Improving Soil


The Scoop on Poop

Different types of animal manure are used to enrich gardening soil. We do not recommend applying fresh manure directly to your plot for a number of reasons:

  • Fresh manure may contain parasites, e-coli, listeria or salmonella. Children, pregnant women, elderly and people whose immune systems are compromised should not eat from gardens that have fresh applied manure.

  • Applied fresh, your food may become contaminated with these pathogens especially root and leafy vegetables.

  • Cat, dog and pig manure carry parasites that are difficult to get rid of so do not use this type of manure in your garden or compost.

  • The best time to apply fresh manure is in the fall to avoid contamination of your plants.

  • During garden season, only use composted manure. Properly, composting manure at a core heat of 60 degrees Celsius greatly reduces your risk.

  • Fresh manure may burn or dehydrate your plants due to its high level of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.

  • Wash your hands and produce well with clean water before you eat.

For more information on using manure, please see the Guidelines for Using Manure on Vegetable Gardens provided by the University of Maine.