Is Chicken Manure Good For Tomatoes?

Having chickens around can be good for your vegetable garden as they eliminate a large number of pests, but how about the poop they leave behind?

Is chicken manure good for tomatoes? How much can you give so your plants won’t get fertilizer burn?

Is Chicken Manure Good for Tomatoes?

is chicken manure good for tomatoes

Generally speaking, animal excrement serves as a beneficial soil additive because it contains nutrients that plants need to grow. Chicken dung is considered a staple in the vegetable garden due to its high nitrogen content.

As you know, nitrogen makes up the ‘big 3’ in the plant fertilizer department, alongside phosphorus and potassium. More than that, chicken poop also has calcium and significant amounts of potassium and phosphorus.

Chicken manure isn’t just pure dung, though. It also has straw or wood shavings that come from the chicken bedding, as well as debris that is mostly made up of shells, feed, and feathers. This makes it a good soil amendment if you want something that promotes aeration and moisture retention.

That said, you should be mindful of a few things if you’ll be using chicken manure on tomatoes. Chicken manure is the ‘hottest’ fertilizer out of all animal excrement, and thus shouldn’t be applied fresh on plants.

Is Chicken Manure Safe for Tomatoes?

is chicken manure good for tomatoes

Tomato plants can suffer from detrimental effects when there’s too much nitrogen in the soil. The roots are likely to get ‘burned’ and will be destroyed if you put in a lot more fertilizer than what’s needed.

Chicken manure is relatively safe for tomato plants as long as you allow it to dry and age first. It’s recommended that you should prepare the material before applying it as fertilizer to your vegetable garden and tomatoes.

Alternatively, you can combine it with other compost materials or process chicken manure on its own so it can be used safely on tomato plants.

When composting chicken manure you can do either the cold compost or the hot compost method. Cold composting is the easier of the two- just pile up the manure and let it sit for around 6 months or so before applying it to your plants.

Hot composting is when you add chicken manure to a bin and allow it to heat up while turning over the material periodically. In about five weeks you should be able to use the chicken manure as tomato fertilizer without worrying about nitrogen burn.

How to Apply Chicken Manure to Tomato Plants

Chicken manure can be used in several ways in the garden, including as a pre-planting soil treatment, as a side dressing, and added to the compost mix.

You can add aged or composted chicken manure to the soil prior to sowing the seeds or transplanting tomatoes. Mix it in the top 6 inches of the ground so your plants can get the nutrients they need to grow well.

For tomatoes that are already established, you can simply sprinkle a layer of chicken manure at the top of the soil and around the plants.

Make sure to water them so the nutrients get into the soil and are available for absorption. This prevents the roots from getting disturbed and lowers the risk of burning your plants.

Lastly, you can mix in chicken poop among your compost materials. This gives your organic compost plenty of plant nutrients, and you wouldn’t need to add synthetic compounds further.

Related Article: Can You Put Manure Over Grass Seed?