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bspatial5

Use of Horse manure

bspatial5
15 years ago

Good People- I have access to an unlimited supply of mostly dry horse manure or cow manure. I am told that horse manure is better for vegetable or flower gardens in that it will not "burn" plants much at all. Assuming this is true, I expose my ignorance by asking the following:

1- Is it safe to eat fruits and vegetables that have been fertilized with horse manure?

2- If so,when, how often and how much should be used, especially when used in a vegetable garden?

BTW, this stuff is very dusty when being shoveled-especially in a barn. Is it very harmful when breathed?

Grateful for any reply

Comments (98)

  • susiecalyer
    12 years ago

    I have been using horse manure for years in all of my garden beds. I believe that for the home gardener, there is nothing better than animal manure for my plants, despite the ongoing argument by others as to NPK content. I also think that it works great as a mulch until it begins to dry out so incorporating it into the soil as well as piling it on top can be helpful, I have found. The one problem I have had which has been alluded to here but bears mentioning is that it works too well sometimes and can encourage more leafy growth and less fruit and vegetable setting. My "dwarf" fruit trees went bezerk until I stopped putting manure under them, and I still have to hard prune them. I find that the timing of application makes a difference too--later after fruit/vegetables are actively growing can make a difference...

  • Kimmsr
    12 years ago

    Since this was first posted in 2005 it would probably be a good idea to let it drop and start a new discussion on the subject. Hopefully some of us have learned something more about this subject in the last 4 years.

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  • bloosquall
    12 years ago

    This thread has a long life, shows you how interested people are in the subject. I disagree with Kimmsr on letting it die though. I feel keeping it on the front page new people can read it and learn from it.

    I was planting some willows yesterday and am using 100% aged poo in the pots. I smelled the stuff that is on the top 8" of the pile..smells like fresh clean earth. I dug down to the dry part to see what it was like, it still have the ammonia smell to it. This tells me the top layer that has been exposed to the weather is now nothing more than fibrous material with little fert value left in it. Should make for good potting soil. We shall see. I'll give my report in a month. Side note: I made up a batch of poo tea and am using it on my house plants...hooya

  • mn_voyageur
    12 years ago

    I agree with bloosquall. I am just now expanding our garden and found this page to be very helpful.

  • seamommy
    11 years ago

    Animal manure from herbavores is good for the garden, horse, cow, sheep, goat, llama, rabbit, worms and chicken. Avoid manures from carnivores, dogs, cats, people, alligators, etc., those wouldn't be good. (Besides gator poop is pretty hard to collect, and I'm being facetious anyway.) But you get the idea.

    Always wear breathing protection when handling dry manures regardless of where they came from or whether they are fresh or dry. It is possible to fertilize too much because some plants will make lots of foliage at the expense of the crop, such as potatoes. But generally speaking with composted manures you can use as much as you can get. I would probably choose chicken over horse or cow, but I found that rabbits make the perfect manure, it's usable immediatley after production and it comes in the perfect package, pelletized for easy spreading. Cheryl

  • mwolson
    11 years ago

    I don't know about Martin's horses but I feed mine pelleted grain (Purina Strategy), good mixed grass hay and black oil sunflower seeds for an additional fat source and I get sunflowers sprouting all over the place.

    Horse's digestive systems are rather inefficient for processing anything other than what they are designed for, consuming large quantities of grass type roughage. Feed them any seeds and some come out well able to sprout. If their teeth don't grind it enough for the gut to digest, it's coming out the other end.

    Check the manure of any horse that is fed a "sweet feed" grain mix. You'll find corn and oats galore. The birds love to peck apart horse manure just for the seeds that pass through.

  • funnystories_yahoo_com
    10 years ago

    When you are using horse manure for fertilizing your garden make sure it has been composted first. This gets rid of the pathogens or weed seeds that it could contain.

