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Use of Horse manure

Posted by bspatial5 MS (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 26, 05 at 1:16

Good People- I have access to an unlimited supply of mostly dry horse manure or cow manure. I am told that horse manure is better for vegetable or flower gardens in that it will not "burn" plants much at all. Assuming this is true, I expose my ignorance by asking the following:
1- Is it safe to eat fruits and vegetables that have been fertilized with horse manure?
2- If so,when, how often and how much should be used, especially when used in a vegetable garden?
BTW, this stuff is very dusty when being shoveled-especially in a barn. Is it very harmful when breathed?
Grateful for any reply


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Use of Horse manure

...will not "burn" plants much at all.

Much at all? What the heck does that mean? If you use the fresh stuff, it will burn. If you use composted horse manure, it won't burn, period!

1. First of all, horse manure is not a very good fertilizer. It is a better provider of microbes. If you use fresh manure, the stuff that has that horsey manure aroma, then it has pathogens in it. If you use composted manure, the stuff that smells fresh like a forest floor after a thunderstorm, then it has no pathogens in it. If you use the smelly stuff, then don't use it right before you harvest. If you use the composted stuff, you can use it the day you harvest. But a better fertilizer is made from ground up grains (seeds), nuts, and beans. Corn, soy bean, coffee bean, cottonseed, flax (linseed), or alfalfa are great ingredients for an organic fertilizer.

2. If it is composted, you can use some every day (since you have an unlimited amount). It still will not be a very good fertilizer no matter how much you use. You can use any amount from a light dusting to inches and inches of mulch.

Dusty should not be a health problem. Maybe if you have a history of respiratory problems, you might want to be checked out first.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Check out the FAQ on the OG forum about composted animal manures too...


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As for dust, breathing almost any kind should be avoided by using a simple paper dust mask. Pathogens may not be present, but introducing foreign particles into your lungs is almost never a good thing.

I use tons of horse manure in the garden. It is an excellent source of organic matter and a good slow-release fertilizer. I cover the raised beds with about 3 to 4 inches of it and dig it lightly into the top few inches of soil or simply cover it with a hay mulch. It is hard to apply too much fresh or composted manure except in the case of some soils where salt levels can become elevated, which is not a problem in my sandy soil.

I do this in the fall. This is more than enough time for the microbial action to make even the freshest manure safe. Allowing 4 months before planting is adaquate.

Don't spread fresh manure around your plants. Since you have an unlimited supply, try to keep a good amount of it composting continuously. Composted manure is fine to use as a side-dressing. And having an unlimted supply of free slow-release fertilizer is always better than buying anything at the feed store. Use it!


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I too use a lot of horse manure. I get it usually Feb - March, a neighbor cleans out his stalls and gives me his pile from behind the barn. Its 5 or 6 X 9 yard dump truck loads. I put it down about a foot thick, by May when I plant, the worms have that down to about 4", and I just turn that over a bit, then plant.

Re dust, I would wear a mask. As with anything organic and dusty.


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I agree with the dust mask, and the free. I was just reading The Good Life about a couple who lived sustainably in Vt and Maine, and they said one spring the birds scratched all their soybean meal out of the soil and ruined their planting!

I definately agree that free manure (slow release, rich in organic matter) is much better than feed store bought items.

One thing ive heard you might be concerend about (but never bothered researching because I wont buy it) is how "dirty" with pesticides things like cottonseed meal are. Would make me avoid it.


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To those of you who responded to my questions about using horse manure, thank you very much. I am now much better informed about its content, application and function. It is composted so I'll lay it in this fall and during the growing season.


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Any foreign substance that you breath is harmful to your lungs. If you cough after breathing something your lungs are telling you something and that usually is 'don't do that again'. Far better at the start is to use dust masks and not breath that substance than take a chance. People exposed to the dust from poultry manure stand a good chance of developing Histoplasmosis and there are probably chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases that come from horse manure too.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Fresh horse manure has lots of nitrogen in it (compared to cow
manure) and tends to burn if used fresh. I mix in a bunch a foot
or so deep the previous year (late summer) then plant in it the
following spring. The plants love it.


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swanz - fresh horse manure has much lower N than cow manure - acording to Cornell Univ, cattle manure averages 2.4 to 3.7% N, horse, 1.2 to 1.6%

while in a fertile soil horse manure may supply more N than required, I've never seen or heard of it "burning" anything, and I know a number of folks around here that spread it on their flower bed every year - I add it to the garden sometimes, but usually use it as a welcome addition to my composting

Bill


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Thanks Bill, I guess I got that backwards. I've often read
about fresh manures burning plants but have never used it fresh
myself.People around here use fresh horse manure under the soil in their hotbed frames. Keeps the frames toasty in the middle of winter.

