Can I plant in manure?

lilhouseonprairieApril 5, 2014

Each year I plant my Summer veggies into horse manure and it goes beautifully. Usually the manure is 6 months or so old but not necessarily composted. I let it build up on 5 acres or so, then go gather up what I need. It works! And by the end of summer it's totally broken down into the soil and each year the garden gets better. Ringing endorsement for organic matter right there.

But this year I lolly gagged on getting outside to work some beds I planned on using for grapes. When I moved in here the beds (which are lined in cement edging and border a cyclone fence) were overrun with weeds, rescues, and rose bushes as well as some invasive vines. I dug it all out plus the top 8 inches of soil and layered in chicken, goat, and horse manure. I really should have done this BEFORE winter. But I didn't. I'm doing it right now.

The grape vines are schedule to arrive next week. Go me! Procrastination is not my friend.

That's the back story. I know I can grow annual veggies in manure without much issue. But can I plant grape vines in there? Can anyone think of a problem with planting into the aged manure tilled in with my native sandy loam? As the manure breaks down will any portion of that process damage the roots?

Thanks for any and all info!

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luckygal(3b)

I've done the same with horse manure - gone out to the pasture in the spring and collected the old piles for my perennial beds.

I see no reason why this manure will harm grape vines. My perennials didn't complain. I did spend some time burying the 'road apples' so as not to offend my 'city' friends! LOL

I'm sure this old horse manure doesn't have the same value as it would if it had been composted when fresh. When it has sat for at least 6 months over winter with snow and rain happening the nutrients will be somewhat leached out. However it's organic matter and improves my perennial beds.

BTW I consider procrastination to be a good acquaintance of mine - never friends but we have spent a lot of time together! LOL

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 4:04PM
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lilhouseonprairie

The good news is, the horses always "go" in one spot. Bad news is it's RIGHT infront of the run-in! But, it piles up, stays wet, and breaks down nicely once you get a few inches down. So, it's not so dried out and aged that it has lost too much nutrients. But I worry about "burns" which I suppose are really associated with chemically based fertilizers that I don't even use lol

Procrastination and I...we've spent a lot of time together. Usually online. Ya know.

Glad to hear it shouldn't hurt anything. It was a lot of work to get about 150 feet (by 4 feet deep beds) prepared in the way I did. And boy am I ever excited to grow those grapes!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

You can, and possibly any disease pathogens that manure might have contained may be rendered inactive in the 6 months it sat around. My grandfathers and uncles that were farmers before WWII knew better then to plant crops in animal manures and always made sure to till them in before planting.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 6:34AM
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