    As far as being safe to eat vegetables that were grown with horse manure fertilizer it all depends on if the horses were pumped with chemicals or not. Some show horses are, it depends on the stable. I always make sure the fertilizers I use have been certified organic. That eliminates the worry.

    As far as direction on how to use horse manure, there are some basic guidelines on the website for the stuff I use. Its called Seven Year Gold. Its under the For Best Results section. There are not a lot of details but I did find it useful to know when to fertilize my garden.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Horse Manure Compost

  • Kimmsr
    10 years ago

    There is no good reason to compost anything for seven years. Depending on how it is handled compost can be ready for use in 14 days or in one yeart, maximum, unless the mix is wrong or there is insufficient moisture in the mix.

  • eno
    10 years ago

    Hello,
    Here is how I use my unlimited supply (farmer next door has 7 Belgians). When the stalls are cleaned out it is dumped in piles in the back 40. We cover these with straw to keep them warm and wet. Some people use a tractor to turn the piles, but I haven't found that it is required. Each year is a different pile. I use the oldest first currently we use a 4 year old pile. It should look black and still have some of the straw or in my case sawdust present. I then in the spring and fall mix it with raked leaves and wood chips. I use a lasagna method of layering (about 8+ layers). This creates a brag worthy mix that I can add to anything. I also use the old manure directly around my trees, bushes and day-lilies, but be warned this can encourage suckers on some varieties. On the subject of dust in the barn, wear a mask anytime you are mucking the barn. I also use biochar, green clay and ground seaweed in my bed prep. I have clay with sand soil and it needs a lot of love.
    Good luck,
    Eden

  • eno
    10 years ago

    Hello,
    Here is how I use my unlimited supply (farmer next door has 7 Belgians). When the stalls are cleaned out it is dumped in piles in the back 40. We cover these with straw to keep them warm and wet. Some people use a tractor to turn the piles, but I haven't found that it is required. Each year is a different pile. I use the oldest first currently we use a 4 year old pile. It should look black and still have some of the straw or in my case sawdust present. I then in the spring and fall mix it with raked leaves and wood chips. I use a lasagna method of layering (about 8+ layers). This creates a brag worthy mix that I can add to anything. I also use the old manure directly around my trees, bushes and day-lilies, but be warned this can encourage suckers on some varieties. On the subject of dust in the barn, wear a mask anytime you are mucking the barn. I also use biochar, green clay and ground seaweed in my bed prep. I have clay with sand soil and it needs a lot of love.
    Good luck,
    Eden

  • eno
    10 years ago

    Hello,
    Here is how I use my unlimited supply (farmer next door has 7 Belgians). When the stalls are cleaned out it is dumped in piles in the back 40. We cover these with straw to keep them warm and wet. Some people use a tractor to turn the piles, but I haven't found that it is required. Each year is a different pile. I use the oldest first currently we use a 4 year old pile. It should look black and still have some of the straw or in my case sawdust present. I then in the spring and fall mix it with raked leaves and wood chips. I use a lasagna method of layering (about 8+ layers). This creates a brag worthy mix that I can add to anything. I also use the old manure directly around my trees, bushes and day-lilies, but be warned this can encourage suckers on some varieties. On the subject of dust in the barn, wear a mask anytime you are mucking the barn. I also use biochar, green clay and ground seaweed in my bed prep. I have clay with sand soil and it needs a lot of love.
    Good luck,
    Eden

  • ron_gardner
    10 years ago

    I am currently adding a foot (or more if I can safely?) of fresh manure on what will be a new Asparagus patch. Can it be tilled in now or will I have to wait until spring? I have clay soil and six more weeks of warm weather here in NW Ohio. I will have a soil test done in the spring. Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you in advance.
    Ron

  • kmandley_centurytel_net
    10 years ago

    A side note regarding "Certified Organic" fertilizers. Only food products to be consumed by humans are "Certified Organic". A fertilizer might be Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed, but it's not going to be Certified Organic.

