Cow dung or manure can make a great fertilizer, if you take the right steps. Fresh cow manure will have high levels of ammonia which can burn plants and it can contain excess salt which is bad for the soil. To use cow manure in your garden, you need to turn it into fertilizer by composting it. Composting is the first step, then how to compost the cow dung?
Preparing For Your Compost Pile
If you want to turn cow manure into fertilizer, you need a compost pile. The pile will need to be located in a shaded area away from plants. If there are trees too close to the pile, their roots will grow into the compost and this can cause problems. The location you choose should be large enough for a 3 to 4 square foot pile with some space for turning.
Once you have a location, you will need to prepare the area. To start, you need to dig a trench for proper water drainage. The trench should then be covered with twigs that are strong enough to hold the compost pile.
Creating The Compost Pile
After preparing the area, you can start creating your compost pile. This is done by layering the cow manure and dry organic materials. The manure will start to break down and mix with the organic materials. While this happens, the minerals that cause damage to plants and the soil will disperse to manageable levels.
To start layering, you will need to lay down 3 inches of dry organic material. For your reference, you can use the cow dung solid liquid separation machine for lowering the moisture content. This material will include grass clippings, leaves, and animal bedding. The layer will need to cover the entire square area of your compost pile. You should then moisten the layer with some clean water.
The next layer will be cow manure. You should keep this layer to around 2 inches. The layer will need to be moistened before you continue. The rest of the pile will be a repeat of these 2 layers until the overall pile is around 4 feet tall. It is important that you water the pile as you build to ensure that it is damp throughout. The last layer of the pile should be soil which covers the entire top of the compost.
Turning The Pile
Once your compost pile has been built, you will need to turn it every 3 days. The pile also needs to be kept moist, but not wet. It is important that you do not overwater the pile. You also need to check the temperature of the pile.
It is recommended that the temperature of the pile is kept between 120- and 160-degrees Fahrenheit. This should be checked regularly and before you turn the pile. If the compost pile becomes too hot, you will need to turn it more often. High heats will kill the microorganisms which make the compost from the different layers. Generally, the composted cow dung can be further processed into high quality cow dung fertilizer powder or granules.
Cow dung should never be used in your garden fresh or partially decomposed. You should only start to use the compost when it stops heating in the middle and turns dark brown. This can take a number of months to occur. You can equip a machine for quickening the cow dung composting.