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Tips for horse manure

Hi all,

A good friend who, unbeknown to me had a small livery yard, invited me round to get some horse manure today as I am increasingly a 'no dig' gardener and want access to as much free mulch as I can!!

However, for the last 5 years it has just sat in a bin and so doesn't have the nice crumbly feel with mixed in bedding etc. It doesn't smell at all, so I'm guessing is well rotted down, but is quite gloopy and homogenous. Any thoughts on the best thing to do? Can I use it as it is?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,184
    I'd bite his hand off for it if it was me.
    I'd lay a nice thick layer on the surface now and let the frost and worms work on it over the winter.
  • Ok, thanks .... so no need to 're-compost' it? It should be ok as it is?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,319
    I’d do exactly as @Hostafan1 says ... even fresh manure would be fine after having been spread on the soil and overwintered. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • the problem might be that it was in a bin? did it have contact with the soil so worms could get to it? as they would break it down nicely.
    but to be fair even fresh stuff spread on bare ground at this time of year will be ready to plant in by March
  • The bin was actually a compost bin, so was touching the ground. I think it had just been left, with no turning or addition of any other matter, so has ended up compacted and .... well .... poo like!!! It appears like it hasn’t had any aeration but would have thought there’d be a horrendous stench if it had been totally anaerobic. 
  • was the bin open to the rain?  If it was then it may well just be waterlogged
  • It seems like its waterlooged but I would just get it on the ground.

    I have access to tons of this as my neighbour has two horses. They seem to produce a heck of a lot of the stuff. Dread to think what a bigger stable produces.

    I have not got time to wait for it to rot down so it goes straight on the ground. So before you all jump on the bandwagon and say what are you doing? It does two things -it surpresses the weeds (or does not give them a chance) and you can lay it on really thick and it rots down a little slower so it feeds the plants over a longer cycle. I can also see the benefit from previous years applications - plants much more healthy, glossy leaves and rarely get plant diseases.

    I also have heavy clay soil and reluctant to lime it so this is the best way for me to deal with it.

  • So do you just plant in to it, ‘no dog’ style?
  • ‘No dig’!!!!!
  • Just spread on the surface and plant through it.
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