  • lindalant_aol_com
    9 years ago

    I have been using what I call "horse poop soup" for many years now. I get it all mixed up in a bucket and when I want to use some as liquid fertilizer, I dilute it to about 4 units water to 1 unit 'soup'. I have had wonderful success with it, too ! Where I live now, the horses are fed on hay, sweet pellets and pasture grass. My diluted solution seems to work extremely well, and I haven't killed a plant yet using this product. Thanks for all the great answers here on this subject !

    Linner

  • gjohnson_eoni_com
    9 years ago

    We tilled a pickup full of manure into our 25x20 garden as the soil was very compacted. We did this in early April. My peas and most plants look sick. Poor growth and yellow. Is there anything we can do?

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
    9 years ago

    Someone should try making paper from horse manure. I saw this think on Current TV about a family in India making good money selling paper made from elephant manure.

  • Kimmsr
    9 years ago

    Since it is well known that several disease potentially can exist in manure, animal and human, ranging from Listeria, as pointed out in another post here, to E-Coli to Salmonella, to Cholera I cannot understand why someone would make the erroneous states that it is 100% safe to eat foods grown where manures have been used as a fertilizer.
    If proper precautions are taken, if the manure is spread 90 (above ground crops) to 120 (below ground crops) before harvest, and the foods harvested are properly handled you most likely will not get on of the diseases. Even bumbling idiots do not get one of those disease very often. However, it does happen and seems to be happening much more often today.
    Manures can be used to fertilize soils, if used properly, with care.

  • stuartcurran
    9 years ago

    i have just started to use one month old horse muck with a lot of shavings in it to mulch my roses and raspberry's i cut the raspberrys right down to the ground and they have just started to shoot so i will let you know next month if they burn or thrive on this stuff fingers crossed

  • covella
    9 years ago

    You have to watch the weed seeds in uncomposted horse manure. Horses pick up all kinds of field weeds in their grazing, or it can be mixed in with their hay also. They don't digest all those seeds and believe me, they will sprout like nothing you've ever seen in a garden.

    I once got totally dehydrated powdered horse manure from inside a barn. I put a big handful at each plant base and then left a big 50 lb burlap bag of it standing in the garden over the winter. Near the bag where the nutrients all leached out over the winter the plants went wild. I had 6 foot delphiniums that year and a butterfly bush went to 9 feet in just one year. Near the plants where I put the handfuls of manure I grew weeds of such a nature I never want to see again. Tough field weeds that took hard digging to remove, and remove, and remove. The lesson was either compost it to kill the weed seeds, or bag it in porous bags to let it decompose by itself and kill the seeds.
    Cow manure is actually better if you can get it, the 4 stomachs of ruminants do a better job of digesting seeds and the manure has a lot less solid matter in it.

  • covella
    9 years ago

    You have to watch the weed seeds in uncomposted horse manure. Horses pick up all kinds of field weeds in their grazing, or it can be mixed in with their hay also. They don't digest all those seeds and believe me, they will sprout like nothing you've ever seen in a garden.

    I once got totally dehydrated powdered horse manure from inside a barn. I put a big handful at each plant base and then left a big 50 lb burlap bag of it standing in the garden over the winter. Near the bag where the nutrients all leached out over the winter the plants went wild. I had 6 foot delphiniums that year and a butterfly bush went to 9 feet in just one year. Near the plants where I put the handfuls of manure I grew weeds of such a nature I never want to see again. Tough field weeds that took hard digging to remove, and remove, and remove. The lesson was either compost it to kill the weed seeds, or bag it in porous bags to let it decompose by itself and kill the seeds.
    Cow manure is actually better if you can get it, the 4 stomachs of ruminants do a better job of digesting seeds and the manure has a lot less solid matter in it.

