Is chicken compost good for tomatoes and other veges? 

Q.

Hi, I have got some chicken compost from Kings, is it good for tomatoes and other veges? If so, how much time do I give it to settle before planting out and can I also add sheep pellets?

Ross Cuming

A.

Hi Ross,

Chicken manure is very rich in nitrogen and if not completely composted can burn plant roots. The nitrogen gives you healthy green growth but for tomatoes to fruit you need a balance of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium or potash (K). The N is for leaf growth, the P for root and stem and seed development, and the K is for flowering and fruiting. There is some organic matter in chicken manure which is good for the soil, but we would suggest sheep pellets as this stimulates earthworm activity and aerates the soil. It also adds organic matter to the soil and is a slow release source of nitrogen, but you will need to add a balanced fertiliser to the soil as well to ensure a bumper crop of tomatoes or veges. You won’t need to use sheep pellets and chicken manure, one or the other with a fertiliser such as Tui Tomato Food or for veges, Tui Vegetable Food will be fine. 

Happy gardening, Tui Team 

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