What is better manure or humus for the garden

In recent years, when modified foods and burning cheeses with palm oil have appeared on store shelves, many Russians have seriously thought about the environmental friendliness of the products they consume.

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According to the statistics of MNIOI them. P.A. Herzen (http://www.oncology.ru/service/statistics/malignant_tumors/2015.pdf, p. 23), the overall incidence of cancer in Russia increased by 20.35% from 2005 to 2015 .

It is not surprising that an increasing number of summer residents are becoming adherents of organic farming, in which the use of chemistry is completely excluded. Everything is gradually returning to the foundations that were laid back in the days of our great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers.

Among the fertilizers, cow dung and humus have long been used in the village. At first glance, they act similarly, but there is a significant difference:

  • Concentrated fresh mullein is often applied during autumn digging to saturate depleted soils. When applied in the summer cycle, this fertilizer should be diluted to avoid chemical burn to the plants. This rule applies even more to bird droppings, which are much more aggressive.
  • Humus can be safely applied during the growing season. It acts much more gently, the plants will not get burned even at excessive concentrations. This fertilizer has already gone through the fermentation process and starts working immediately after application, while manure takes a certain time to pass into easily digestible forms for plants.

Manure Features

Manure is a fertilizer consisting of the excrement of farm animals.

  • The most effective is manure from sheep and goats. It contains up to 31.8% organic matter, 0.83% nitrogen (N), 0.23% phosphorus (P2O5), 0.67% potassium (K2O) and the least water – 64.6%.
  • Slightly less useful horse manure contains 25.4% organic matter, 0.77% nitrogen, 0.28% phosphorus, 0.63% potassium and 71.3% water.
  • The most common cow manure contains 20.3% organic matter, 0.5% nitrogen, 0.23% phosphorus, 0.59% potassium and 77.3% water.
  • Pig manure is the least valuable in agriculture, although it is not much inferior in terms of its qualitative composition: organic matter – 25%, nitrogen – 0.65%, phosphorus – 0.19%, potassium – 0.6%, water – 72.4%.

The quality of manure is significantly affected by the litter used. Peat base and sawdust are preferable to straw.

The degree of decomposition is also important:

  • The most useful manure is rotten to the state of a reddish loose mass.
  • Semi-rotted manure is not so valuable.
  • Fresh cow dung has the least utility.

The waste products of agricultural animals contain unripened seeds of weeds, which can subsequently germinate. Least of all they are contained in the composition of horse manure.

Fresh manure has a high heat transfer, so it is often used to fill the intermediate layers when creating warm beds.

For irrigation of seedlings and vegetable crops in the garden, manure is used in highly diluted concentrations.

In order for fresh manure to become an effective and safe nutrient substrate, it must rot for a long time, folded into heaps and sprinkled with layers of garden soil.

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Features of humus

Humus is a fertile land with a homogeneous composition with a neutral odor, resulting from the decomposition of manure, organic matter of plant and animal origin.

  • It is a good basis for nutrient mixtures used in the cultivation of indoor flowers and seedlings.
  • Humus is poured into the holes before planting seedlings in a permanent place.
  • This fertilizer is often applied when digging the soil to improve its composition.
  • Used for surface mulching of rows with seeds.
  • It can be used to fertilize cultivated plants throughout the season.


From the above, it follows that immediately without any preliminary preparation in the country, you can use humus. Fresh manure must be well diluted with water or brought in for autumn digging so that it has enough time to decompose over the winter. It is safer for plants to use rotted manure. At the same time, manure is much more nutritious than humus.


A whole list of organic fertilizers sometimes puts an inexperienced farmer in a difficult position, it is difficult for him to figure out the question: humus or manure as fertilizer, which is better for plants? It is especially interesting to establish the truth for those gardeners who have firmly decided to switch to a safe way of cultivating garden products for their families.

Is there a difference between manure and humus?

In fact, the action of two organic masses is the same – to fertilize the earth and improve its structure, but the effect is different:

  • humus as a decomposed product acts gently, delicately increases soil fertility, is non-aggressive for plants;
  • manure – its fresh, concentrated, heterogeneous nutritional composition is mainly used on depleted lands for winter digging.

When deciding what is better to apply: humus or manure as a fertilizer, it is required to take into account that the first product has undergone fermentation, decomposed, while losing some of the substances during overheating, and begins to act immediately after it enters the soil; the second composition only has to go through all the chemical processes in order to become a fertilizer readily available to plants.

Features of manure as a fertilizer

The biological mass effective for increasing fertility varies in quality, depending on which animals it is provided:

  • the best humus is horse;
  • the second in importance and the first in frequency of use is cow;
  • the worst is pork.

The quality is affected by the litter used: manure on peat litter, sawdust is more suitable and convenient for embedding into the ground than on straw.

The degree of decomposition plays an important role:

  • the most useful is manure that has rotted to the level of a loose red mass;
  • the second in value is considered semi-overripe, with a large amount of nutrients;
  • the least useful for plants and the most concentrated is fresh manure.

The disadvantage of the product is considered to be a large number of not rotted weed seeds in its composition. Once in the ground, they quickly germinate and give the gardener a lot of additional trouble. Although they are also present in humus, horse manure is the purest in this regard, it is not a breeding ground for weeds.

Features of humus as a fertilizer

Humus is animal waste that has decomposed for a long time to the state of black earth, mixed with bedding, food residues, hay, and other biological substances.