  • jolj
    9 years ago

    How much compost to add to the garden? The powers to be say add no more then 25% of your soil. Only add more when the 25% breaks down.
    But I have planted in 80% compost, before the internet was here to tell me it is not a good ideal. Everything was fine, only problem was to much fruit & it was really big, but taste great.
    A co worker use 100% coffee waste, not fully composted to plant his tomatoes in & had the same problem, he gave over half of his fruit away.

  • myrasizemore
    8 years ago

    This has been great reading from the beginning of the thread. We have a large pile of manure from an attempt to adopt 2 Tennessee Walker horses last year. We recently gave up, admitting too little experience and a little too late in life to be truly up to their care. We feel we adopted them out to a great home here in KY. Question: This fall, can we take all that collected manure, which has been sitting in wait for a use and proper know-how over the months, and pile it as is over the garden this fall to help control weed growth and as added nutrients through the cool/cold season after gardening this year? Then can we simply turn it into the soil for spring planting next year? Would that be an effective use of our saved manure from our horse experience?

  • Diogyphus
    8 years ago

    I recently got a source for several thousand lbs of horse manure. When I went to shovel out the barn I raked off the duff at the top and then bagged it for layering on my compost, (I alternate clippings, paper, soil, manure, coffee grounds..most of the house waste goes to the chickens).

    This stuff is about two feet deep! I even found a cement pad at one end that the owner didn't even know what there. The consistency ranges from large dry clumps to an almost clay-like consistency. It has to be cut/shaved with a pointed shovel and then the clumps were shoveled into a 5x8x3 trailer. The deepest stuff almost looks like a dark red clay.

    So far I have bagged about 30 50lb feed bags full of duff and loaded the trailer twice and I'm about a third of the way to clearing it all. I have to assume this stuff at the bottom has been composting in the stall for years.

    As the garden is fallow I filled the trenches from last year with composted raked dirt from the rows over that, limed to raise my PH a little, and now I have spread the manure, as much as it could be spread over the top.

    Too much work to bust up the big clumps and it's full of big fat juicy grubs so I turned the chickens loose to bust it up and work it into the soil. Later before planting I'll till the whole mess up.

    My one concern is that the my soil test show P levels that are way high, so I'm interested to see what they show after all this mess is done. I'll post the results of my spring planting and what effect all this has on my soil tests later for those who are interested and I'd certainly be interested in any comments, advice or other suggestions as I'm relatively new to this and learning as I go both through extension classes and just trying stuff out.

    Thanks to all posters for the good input.

    Now, to figure out what do with my separate composting of chicken manure! If someone knows a good thread on that point me to it. I know the high nitrogen content and the pathogens require it to compost at as high a heat as possible so I've basically created another heap, but any help with speeding it along would be appreciated.

  • Nancy Barginear
    8 years ago

    CAUTION: When applying horse manure, please, please use a mask or respirator. When mixing it in with potting soil this spring, I ended up in the hospital for almost a week with the worst stomach virus I've ever had. I had not been around anyone to catch it. My pest control man told me that horse manure contains a lot of pathogens - a well-known fact among rodeo performers.

    Nancy

  • jankenb
    8 years ago

    Well this certainly has been a very good read, from 2005 until now. I have just obtained a trailer load of horse manure, relatively fresh, and am researching what to use it on. Hard to know from this thread, but the ones I like the most are the garlic growers who use a lot of fresh horse manure on their garlic. I would have to wonder how the previous poster got a stomach infection from inhaling manure, medically speaking, how did it get to the stomach in sufficient concentration to cause and infection there.

  • little_minnie
    8 years ago

    I used to work at horse barns and got plenty of manure but it was stable cleanings and not so great mixed with so much shavings. Now I get pure horse manure, just one season old and love it. I know two people with horses that give me the scrapings of their paddocks and one person with cows that does the same. Pure manure is wonderful and easy to work in. I do not use manure on root veggies because they want less nitrogen.

