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Compost vs manure as mulch?

CraighBCraighB Posts: 738

Hi, I have been trying to amend my garden soil as it is has no organic matter what so ever and last year I made my own compost which I spread over the borders  in spring. It has helped a little and I am currently making some more for next spring.

I have also been offered some well rotted horse manure mixed with straw that has been rotting for almost 2 years the guy tells me and it looks like great stuff So I have picked a load of it up ready for mulching

The thing I would like to know is, are they just as good as each other to use or is one better than the other?


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,294

    They are both good. Its usually a question of what you can lay your hands on, so to speak, but if you have access to both home-made compost and some decent agricultural muck, you can double the joy. Your plants will love you for it.

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 738

    Oh that's good to know. Would they roughly have the same nutrients in as each other? I thought horse manure was very high in nitrogen?

  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,396

    I would agree with all that Ceres says.  I have used FYM for more years than I can remember and you can never have enough.  I think FYM has the edge.  The compost I make always has weed seeds in it....I know, I know it doesn't get hot enough.....but that's the way it goes. A big heap of cow muck gets hot and kills most weed seeds; composting on a small scale does not, which is why I prefer the manure.  But use whatever you've got; it's all good.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 738

    Brilliant thanks for that :)

    The guy has horses which is why he has it and he said I can have as much as I like for free :)

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,710

    Just check that the horses have not been fed on hay which has been treated with Clopyralid. If the hay field was treated with it, the horses eat it and it persists in the manure for three years or more.   Weed killer contamination can cause devastation in your garden.

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 738

    Thanks for that fb! I wouldn't have thought to even check so tomorrow I will ask the question.

    It should be ok as the guy gives the local allotment a regular supply of it but it's always best to check.

  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,314

    Yes, a timely reminder fidgetbones. I'm pretty sure I was a victim, poorly veg in one corner and no explanation but the RHS pointed me at some research and there it was!

    Definitely worth checking Craigh as that patch was useless for almost three years, although the mallow didn't seem to mind...........

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
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