Composted Manure versus Humus Manure

I am starting a blackberry/raspberry row and my soil is not that great. I plan to add shredded leaves, compost, and manure and then till. I go to my local AG store today and they have 2 options. One is labeled composted manure and the other is labeled humus manure. So I scratch my head and wonder which one I should purchase. The young lady working there wasn’t much help.

The composted manure costs $2.39/bag and the humus manure cost $2.99/bag. I assume the humus manure is better as a soil builder/conditioner and the composted manure is more of a fertilizer type of thing?

Which one will work better for my needs?

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This is what I got from looking one product up:

Scotts® Premium Humus & Manure — Contains: organic materials (peat, composted forest products, aged rice hulls, or compost), composted manure, pelleted poultry litter.

So beats me what it actually has in it. Anything with poultry litter makes me nervous since it wasn’t until Dec 2015 that the FDA withdrew approval for using arsenic-based drugs in poultry feed. (Though in a few years I would think all of the As should be out of that supply chain.)


What animal did that manure come from? That makes a big difference. I’m not a fan of poultry manure because of rampant practices of arsenic addition to feed.

My favorite manure compost is equine from a known stable. They give quality feed to their horses (not fed weeds!) and the manure composts great with red worms!


That’s good to know. It still bothers me that nobody sells organic chicken manure compost. Not that I want the organic label, but it somehow tells me Arsenic is still being detected.

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As a soil conditioner I prefer composts that are derived from leaves, woodchips, grass cuttings, etc. to manure products. But once they are well broken down it doesn’t make that much difference, although pH can be an issue. I actually buy composted yard waste from a site wholesale where the pH is higher than I would like, as I prefer something in the low to mid 6’s for brambles and most everything else, if only because raising pH is much easier than lowering it. The 7.5 pH of this stuff is perfect for fruit trees where the native soil is in the mid 5’s to mid 6’s though.

As far as your question, I don’t think the source is as important as the state of the product- how well composted it is, how it smells and how heavy it is. If there aren’t split open bags I’d test a bag of each and make my decision based on that.


Thanks. All good comments. When I see manure I assume cow manure but you are right I guess it could be chicken or another animal. I did look for split bags to see if I could get a visual reference but none of the bags were torn (Go figure).

This stuff was not made by Scotts. It came in somewhat generic bags akin to ProMix. This AG shop does sell a lot of high end potting mixes like ProMix and all of the FoxFarm stuff with bat guano and worm castings.

It probably doesn’t matter all that much for my application. My curiousity was peaked so I thought I’d ask.

Your assumption is probably correct in my experience. Chicken compost or dried chicken manure is usually labeled as such, or was back when I sought out such products. Cow manure is extremely common in various forms.

Actually, my most favorite compost source is all within my yard. After every mowing, I collect the clippings and make a pile with arborist wood chips (read free) on top of kitchen scraps. I’ve had problems with raccoons/possums, so I cover this pile up with cardboard and put rocks on top. My yard is teeming with red worms and they move in pronto. Every month I move to a new pile. I’ve also done this in large. plastic pots. By 2 months, I have about 2-4 cu ft worth of fresh, primo compost ready!

Yes, my best stuff is made with kitchen scraps and other special ingredients, but that only produces enough to take care of all my vegetables. I could be a leaf cowboy and corral enough to make lots more, but I prefer to spend a little time on leaves as possible. They get pushed to the edges once a year.

We used to use composed turkey manure. We would get it for next to nothing from the farm down the road by the 18 wheeler load

Sorry. Just saw this. Had to share.


Especially squirrels!!


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