  • haps
    8 years ago

    tagging along I guess...I just made a big 4ft pile out back of some horse manure mixed with a small amount of shaved wood bedding...most has been sitting in lawn bags for months..its already starting to break down a bit but still has discernable "apples" in it..going to compost it till fall I guess..although I ll try to mulch it thickly on some ornamentals in a test bed to see how it works out..seeing as how we have basically sand to grow in I dont think salts should be an issue...planning on growing some alfalfa and some sunn hemp as well for biomass and nit. and Ill mulch that with it as well..scared of using it on food until its at least until fall :)

  • bettreece
    7 years ago

    Just a note, re breathing horse manure dust... For people in certain states where the hantavirus has occurred (the Southwest, WA, UT, MT), there is significant danger in breathing dust which may have mice, as well as horse, excrement. Deer mice, more specifically, are the culprits. Those of us with horses and barns are likely to have a rodent population, so when raking downwind or inside any enclosed structure where dried manure has accumulated, be particularly careful about breathing in the dust. The hantavirus kills.

  • Leeolson
    6 years ago

    Chop manure as fine as you can. Put horse manure in a plastic container. Cover with tight lid for 10 days minimum. It will be ready to use as a liquid fertilizer. Cow manure can be used the same way. Great results

  • Leeolson
    6 years ago

    I just posted about using horse manure as fertilizer. Maybe I forgot to say to fill bucket with an equal amount of water. sorry about that...Lee

  • Kimmsr
    6 years ago

    What Leeolson might be attempting to make reference to is making manure tea. Just be aware that any potential disease pathogens the manure may have will be in the tea.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Making manure tea

  • angcolpat
    6 years ago

    To everyone using horse manure & thinking it's organic for their veggies....it probably isn't. Are they being fed organic oats/sweet feed? Probably not, and horses have a very poor digestive system. It's why they suffer from colic so easily. When you look at very fresh manure, you can easily see whole oats, etc. Also, how can you be sure the hay they're fed is organic?
    Most horses that are able to graze are given wormer meds. They can get quite sick otherwise. However, I don't know if/how long this stays in their system. They also may get many other meds you're not aware of.

  • Kimmsr
    6 years ago

    The antibiotics, wormers, and the herbicides often sprayed on the horses food can be very problematic for an organic grower. That is why knowing the source of your raw material is very important. This problem is not limited to just ho9rse manure however, it is rampant in all animal manures.
    While an organic grower can use anima manures that grower needs to know the source of that manure and that manure should not be the sole nutrient source for the soil. When manure is used it should be 1 part, with 3 parts vegetative waste, of the organic matter put into the soil.

  • renodon
    6 years ago

    I have used horse manure from wild horses for years and have had no problems. I put it in 10 to 15 gallon containers in late summer and keep them moist through the winter.. In the spring when I empty them out they are loaded with worms. Love my wild horse manure.

  • cybermom1959
    5 years ago

    Loving this thread. Just purchased 12 1/2 acres in sunny Northern CA and came across an article on top soil gardening that uses horse manure. As I have 10 horses (a lot of poo) and no clue how to garden I have been trolling every site I can find. So, what I am getting out of this is; start a horse poo compost pile, add grass clippings, fruit and veggie leftovers, leaves and water, turn every day and cover during rainy season so it's ready for spring???? Think I will start with a quarter acre garden and see what happens.

  • marymook
    5 years ago

    cybermom you are so lucky. You dont have to mix them. I would separate your own food compost from the manure and just let the H manure age. I use Bokashi for my veggies and it keeps more nutrients than a pile. The urine in horse stalls is what causes the burn, its ammonia, N2. Thats why people say its so hot. Just let it sit in a pile. Best

  • kimmq
    5 years ago

    Simply allowing animal manures to "age" means loosing valuable nutrients and that is why the manure is mixed 3 parts of vegetative waste to 1 part manure, to hold those nutrients.

    Horse manure is considered a hot fertilizer because the Nitrogen is quite readily available, not just because of the urine.

