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Horse manure

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Hi

I was able to rent an allotment this year. My husband has built beds however the soil is quite clayey and poor. I am clearing away this years growth and want to improve the soil for next year. There is a nearby stable who says we can take as much manure as we want for free. I understand that I will need rotted manure, however what will be the best way of using it. Should I spread a thick layer over each bed (no plants in them) and let the winter weather break it down ready to dig in next Spring. Or should I pile it in a corner of the allotment, cover with black plastic and leave until spring? Would I then be able to dig it in around my plants?
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  • IndependentSO
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    My friend uses sawdust to bed her horses so sometimes this manure is not very good for putting directly onto crops.You may need to watch out for this and get some fresh from the fields if you want to use instantly - much more time consuming to collect. A great way to use the sawdust filled horse manure is to add it to a compost pile. When adding the manure to a compost pile, any sawdust and wood chips present in the manure are okay. It takes about six months for the manure, sawdust etc added to the compost pile to completely break down and but you get the most Top Quality Compost.So get yourself a little compost heap going for next year. Great stuff for Rhubarb if you have any growing.
    I hope to become a respected forum member so i will be allowed to share my blog in the future.

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  • angelavdavis
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    If the manure is well rotted, then spreading on empty beds over winter is fine (in fact if you wish, you can mix in and plant).

    If less rotted, personally, I would stack it up, top it with a few inches of compost, pop a coldframe or cloche on top and plant lettuce and other leaf vegetable into it to grow over winter using the free heat created from the rotting process. You can then spread the muck over the beds in spring.

    The trick to knowing whether manure is well rotted is to see if weeds are growing on top of the pile, if they are - then it is safe to use for plants (weeds won't grow on it if it is too acidic).
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • realfood
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    Remember to do the bean test to check for contamination with aminopyralid before you spread any manure.
  • Sambucus_Nigra
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    My friend uses sawdust to bed her horses so sometimes this manure is not very good for putting directly onto crops.You may need to watch out for this and get some fresh from the fields if you want to use instantly - much more time consuming to collect. A great way to use the sawdust filled horse manure is to add it to a compost pile. When adding the manure to a compost pile, any sawdust and wood chips present in the manure are okay. It takes about six months for the manure, sawdust etc added to the compost pile to completely break down and but you get the most Top Quality Compost.So get yourself a little compost heap going for next year. Great stuff for Rhubarb if you have any growing.

    You mean get some well rotted without sawdust for putting directly onto beds.....rather than fresh manure....
    If you haven't got it - please don't flaunt it. TIA.
  • bethesda
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    realfood wrote: »
    Remember to do the bean test to check for contamination with aminopyralid before you spread any manure.


    what's the bean test please?
  • lostinrates
    lostinrates Posts: 55,283 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 28 September 2010 at 9:05PM
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    I
    The trick to knowing whether manure is well rotted is to see if weeds are growing on top of the pile, if they are - then it is safe to use for plants (weeds won't grow on it if it is too acidic).


    Really? My horse manure heap gets weeds on in with in a couple of weeks. Our 8 week old stack in a ''proper'' concrete muck heap (although also rather flooded) is invisible its so weedcovered where as older piles (from july) not stacked properly aren't weedy at all. Does this really mean I can use the weedy manure already?

    Re the aminopyralid, I phoned all feed suppliers earlier this year to confirm it wasn't an issue, and checked with the farmer who had previousy used the land I'm now using. If I can do it any horse owner can, so if you find a supply ask them to check with ALL the relavant feed companies. Picking it up from a field is time consuming, but horse owners would be grateful, its umm, a never ending ''big job'' :D for us and I'd be thrilled if someone drove up and wanted to take some of it off our hands to compost at home.
  • angelavdavis
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    I was always told this was the case with manure.
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • lostinrates
    lostinrates Posts: 55,283 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    I was always told this was the case with manure.


    Well, its worth wading in and checking, I'll dig open the back at the weekend and report back what it looks like.
  • Lotus-eater
    Lotus-eater Posts: 10,789 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
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    Personally, I have spread quite fresh horse poo on beds at this time of year, ready for next spring and had no problems at all, quite the reverse really.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • Sambucus_Nigra
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    Personally, I have spread quite fresh horse poo on beds at this time of year, ready for next spring and had no problems at all, quite the reverse really.

    Yes, but not to use instantly; as mentioned earlier.....
    If you haven't got it - please don't flaunt it. TIA.
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