Horse Manure - what to do with it

We have a farm locally and several people that keep horses so while I am off next week, I am on a mission to try and get a regular supplier of lovely horse manure image

My question is, what do I do with it?  Should I buy another compost bin and fill it up and leave it to use in spring, or can it be out straight on the garden now? Or a bit of both??

I have heard / read differing things so was just wondering.

Thank you.

(PS No answers that are scientifically challenging please, I only got C's in my GCSE Chemistry and Physics image)

«134

Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,233

    I would stack it in a spare bin, and let it rot for a year. If you turn it once and make sure it doesn;t get too dry, it will rot better. It is ready for use when it is crumbly and does not smell.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    So just a normal bin is ok or do you mean a compost bin?  I have a normal bin spare but don't think it would be big enough?

    Aldi have compost bins for £17 so was thinking if getting one if I can get horse manure image

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    We have a local supply - free and pick your own!  I use those builders buckets to collect it - less messy than trying to fill old compost sacks.  The pile consists of new manure, and manure that has been standing there a while.  The aged manure has the advantage of being pre-rotted.  The difference is that it is more like brown crumbly soil when you collect it, and less like 'apples'.  It also smells less pooey.  If you collect new stuff, 6 months is a rough guide to when it will be 'well-rotted', and if you keep it in a pile it will heat itself up, and I suppose if you put it in a bin it might rot faster.  Some people use a bit of it to mix with other compost materials in a general bin.  If you spread it about, it won't heat up to rot, but eventually the worms will drag it under, but if it has not rotted, it might 'burn' the plants - presumably with uric acid or something, but I don't know the exact bio-chemical reasons - just know it can burn the plants.  Also, if it hasn't rotted, I think it is harder for the goodness to come out and get into the plants.  But I know there were people years ago who picked it up off the road and slung it round their roses immediately, probably leaving a gap round the stem of the plant so it wasn't touching.  You are right, there is lots of conflicting advice on the net, and I never really got to the bottom of manure, but the above is pretty much everything I know.  (Oh and that you need to be sure of the stables that they don't use any chemicals that would upset plants in their care of the horses).  I know nothing of the stables here, except that lots of other local gardeners help themselves and have done for years, so I presume it must be good stuff.  Good luck on your hunt.  I think it is hard to go wrong, and the smell isn't that bad really.  image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,233

    You could even use a cheap dustbin.

    Any spare stuff can be used in a compost bin, mixed up with any other suitable stuff such as grass cuttings and shredded prunings.

    Rose growers used to use the fresh droppings to put around the roses, and then let it rot on the surface. Fresh stuff cannot be dug in as it is.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Right, so the bin I have (an old metal one) I can use and fill it up (may also get another one). Does that need holes or anything to let air in?

    If a passing horse messes in front of my house I can do what my grandad used to do and put it on my roses, but not use it for anything else.

    Anything left over, I can put in the compost bin.

    I think I've got it image

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,174

    Orchid Lady, be careful.

    Find out what they use as bedding, my Son now uses straw in his stables though at one time he used sawdust and chippings both need a long time to rot down. He piles it in a heap from which I take a bag that is around 1-2 years old, pick up a hand full and smell it, soft crumbly and sweet smelling is the aim.

    At home I add it to the compost heaps in thin layers as I turn the compost then use that as a mulch or to add goodness to hungry growers like sweet peas tomato's etc. Raw manure will burn your plants and can contain weed seeds which is why it needs to be well and truly rotted down, the heat should kill the weeds.

    My father used our horse manure in hot boxes to start early plants and Veg plus fruit such as strawberries, the well rotted stuff went into the base of the potato drills and we always had the best.

    Hope this helps.

    Frank.

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    That's great Frank.  All the horses near us use straw/hay, I see it being delivered.  I want some to use for my potatoes next year and also to dig into my veg patch for the root veg next year, it's too late for this year now but am starting to be even better prepared for next year image

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,174

    Then just pile it in a corner out of sight throw a cover over it and leave it until needed, the worms will have a field day and the heat from its own rotting down make it all the better.

    Frank.

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Ah right, so no need for a bin, although I may need one because ****disgusting alert - non dog lovers don't read!!*** my beagles like to eat horse poo (urghhhhh!!!!) Although, only when fresh!!! Apparently there is something in it that 'tastes nice'!!!!

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Which is why we don't have a dog!!

«134
Sign In or Register to comment.