    The best place for any animal manure is in a compost pile mixed in the ratoio outlined above.

    kimmq is kimmsr

  • jolj
    5 years ago

    I would compost the animal waste.

    But if you are going to let it "age", put in the corner of your garden so the run off will be in the garden soil that you are not planting for a season.

    I would cover it also, well I would compost it, but if not compost, I would cover it.

  • stevie
    5 years ago

    old thread, but since there is a lot of useful info here already, i'll ask here:

    i have access to two types of horse manure.. pile #1 is manure that is about a year old and mostly pure manure (no wood, etc). pile #2 is manure that is closer to 2 years old and has wood/saw dust mixed in when it composted.

    which pile would be the "better" manure?

  • fertilizersalesman
    5 years ago

    Hi Steve, if it were me I would use the pure manure, but sparingly. The older stuff with the sawdust I would compost until the wood was no longer identifiable before using it. My 2 cents...

  • stevie
    5 years ago

    that was my initial thinking of going with pile #1 (the pure composted manure). i haven't looked at this pile yet, but im hoping that after a year of it aging, i could use it in higher quantities to build up my poor clay/sandy soil with some organic matter.

    i am sure that the wood that was in pile #2, after 2 years, is pretty decomposed as i don't see any evidence of wood/shavings other than being told it was there.

    thanks.

  • kimmq
    5 years ago

    In addition to the manure you should add 3 parts vegetative waste for every part of manure to amend any soil.

    kimmq is kimmsr

  • little_minnie
    5 years ago

    Pile 1 would be superior but pile 2 sufficiently old would be useful too. The decomposed wood chips add a lot of organic matter and IMO attract worms.

  • eli swan
    4 years ago

    i have three horses and we feed them hay in the winter here in south dakota. they have a riding arena that they hang out in when its nice out so there is plenty of manure that i can use. Not only that but the horse shed always has a good supply that i clean out regularly. the soil here is sandy,clay,really hard ground. i use the manure that ive aged to completely turn the soil from Gumbo mud to loamy workable soil. this will be my second summer on my farm messing with a garden and im here to tell anyone who doesnt think manure makes a difference........it does. my first year i tilled my garden and made my rows and planted..... so a good two weeks had gone by and my plants never grew any bigger than the sprouts. i thought wat in the heck have i done wrong and got on my computer and researched what my problem was. first thing that came up was that if you cant push your finger easily to the second knuckle.....your plants just wont grow. so i went outside, confident that my till job had done well, i go and jab my finger into the soil only to barely break the surface and damn near breaking my finger haha. so then began the endless hours of research and soil PH and composting and on and on and on and on ECT..... so i went to the shovel. and wheel barrel after wheel barrel of manure into the garden. i finally got the garden replanted about july with pretty impressive harvest considering how late in the year i sowed the garden. as winter came so did the hours of reading everyones opinions and different ways of gardening and yeah just months of my life gone to research. found that raised gardens are the most convenient cost effective way to deal with your soil. . ok so i could ramble on for hours but the truth of why i commented to begin with is i think that people who are against manures are either envious of people that have access to it or they are total dorks and dont know how to garden outside of the miracle grow they feed there plants with. soil building is a science .....one im far far far from mastering but i do have common sense. the planet has done just fine using wat it gets from animals, weather,plants,just mother nature in general. my father told me as a kid "if it aint broke, dont fix it!" have fun in the dirt folks ......im off to my garden.


  • kimmq
    4 years ago

    eli, I have not seen any comments in this discussion that could lead any one to the conclusion that you appear to have reached. Organic growing is about reaching balance and maintaining that balance. Animal manures can be a good addition to a garden, if used with other types of material such as vegetative waste.

    It probably would be a good idea to read, and understand, what others wrote before referring to them as "dorks".

    kimmq is kimmsr

  • fertilizersalesman
    4 years ago

    I think a common mistake gardeners make is to take the successes and failures they have had and extrapolate them to every situation everywhere. I used to work with a lot of organic farmers and they had all found systems that worked for them in their particular soils, micro climate, weed pressures etc. What worked on one farm was often ineffective on a farm just down the road.


