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Well rotted manure as a growing medium

Hello, I have recently built a 3 by 2m box in my garden for veggies, we have no soil however I have got access to 5 year rotted horse manure, it's black, smells of nothing and is full of brandling worms. Can I use this material solely as a growing medium? Any advice greatly appreciated!!! Jake


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    I'd say best to mix some topsoil, or even some multi purpose compost

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,903

    Is a diet of doughnuts good for you?image

    Sorry Verdun, I think you might say yes.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    Jake, some crops like carrots don't  like well manured ground as it causes them to fork. Courgettes , peas etc love it though.

  • Thanks hostafan, do you have any suggestions as to the ratio of manure/multi pirpose compost?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    as I say, depends what you want to grow

  • salad leaves, beetroots, tomatoes, chillis, peppers, pak choi, courgettes, spring onion/leeks. However I am a pure amateur, never grown my own stuff before, so just testing the waters this year!


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Some people do use it as a pure growing medium. I found it odd because I've seen for myself that freshly manured land causes forking in root crops.

    Having said this I watched a video on Youtube a while back with a guy filling raised beds with very well rotted muck like you described.

    He was pulling huge straight carrots out of it. So I guess you might be good to go with it. Some things we have to just try out for ourselves. I've had good results in the past with pure compost in raised beds.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,710

    I have a friend who used manure like that to fill raised beds. He grew all that you are growing and it did very well, but he didn't grow carrots or parsnips.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    The other benefit the guy in the video had was what was left at the end. Like a lovely thick black crumbly soil. I now he was keen to keep the worms going in it. Got to be worth a try. I can't find the video now, I think I disregarded and just thought he was nuts. Perhaps he was not so nuts after all! image

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,953

    Your veg box doesn't need to be completely all mixed over.  You could mix a bag of compost in 50/50 at one end for carrots, etc that want a less fertile soil.  Other things like the courgettes, etc would love that dark old pure manure to grow in.  Experiment.image  Mix one end 50/50 and leave the other end pure.. and grow your carrots/salad/etc in a long row through both. 

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