This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The manures in general use in gardens are numerous, but I shall only notice those which I consider the most useful; and of these, the dung of horses.
Next to the dang of horses, that of oxen and cattle is in the greatest request; and if slightly fermented, is an excellent manure for light, hot soils. It is also well calculated for soils of a dry, absorbent nature, as it retains its moisture for a greater length of time than most others.
Green vegetable matter is an excellent manure, but less attended to than it ought to be. Instead of collecting all useless vegetables, etc, in a garden into one heap, let the following simple mode be adopted: When a piece of ground is to be dug, go around and collect all the decaying vegetables, and immediately dig them in. The sweepings of grass walks and lawns are also of much use as a vegetable manure; and on being brought into the garden, they should be dug in before fermentation commences; but it must be observed, that they should not be buried at too great a depth, otherwise fermentation will be prevented by compression and the exclusion of air.
Sea-weeds, where they can be procured, make excellent manure for most vegetables, but particularly for Sea Kale, Artichokes, and Asparagus. This manure, however, is very transient in its effects, and does not last more than for a single crop, which is accounted for by its containing a large portion of water, or the elements thereof.
The dung of birds, either wild or domesticated, affords a powerful manure, particularly that of the former. Pigeon's dung is in great repute, but it should only be used as a compound; or, if used as a simple manure, the greatest care must be observed in the distribution of it It is a good manure for Strawberries and Raspberries; also the Fuchsia, Pelargonium, Coxcomb, Balsam, and it is indeed a rich manure for all potted plants that will bear rich feeding.
The dung of sheep affords good manure, but it is seldom used in gardens.
Soot is a very powerful manure, and ought to be used in a dry state, and thrown on the surface of the ground.- It is advantageously used in crops of Onions. It is sown at all times with good effect, and where it has been sown no maggot has appeared.
Of all mineral manures, lime is most known and generally used. It should, however, never be applied with animal manures, unless they be too rich, or for the purpose of preventing noxious effluvia. It is injurious when mixed with any common manure.
Manures, whether animal or mineral, are of such importance to vegetation, that all possible diligence should be used in the collecting and preparing of them for the different purposes for which they may be required. By a proper application of them, and by a rotation of cropping founded on just principles, the worst garden ground may be not only improved, but rendered fit for the production of every vegetable that is usually cultivated in the different localities of this country. Alfred Chamberlain. - Gardener to Delancy Kane, Newport, Rhode Inland.