    Eli obviously had an issue with the physical condition of his soil, and as expected, the addition of a lot of organic matter improved the situation. He figured that out and solved the problem, well done! Again however, I would caution that heaps of horse manure will not solve every problem. Having said that, in most cases it won't hurt anything either, and if I had a pile nearby I would be chucking on my garden too!

  • alvsborg01
    4 years ago

    Hello all. I'm from Sweden and have read this thread with great interest! Just wanted to share my experience with horse manure. Right now I'm working on building a hugelkultur (A hugelkultur is a 3-5 feet high bed to grow vegetables in, which starts at the bottom with half rotten logs of trees, then branches and sticks and then finer material. This bed is good at keeping moist and giving nutrients to whatever you plant for years.) This fall I am topping this new bed with fresh horse manure (just a thin layer) and finally hay. In spring next year, the manure should have composted enough to be able to plant in. I will make holes in the then half composted hay and add just a little planting soil to put the plant in.


    A previous experiment I had great results from, was when making a new raspberry "field". On a piece of pasture with wild grasses and stuff, I put a layer of newspaper on about 15' x 8' of the pasture. And then on top of that, a lasagna with horse manure and seaweed. 3 layers of each, about 4-5 inches each layer. That made a pile that was about 2-2,5 feet high. Then I covered it with about 4 inches of planting soil. This was all done in the fall. The composting process started immediately and after a day or two, the temperature in the pile was around 125 F. When composting, the pile shrank as a soufflé and next spring it was less than 10 inches high. The raspberry plants were planted in two rows and grow formidably. This must have been 7-8 years ago and I have not put anything else on this bed since then.


    So, since it is fall now, if you want a planting bed next spring and you have a piece of land that you want to use for a planting bed and want to spend as little time as possible to prepare it; make a lasagna with horse manure and some vegetative scrap (like seaweed, kelp, tree leafs, hay or what have you) at least 2 feet high. Top it with some kind of soil. Next spring you should be ready to plant in it. No tilling and other preparations. If your ingredients are dry, give each layer a spray of water before adding the next.


    Addendum. I have not made any measurements of pH or nutrients before and after, so I can't really say if this composting time of about 8 months was optimal. Anyway, it worked for me and it was a very simple way to prepare a planting bed.

  • cybermom1959
    4 years ago

    Since first becoming interested in this subject I have gone to great lengths to discover how safe horse manure is for garden use.

    What the experts I have discussed this with tell me is

    1) the manure needs to compost to rid itself of high concentrations of E. coli . So I put it in piles, wet it periodically and keep it covered to generate maximum heat over the winter

    2) remember the chemicals you administer your horses goes into the compost as well. So, think about the different vaccines and wormers



  • tete_a_tete
    4 years ago

    That was a very interesting post, alvsborg.

    I love the sound of your lasagna bed and wish I had a source of seaweed. Or a huge supply of vegetable scraps. I think the scraps from the local Farmer's Market get given to farmers who have chickens, pigs, sheep etc.

    I only recently have heard of the practice of hugelkultur. (Read it here on GardenWeb/Houz.) It's absolutely brilliant. I never would have thought of using logs and branches if I hadn't read about it.

    Re horse manure, I love the stuff. I have access to tons of it and have always used it. It does produce weeds (oats grow in it if any of the horses have been fed whole oats) but I don't see that as a problem. Very easy to pull out or dig in.

  • jolj
    4 years ago

    FSM, I agree.

    I have used pig,horse & cow waste for over 30 years, no all at the same time.

    The Local Zoo sales animal waste also, which I never used.

    I have used vegetable waste mostly for the last 10 year in the form of coffee beans & chaff. But I have used only animal waste at time with no ill effect, but It was well composted in the animals pen, after the animals were removed.