Swanz


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Hello, I was very surprised by what Bill wrote about cow manure having more nitrogen than horse manure. I have several times read the opposite. The general rule I knew was that horse manure had about twice as much nitrogen. It relates to cows chewing their food more thoroughly (more stomachs) and thus getting more of the nitrogen out of the grass or what have you.

Googling this topic a little I find data from the Rodale institute that backs that up. They differentiate between dairy and meat cows, with dairy cows having lower nitrogen in their manure, but being recommended over the steers since they have less salt in their manure. I guess it depends on what they are fed, I don't know. Steers had nitrogen about the same as horses, dairy cows half as much. Another site gave a big range for horse and cow manure that was about the same .5 - 2.5 I think it was % nitrogen. So basically your mileage varies according to who you ask, but amongst the gardeners I know we always thought horse manure had more nitrogen. That is why I use it even though there are cows down my street and the horses live down a different street. :-)

Marcia


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When people say fresh manure 'burns' I don't think they (usually) mean fert/salt/nitrogen burn, but rather heat burn. I am not sure a fert burn from manure is even possible. Fresh manure composts at a very high temp if it is piled high enough.

An inch or two on top of the soil isn't likely to pose a problem and I personally directly planted (wildflower seeds) into about 3" of it covered with an inch or so of topsoil.

Nevertheless the only burn related caution from manure is temp, not fert.


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Use your head. Subject is horse manure and argument is the nitrogen content. Sort of apples and oranges there. Of the usual farm creatures, only chicken manure would be considered high in nitrogen since they lack a separate urine disposal system. Animals, of course, have a separate system. Despite the urine of most mammals being very high in urea, their excrement is not high. It's only when combined as stable manure that the nitrogen percentage is high. Even then, the type of bedding becomes a factor in how high the nitrogen percentage is. If it is very absorbent such as sawdust or straw, the manure is going to be quite high in nitrogen. If from a feedlot with only soil for a base, the nitrogen content will be lower.

I will also highly disagree with Dschall in stating that horse manure is NOT a very good fertilizer. When the total NPK nutrients may run over 5 pounds per hundredweight, that's better than a lot of high-priced 1-1-1 stuff that is sold at high prices. Although horses may not be as effective in breaking down organic material into instantly available nutrients, they are still there. Yes, it's great food for soil microbes since there are still many cells which are available for their feasts. I recently saw a drawing of a horse eating hay and expelling dollar bills. That is very true. After having several years experience of assisting in planting and harvesting well over 5,000 garlic plants in a field, and horse manure being the only fertilizer used, my own allium beds now have an ample layer of relatively fresh and non-composted horse manure. It may not be the ultimate organic fertilizer but it is indeed a good organic fertilizer.

Martin


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RE: Use of Horse manure

  • Posted by Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 13, 05 at 18:02

Marcia

FWIW

Horse manure has more weed seed than cow

Salt

There is an issue with steer manure from slaughter houses where the steers are feed cotten gin trash just before slaughter, The sodium content is (about) 47 ppm v 27 PPM in Dairy cows, Most plants can handle 100 PPM sodium. Objective if you have sodium sensitive plants, and Steer manure feed cotten gin trash, don't add too much manure


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Just to be contrary, I've yet to see a single horse which can produce a weed seed anywhere within its digestive tract. 99.9% of all respected horse owners feed their horses decent clean hay or pellets. If no weed seeds go in one end, there ain't going to be any coming out the other end. I've stated several times before that the only manure that our farm garden ever got was from the stables and chicken house. Never ever had a major weed problem since we never fed our horses anything but decent hay.

Martin


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Manure is a good fertilizer, but better and safer if composted first. ALL of the technical info is irrelevant unless it pertains to the exact animals in question. The diet of the animals is the biggest factor in the quality of the manure. (what goes in creates what comes out!).
Pathogens exist in all types of manure, and manure from mamals is more likely to be harmful than from other creatures. Cows are the only host of the bad strain of E. coli. Worms and other intestinal parasites are a possibility too. I am an environmental engineer. It is part of my field to know. It is safer to compost manure proper to kill pathogens before use. If using fresh manure, try not to use it near harvest time on crops in contact with the soil.

Ziggy


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It is true that horse manure can often be put on a garden "fresh." I have done it many times. However, lately the manure I have been getting has caused some problems with my plants. This is dues to the high percentage of wood shavings in it. If you manure has a lot of wood shavings in it, I recommend that you let it cure for at least one year.


