How much chicken manure can I mix in potting soil for potted plants. I want to grow tomatoes in a large pot but don't want to burn their roots.
Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi John, I'll tell you about my experience using chicken manure in hanging baskets - what a stench! And that was outside, so depending on where you're putting these, be really careful.
Personally, I think you're better off making compost tea to water in on a pretty much daily basis, depending on your climate, and how much rainfall you're getting. I've had really good success using compost tea, especially for potted plants, or those in grow bags.
Keep in mind that this is strong too, and must be diluted down to about one cup of tea to about two gallons (8 liters or so) of water. Any more than that, and you will get accumulated salts, just like with chemical fertilizers, so flush out the soil periodically with plain water.
If you want to add the chicken manure to the soil, use about one cup for each two gallon pot as a rough guide. If you put it in the bottom of the pot, and then fill the pot with your soil, the roots will be able to find it as needed.
Chicken manure is really high in Nitrogen, so this may prevent your tomatoes from actually setting fruit.
If you're using other fertilizers which have a higher middle number, that will be fine, or as I usually recommend, simply use the chicken manure as an activator in a hot compost pile, and then use that as your potting soil (or the main component of your soil).
Best of luck,
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