KUSA - Do something good for your garden. As the snow melts, follow up that big moisture event with something that will feed your lawn and perennials - manure.
While it's usually ideal to time the application of fertilizer before a storm, in this case it's easier to see what we're doing against the snow.
Manure is the best thing to use to top-dress a lawn or border. Not only does it provide nitrogen and other nutrients, manure has long-lasting benefits by improving the texture of the soil. Apply manure as if you are feeding chickens, with the sweep of your arm as you release it through your fingers. About a half inch to an inch is about right for the lawn or on the borders. Manure can also be used in vegetable gardens.
Never use fresh manure. The ammonia in it will burn plants and grass. Use composted manure that has broken down and doesn't stink.
Another advantage of manure for your garden is that it slowly releases the nitrogen and feeds over an extended period. While there's nothing wrong with using a granulated high-nitrogen lawn food, it acts as the equivalent of a sugar high. The results are fast but not sustainable. Lawn fertilizers aren't suitable for use on flowers.
The over-application of nitrogen fertilizers is also a concern because the runoff can disrupt the ecology of streams, rivers and lakes. One consequence is the algae bloom we often see in our city lakes. Don't be a contributor to that green goo.
Using manure in your garden will have long term benefits. You'll discover that it's a gardener's best friend.
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