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The only caution I have ever heard re: horse manure is that it can often contain weed seeds that remain undigested and undestroyed. My only other concern is what does the farm use for bedding: straw? pine shavings? Whatever they use, winds up in your garden so be comfortable with that as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rural Life 2.0


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Here is a reference for the higher content of Nitrogen in horse manure. http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/MethaneDigesters/MD2.html

Total Nitrogen % Dry weight
Horse 2.3
Cow 1.7

My interest in all of this is much different especially regarding weeds. I am trying to track the potential effects of nitrogen and weeds on trails. I have checked with Rocky Mountain National Park and there are some references that show weeds do spring from horse manure. I am trying to track those references down now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Horse manure with more nitrogen than cow.


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When I dig a bed, I put fresh manure about 3'deep, then shredded leaves, then fresh compost, then the soil. I blend all the ingrediants then I plant. My plants seem to settle in nicely and it takes a while before they reach the bottom of manure. Seems to work for me.
Hilary


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I'm not sure how you have an unlimited supply of dried manure. You suggest that you're shoveling it from a barn and it creates dust (which is bad btw - wear a dust mask!). But if the animals are still housed in the barn, why is ALL the manure dry?

Fresh manure can burn plants because of high levels of nitrogen, mostly from urine. Horse and cow manure are not as hot as say chicken manure, but it's best to compost or used aged manure so the urea can have time to incorporate or escape.

All hay, even 'good hay', contains some grass/weed seed (especially first cut hay). Cows have a more extensive digestive system that will destroy seed viability while horses do not.

However, I always laugh a little at this fear of introducing some weed seeds into the garden, when there's already zillions in there already (so whats a few hundred thousand more?)
It sounds like the manure you're speaking of is already aged and you can use it at almost any level without regret.
Somewhat dry, you may have some chips which may be better chopped and dug in rather than used as a top dressing.

Still, if it were me, I would make piles, watering as you go, and compost before using unless you're months away from planting, in which case it can go right in the garden.


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Well I am surprised at the somewhat nasty tone of a few of the responses you received. I have used horse manure for years from a variety of stables. It doesn't always burn and, of all the manures, is the least likely to burn. I used to put it straight on the soil without aging. However, the wood chips currently being used in my current supply required some aging so I now age mine.


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I put horse manure around my 80 year old maple tree, and the next spring it had the lushest, greenest growth I have ever seen on it. I noticed different weeds coming up that year; however, I don't know if it can be directly attributed to the manure, or the fact that my compacted, clayey soil was poor enough in some nutrients as to inhibit some seed growth until the manure was applied.


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My $.02,

Some sources show cow manure to be higher in nitrogen and others state horse is higher. What should be kept in mind is that they are both around 1-2% N and whether one or the other is 1/2% higher is basically irrelevant. Cow manure is thought to break down a bit faster.

Something to keep in mind when calculating dry manure compared to fresh is that wet manure is 80-85% water.


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How can I make horse manure into liquid lawn fertilizer? Is it a matter of adding water and working it into a liquid?


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  • Posted by byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 11, 07 at 19:10

Eric,

Take about 3 lbs of manure, place it in some panty hose and tie off the top. Place this in a 5 gal plastic bucket and let it marinate for about a week

Strain this thru some panty hose into a 6 gal hose nd sprayer with a tbsp of Epsom salts, cover about 200 sq ft before refilling


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  • Posted by byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 14, 07 at 15:16

BTW Fresh Horse Manure and burning, I let my horses mow my lawn, for many years. I never saw a burnt spot.


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Please give me your suggestions: recently a friend gave me 2 yards of what looks like aged horse manure, and I have a nice amount of worm compost I've been hoarding.
My vegetable beds this last season produced beautifully green foliage and a terrible quality/quantity of vegetables. When I soil tested the worm compost there was no nitrogen (how can that be???) and when I tested the soil in the beds it showed no phosporus. So perhaps bone meal to add the phosphorus and the manure for the nitrogen? Do I need to have a little talk with my worms?


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You may think I'm crazy, but I'm hoping for a little heat on some fresh horse manure I wish to use in a portion of my garden. I'm winterizing a fig (in Michigan) and it has been said that by hilling up fresh manure around the base of the plant one can help it to survive the winter better. I will also be wrapping and otherwise protecting the plant. I didn't use manure last year, and the plant survived but I lost about 5 feet from the top (and last year was mild as far as winters go).

Any thoughts?

~Chills


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Chills, fresh horse manure has been used for years to convert a cold frame into a hot house, but a pile of fresh horse manure will not keep the top of your fig from freezing. That needs to be either really well wrapped or buried and protecting that top is more important than protecting the roots which are somewhat already protected by the soil.


