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What constitutes "well rotted" manure?

Afternoon, I can easily access horse manure, but possibly only the fresh stuff! How long would I need to keep it until it's well rotted and ok for plants? Can I keep it in a plastic bag??


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,079
    About 6 months, ideally, although it depends a bit whether it's got a lot of straw in it or not. It's better covered but not wrapped
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,671
    Once it no longer smells strongly is also a guide. Some stables use sawdust as opposed to straw but either way, @raisingirl is right - covered but not bagged  :)
  • CrazybeeladyCrazybeelady Posts: 775
    My friend's horse is on straw but I could take it straight from his field to avoid that! Thanks both 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    The manure with straw, presumably from a stable or field shelter, would also have urine to add nitrogen to the mix and is more potent than collected field droppings. Stable manure I would let rot for at least 6 months but probably a full year. Whatever it is or how long you leave it, keep away from the stems and crowns of plants when you spread it around.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    The straw mix is the best and breaks down faster than just piles of poo from the field, which is better mixed with your own garden compost and allowed to rot down. It's done when it smells earthy and pleasant and you can no longer identify the original ingredients.
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