Spread or mix compost

Looking for opinions: do you spread manure over existing soil or mix it into the existing soil? This is for a veggie bed.

The manure must not be fresh as it will be too rich if you are planning on planting right away. It needs to age a bit. So spreading it out to age it will work and then lightly mix it into the soil. I add aged manure to my compost and then lightly dig both into my beds.

The old “to till or not to till” debate. Depends on your feelings about killing some of the beneficial soil organisms. Personally, we till well-aged manure into the veggie garden. If you are using fresh manure at this time of year, you should not grow anything in your vegetable garden for at least 6 months. There is some debate about this but bottom line, there are some harmful pathogens in manure which can only be removed through time spent in composting. Fresh manure can be spread on top of the soil in the fall after harvesting and allow to age in place. But depending on what manure you are using, 6-9 months-worth of aging in place may not get rid of all the weed seeds in the manure.


What are your thoughts on a cover crop planted in Fall?