Manure and sterilizing soil question

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Old 07-28-09, 06:47 AM
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Manure and sterilizing soil question

I want to sterilize the soil in my vegi garden, before planting season comes. I'm in SW Florida.
I also want to put in a load of horse manure to help the soil.
I plan on covering the soil with a tarp for a few months, to heat the soil up.
My question, if I rototill in the manure, will there be any problem if I cover it for a few months?
Thanks, I'm looking forward to an even better crop this year.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 07:35 PM
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Raw horse manure will be too hot to put in the garden spot. It should be composted first. Why do you want to "sterilize" the soil, anyway? The soil needs organisms growing and living in it in order to thrive. You won't have much of a garden if you kill the organisms. Covering the manure won't be necessary. It would be better to sow something like clover over the area. Clover and other legumes, like buckwheat, will fix nitrogen to their roots and will benefit the natural fertilizer content of the soil. You won't have to do anything to the clover in order to plant. Plant right in it. It is low growing and will help with weed growth.
 
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Old 07-29-09, 08:20 AM
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The raw manure will also be full of weed seeds! Composted only.
 
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Old 07-29-09, 04:28 PM
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Oh, talk about wild weed seeds! Good point Kerry. All your work will be in vain, and the weeds won't go away.
 
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Old 08-05-09, 05:47 PM
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The reason for sterilizing the soil is because of Neamatodes (sp?) I've read that the critters can be killed by sterilizing the soil.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 03:10 PM
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Yeah, but a good combination of lime, fertilizer and other nutrients will keep them at bay, as well. As with all things sterilized, once they leave their sterile atmosphere, they become contaminated again, so IMO you may not be doing yourself any favors by trying this.
 
 

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