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Enriching Soil with Manure

Q. I would like to enrich my garden soil this spring and wonder about using manure on my flower beds.

A. Composted or aged manure is a wonderful soil amendment, useful in most types of garden beds. When completely composted, it contains all the organic matter without any of the weed seeds, soluble salts and ammonia present in fresh manure. Like most natural fertilizer products, aged manure has lower concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium than synthetic fertilizers. It can be turned into the soil this spring or applied as a winter mulch once the ground is frozen late next fall.