly, very few weed seeds make it through, so you don't have to worry about them.
Cow, horse, chicken/poultry, sheep, goat, and llama manure are acceptable types of manure appropriate for use in vegetable gardens. There are differences in using raw, aged, and composted manure in a garden. Manure may be composted in a variety of means, for the home gardener, this is usually hot or cold composting.
Compost works well with fertilizer, sponging up and storing the nutrients until they're needed by the garden plants. Gardeners that go this route typically choose organic fertilizers over synthetic products, as the chemicals in the latter can discourage the beneficial microbe activity in compost.
Alone, compost may not adequately supply sufficient nutrients—particularly nitrogen during rapid growth phases of crops with high nutrient demands (e.g., watermelon, tomato, and pepper at fruiting) (Tyson and Cabrera, 1993). In addition, composted manure typically is more expensive than fresh or partially aged manure.
Applying too much manure, at the wrong time, or improperly handling it in other ways releases nutrients into the air or into ground or surface waters. Thus, instead of nourishing crops, nutrients become pollutants. Excess nitrogen can leach through soil into groundwater.
Not all manure provides nutrients to plants. As it breaks down, manure containing lots of bedding takes nitrogen from the soil. This reduces the amount of nitrogen available to plants.
Adding too much manure can lead to nitrate leaching, nutrient runoff, excessive vegetative growth and, for some manures, salt damage. And using fresh manure where food crops are grown poses risks for contamination with disease-causing pathogens.
Blending manure into the top layer of topsoil will help encourage root growth and health because the manure is packed full of nutrients. The main nutrient released is nitrogen which is needed for plants and vegetables to grow in a sustainable manner.
To Minimize the Health Risks Associated with Using Manures in Home Gardens. Wait at least 120 days after applying raw or aged manure to harvest crops that grow in or near the soil (root crops, leafy greens, strawberries). Wait at least 90 days for other crops.
Composting livestock manure reduces many of the drawbacks associated with raw manure use. It's also less likely to cause nutrient imbalances. The composted manure can safely be applied directly to growing vegetable crops.
Mixed into the soils, manure adds nutrients and helps bind sandy soils, while increasing drainage in clay soils. Some of you may be wondering if adding manure directly to compost is simply an added benefit, and to answer that question: yes, it most certainly is.
Conclusions. Compost feeds the soil, and fertilizer boosts plants. It's a way to get the short-term and long-term benefits at once. Moreover, adding fertilizers directly to your composting pile can be an excellent way of mixing the two.
Peas and beans are the two most common crops used to replenish the nitrogen content of the soil.
You would need about 70 pounds of compost to add the same amount of nutrients as 10 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer (containing 10% each nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). The value of compost to a garden is probably not what most people think.
Horses digest their food less thoroughly than cows, so their manure is richer in organic matter. It is, however, more likely to contain viable weed seeds. Horse manure often contains bedding and straw soaked with nitrogen-rich urine, which is of particular value to growers. Expect an NPK rating of 0.5/0.3/0.4.