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My inlaws have figs that often freeze back or if they don't, they tend to cut them back near the ground on a yearly basis anyway. They still get more figs than they want. Of course they are in Zone 8 so the growing season is much longer.


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I have and will wrap the top, I have just heard that manure can serve as protection for the roots (and lower stems) and give the plant a jump in the spring as well.

~Chills


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Wow, good thread. I must agree with Martin on this one. I use horse poo on my garlic with great results. My supply is a month to 1 day old depending on when I get it. I planted 2,200 cloves in a new plot in Nov, one end had a bunch more poo in it than the other, I checked on the rottage on both ends...the poo end has 2" roots while the others are just nubs in 3 weeks. I planted some cloves in a spot last week that is probably 80% horse. I expect great results even in that concentration.

Travis


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Travis,
What was your soil like before adding the manure?
Was it acutally the manure that made the difference or because you gave the soil bacteria something to eat?


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Kimmsm,
Oops, I meant "Rootage" a word I made up for the development of the root system.

We are blessed with very good topsoil where I'm sitting
I don't know if it was the bacteria or little critters that made the difference in the new plot. I do believe the poo makes for better moisture retention also give better aeration..more air pockets in the soil. just all around the best amendment I've ever used. The soil is much softer, less willing to become compact with more horse poo.

I'm doing an experiment with some German Extra Hardy cloves right now, The same 80% mix in pots in the house. I have 5 1/2" plants in 2 weeks, granted this is in the house not out in the 20 degree cold outside.

Travis


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Faith is a good thing to have, but believing something works in the garden can lead to problems. Manures can be good for soil, when balanced with adequate amounts of other organic matter, vegetative waste. That is a well known and well researched hypothesis. You may have had some short term good results with just manure but that will not last, it is not sustainable, and you need to balance the manure in your soil with more vegetable waste.


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I've had similar, great experiences with huge amounts of horse manure and garlic. Where I am, it may well be the 'moisture holding' aspect, since it can get so dry here in the winter.

I wish I could get more of it at the right time of year for planting garlic. Its easiest to score big quantities early in the spring, when everyone has a big pile from cleaning out the stalls all winter.


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Travis, I am blessed to be surrounded by horse trainers - A Gardeners Nirvana. I generally rotate the beds where I do garlic with some other frost sensitive summer crop, so when that gets zapped, usually in mid-September, I then prepare and plant the garlic. I'm also trying to interplant the garlic with other stuff, with some limited success - chard works very well as it loves the rich soil.

I think I need to double the garden space, so I can spend an entire year prepping half of it. I get most of my manure in April - early May.


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David, Sounds to me like you're on the ball with your gardening. It's really recommended to rotate garlic every three years...according to the book " Growing Great Garlic. I don't have the room to plant every third year so every two will have to be good enough.

Keep one thing in mind when having garlic with other crops close by, You can over water garlic pretty easy where other plants will happily soak it in..errr, I think. What the hell do I know about anything other than garlic though.

:-)

Travis


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Thats the issue with inter-cropping. Compounded with my own, site specific soil / irrigation issues. We somehow manage to eat good stuff.

Personal,garlic goal is to pop out, on July 5th, 300 heads of 3" Music Pink. Spacing, Spacing, Spacing. The current manta. I got 'em lined up, single file, all over the place. I have a small choir of locavores cheering me on.


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Dont forget the wormer used on horses will kill garden worms I have seen seeds sprouting from fresh horsemanure, if it got wet, which the horse had ingested dining on pasture that had gone to seed, therefore it cannot be 'hot' when fresh. We use mostly composted horse manure, the more the better. Can be too much nit. if mostly shaving/bedding saturated with urine. You will definately smell that though. Planted directly into such (fresh) bedding, as mulch, one spring & what survived grew lush but failed to produce much fruit.


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Horse and cow manure is and has allways been an excellent fertilizer it should allways be aged or dried in some manner. Having said that it is often full of weed seed usually rye grasses here in my area (dont know if it is ingested or blown in). If you have enough to put 6 inches to a foot over your rows (or tilled in if it is too dry) your garden will flourish unbelievably well and may not need any additional fertilizer till mid summer. Also on a bad note over the last few years hay meadows are increasingly being treated with herbicides that can and do reside in the manures I always test it on a potted plant I dont really care too much about as I have plants galore. Once I find a safe source I stick with it the lady I get mine from feeds her horses from a safe supplier (local) with a mostly natural organic meadow. (Some chemical fertilizers are used)after that cottenseed meal is my next choice as I prefer bulk free or cheap sources of organic fertilizer.I do all I feel I can to stay completely organic but even the bagged organic fertilizers as good as they are are usually made from poultry houses and we all know what poultry in this country is fed.


