Manure has to be composted because of the high nitrogen content. Manure has the benefit of having high ratios of nitrogen in it because of the amount of plant material that the animals eat. Chicken manure that has been well-composted can still be very hot and burn plants. Well-composted compost is good because it has such a variety of nutrients in it. You can tailor your compost to enrich the soil that you have. This makes it very versatile and flexible. Compost also contains humus, which is very beneficial for the soil. There is also some material in the compost that will keep on composting, which will keep on releasing nutrients into the soil. Compost does not have to be mixed into the soil (although it is always wise with any compost or manure to not allow it to directly touch the growing plant), whereas manure must be mixed into the soil and left to cool off before planting (even after it has been composted). Green manure has the benefit of being a holding pattern for the nutrients that have already been added to the soil. If the ground is left with nothing growing in it, the sun and rain will leach the nutrients out of the soil. By churning in the stalks of a crop back into the soil and planting a cover crop, it holds the nutrients in the soil. Each way has benefits. However, using a combination of green manure and compost is the best way to enrich the soil.
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