Analyzing what to use: humus or manure as a fertilizer, one can come to the conclusion that it has no drawbacks, it is considered homogeneous in composition, does not have the characteristic smell of manure, but smells of earth, is an ideal fertilizer for all crops.

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Types of humus in demand in agriculture:

  • from cattle;
  • horse;
  • sheet;
  • compost.

There are other types of organic fertilizers that are not so often used: rotted sawdust from hardwood trees, seed or rice husks, and the use of green manure as an alternative to manure has recently attracted interest. As an option, it is also possible to use a coconut substrate.

Scope of organic fertilizers in vegetable gardens

The farmer, choosing raw materials for a personal plot and deciding which is better: humus or manure as a fertilizer, must know where this or that type of organic matter will bring the greatest benefit.

Fresh manure (especially horse manure) has a high heat transfer, it is used for natural heating of beds in greenhouses or greenhouses, and is used in depleted areas before winter. Filled in the ground, under a layer of snow, it rots, fertilizing and structuring the soil, by spring a valuable layer of aerated nutrient humus ripens, in which many insects and arthropods settle, further improving the composition and porosity of the soil.

Fresh manure is used to prepare a liquid concentrated infusion, then the seedlings are watered in a diluted form.

Humus has a wider application:

  • it is also applied to the soil to increase fertility;
  • fall asleep directly in the holes before planting seedlings;
  • used as a light mulch layer, they are sprinkled with rows of seeds, preventing the formation of a cortical layer;
  • humus fill containers for picking seedlings;
  • used in indoor floriculture, preparing nutritious soil mixtures.

In order for manure to turn into a universal nutrient mixture, it needs to be overheated for at least two years, it is quite possible to prepare a valuable organic fertilizer on your own, laying the organic product in heaps and pouring it with layers of soil. Above, you also need a layer of earth to prevent nitrogen volatilization. Periodically, several times per season, the pile is stirred, allowing the substrate to fill with air.

Knowing the purpose of two types of organic matter, the gardener chooses: which fertilizer is better: manure or humus, guided by the needs of personal subsidiary plots. The applied fertilizer is enough for 3-4 years, after which the next filling of the soil with nutrients will be required.

Manure and humus – comparison from gardeners

In this video, gardeners discuss manure and humus, their advantages and disadvantages:

Recently, more and more often, Krasnoyarsk gardeners prefer organic fertilizers that do not pollute the soil with a variety of chemical components. Therefore, despite the obvious progress of science and the emergence of a large number of various means, manure remains the most popular fertilizer. Or derivatives of it. Today, there are 4 types of manure:

  1. Fresh – used to fertilize the soil, as well as to feed plants;
  2. Semi- rotted – used as a means of liquid top dressing;
  3. Completely rotted – introduced into the soil when preparing the soil mixture for seedlings;
  4. Humus – manure, aged for some time under certain conditions.

Although fresh manure and humus are obtained from the same source product, they differ markedly from each other in terms of properties and characteristics. Each of them has its pros and cons, and there is a heated debate among gardeners about what is better as fertilizer – humus or manure.

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Let’s say right away that there is no unequivocal answer to this question – it all depends on the goals that a particular gardener faces. For example, humus is a ready-made fertilizer that can be applied directly to the soil without additional processing. In the case of manure, this is impossible, since when fresh in the ground, it releases a lot of heat and can “burn” the roots of plants, especially young, not yet strong seedlings. Therefore, if fresh manure is introduced into the soil in the spring, then they must be buried to a great depth and covered with a layer of earth.

Usually , fresh manure is used in the fall – it is brought to the place of future plantings and thoroughly mixed with the original soil. In this case, the manure covered with snow gradually rots over the winter, and by spring you get a well-fertilized area. The disadvantage of this technology from the point of view of the topic under consideration – which is better as fertilizer, manure or humus – is that in the process of overheating, the volume of fertilizer decreases by 2.5-3 times . Thus, taking into account the fact that the cost of fresh manure and humus varies insignificantly, choosing the second option, the gardener gets three times the amount of ready-made fertilizer , which does not require additional preparation and processing.

What can be attributed to the advantages of manure, if we compare it with humus? For example, the possibility of preparing a very effective liquid fertilizer for crops. In this case, the manure is first diluted to the state of a thick slurry, kept for several days so that the active principle of the enzymes works, then 1 liter of this mass is diluted in 10 liters of pure water and the plants are watered with the resulting product. Using humus in this way will not work.

The topic of weeds, the seeds of which are found in manure, deserves special consideration. It is believed that in the case of humus, this problem does not arise. In fact, this is not so – weeds are found in large quantities in humus too. So you will have to face the attack of weeds in any case. By the way, in horse manure or humus obtained from it, there are no seeds of green pests.

So, what is better to use as fertilizer – humus or manure. Let’s sum up a little. If your main task is to prepare spring beds without any extra hassle and effort, then humus would be a more suitable option – it improves soil structure, increases yields and positively affects the taste of the crop. Manure can also be used for these purposes, but in this case, lengthy preparation and additional processing of the site will be required.

To compensate for this lack of manure, the ability to use it as a liquid top dressing helps. In addition, many gardeners have mastered such an agrotechnical technique as a “warm bed” – with this method of growing crops, manure is simply irreplaceable.

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