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UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,153
This isn't a problem as such in fact it might be a bonus to me it's more advice or opinions that I'd welcome, please.

I have access to some very old sheep manure from a dry barn that could be well in excess of 30 years old. I daresay that it would be of some use to a new flower bed that I have planned but my question is, how much use will it be and will it have any nutrients in it?  I have to dig it out and bag it up to bring it home and although it's bone dry, is it worth the bother?

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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,380
    Uff said:
    This isn't a problem as such in fact it might be a bonus to me it's more advice or opinions that I'd welcome, please.

    I have access to some very old sheep manure from a dry barn that could be well in excess of 30 years old. I daresay that it would be of some use to a new flower bed that I have planned but my question is, how much use will it be and will it have any nutrients in it?  I have to dig it out and bag it up to bring it home and although it's bone dry, is it worth the bother?
    I'm sure , if nothing else, it'll do wonder for improving soil structure. It'll certainly do no harm

    Devon.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,159
    I'd agree, It'll be an excellent soil improver.  :)
    There's unlikely to be any nutritious benefit, but the soil will appreciate it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,153
    Thank you both. You are thinking along the same lines as I am, improving structure rather than nutrition. I reckon a few bags might be worth my time and energy.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,351
    I’d grab it with both hands. 😉 As has been said it’ll be a great soil conditioner … I presume it’s from a barn where sheep have been overwintered or used as a lambing shed etc so will contain the broken down straw bedding  … and if it’s been stored in a dry barn for however long I would’ve thought it will still contain much of the potassium and phosphate content which sheep manure contains. Great for the garden. Outside it would’ve been leached out by the rain but not in a dry barn. 
    I’d take as much as you can get. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,153
    I didn't or don't know if the organic matter in manure becomes inert at some point. I have a soil testing kit so out of curiosity, I'll do a test to check for the various compounds. I'll be delighted of course if it's still viable. I'll report back with my findings and a photograph or two.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,153
    After much searching, the soil testing kit has been found plus I have a tidy shed. 
    The results for the old sheep manure are thus:-
    PH                6.5  slight acid
    Phosphorus   P1  deficient
    Potash          K0  depleted
    Nitrogen       N4  surplus

    I'm not sure if I shall bother with bagging any up for myself. Perhaps.


  • All the muck and straw from our sheep shed gets dumped in a pile on the field and I go and get what I want from the side that is oldest. The stuff I dug out this year was several years old, completely rotted after exposure to who knows how much rain. A couple of forkfuls on my roses and clems were positively galvanising though, they were the best they've been for years. My late flowering clem is still flowering now!
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,153
    Lucky you Buttercupdays.
    Last year a friend dug down into an old midden on a friend's farm and dug out horse dung from about 15 years ago. She kindly gave me half a dozen bags and by heck it was fabulous stuff. It went onto my raised veg bed giving me some terrific veg this past year. 
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