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To use or not to use fresh horse manure.

I have just started as an allotment holder and as such a bit green to all this adding nutrients etc to the ground. My issue is - I have an abundant amount of free horse manure available to me but have heard different opinions as to whether to add straight from the yard, add from the stable muck heap (if I dig in to the heep could be over a year old) or compost it till next spring?. What's best. I don't want a plot full of weeds after all the weeding I've had to do so far. 

Richard H


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,204
    Not fresh, unless you want to make a hot bed.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Hampshire HogHampshire Hog Posts: 330
    edited August 2018
    Richard I have always understood you should not use fresh and I have always used well rotted stuff over a year or more. So I would say if you can dig into the older stuff then  use that and leave the fresh to rot down for next year.
    "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,322
    If you're putting it down on a bit of unused ground, that you don't need to use for another year or so, then it's ok. Otherwise, let it get rotted down further before using round existing planting, or on beds you'll need soon.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Fresh is fine to dig and leave in the bed. Just don't plant into it.
  • is there an increased risk of weeds of its not been rotted down first?. 
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,813
    Its the urine that makes Fresh Manure bad for little seedlings as it would be for us humans........not nice

    The idea about horse manure is that it has to be Well Rotted to be used immediately and then the Brandling or Tiger  worms can take the goodness down into the soil. 

    Some veg can be started off in Recently Manured soil but mostly you will leave the Well Rotted manure on top of the soil for the worms to make it disappear over a few weeks.

    Ask your fellow Allotmenteers and then take the advice of the one that has the best veggies.He is usually the quiet one that just gets on with it
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
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