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It was good to read a post of all the successes with virtually fresh horse manure :)
My routine is, after I set out the plants in the spring I stir up, a fork full of fresh dung, in a pail of water. After a short time for the sediments to settle I dump the slurry around the plant - being careful not to let it touch the plant.
My experience is that fresh manure and grass clippings can rot stems and leaves pretty quick.


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i spread about 6 yards of composted horse manure that came with a lot of grass seed.
i plan on putting a layer of newspaper over it to keep the grass from growing though, but in the mean time there are tons of birds in my garden all day long eating the seed and fertilizing the whole garden bed. fresh nitrogen :)


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Another thing to consider is whether animal manure is considered "organic" if the animal has ingested meds such as antibiotics or feed-through fly control and dewormers.


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I've read this thread with great interest, because I too have found a never ending supply of horse manure, and I intend to use it to amend the soil (well, sand) in what will be my vegetable garden come September.

I was told that here in Florida, mixing it into the sand only requires one month before you can plant, because of our hot, wet Florida summers. I'll tell you now it goes.


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I have a question about the quanity of horse manure applied to a vegetable garden. Can I apply horse manure to my garden each growing season and how much do I apply?


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plantlady60, I don't think that you can get too much of. I have a mountain of horse manure that I've built-up over the years and I just got done adding about (8) inches of it to one of my gardens. I've been doing this for years and it has built-up my sandy soil so that now it's nice and fluffy. I do this before I plant every time and it has really paid-off in building-up my soil.

Greg
Nevada


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I have been using horse manure for years in all of my garden beds. I believe that for the home gardener, there is nothing better than animal manure for my plants, despite the ongoing argument by others as to NPK content. I also think that it works great as a mulch until it begins to dry out so incorporating it into the soil as well as piling it on top can be helpful, I have found. The one problem I have had which has been alluded to here but bears mentioning is that it works too well sometimes and can encourage more leafy growth and less fruit and vegetable setting. My "dwarf" fruit trees went bezerk until I stopped putting manure under them, and I still have to hard prune them. I find that the timing of application makes a difference too--later after fruit/vegetables are actively growing can make a difference...


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Since this was first posted in 2005 it would probably be a good idea to let it drop and start a new discussion on the subject. Hopefully some of us have learned something more about this subject in the last 4 years.


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This thread has a long life, shows you how interested people are in the subject. I disagree with Kimmsr on letting it die though. I feel keeping it on the front page new people can read it and learn from it.

I was planting some willows yesterday and am using 100% aged poo in the pots. I smelled the stuff that is on the top 8" of the pile..smells like fresh clean earth. I dug down to the dry part to see what it was like, it still have the ammonia smell to it. This tells me the top layer that has been exposed to the weather is now nothing more than fibrous material with little fert value left in it. Should make for good potting soil. We shall see. I'll give my report in a month. Side note: I made up a batch of poo tea and am using it on my house plants...hooya


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I agree with bloosquall. I am just now expanding our garden and found this page to be very helpful.


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Animal manure from herbavores is good for the garden, horse, cow, sheep, goat, llama, rabbit, worms and chicken. Avoid manures from carnivores, dogs, cats, people, alligators, etc., those wouldn't be good. (Besides gator poop is pretty hard to collect, and I'm being facetious anyway.) But you get the idea.

Always wear breathing protection when handling dry manures regardless of where they came from or whether they are fresh or dry. It is possible to fertilize too much because some plants will make lots of foliage at the expense of the crop, such as potatoes. But generally speaking with composted manures you can use as much as you can get. I would probably choose chicken over horse or cow, but I found that rabbits make the perfect manure, it's usable immediatley after production and it comes in the perfect package, pelletized for easy spreading. Cheryl


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I don't know about Martin's horses but I feed mine pelleted grain (Purina Strategy), good mixed grass hay and black oil sunflower seeds for an additional fat source and I get sunflowers sprouting all over the place.

Horse's digestive systems are rather inefficient for processing anything other than what they are designed for, consuming large quantities of grass type roughage. Feed them any seeds and some come out well able to sprout. If their teeth don't grind it enough for the gut to digest, it's coming out the other end.

Check the manure of any horse that is fed a "sweet feed" grain mix. You'll find corn and oats galore. The birds love to peck apart horse manure just for the seeds that pass through.


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When you are using horse manure for fertilizing your garden make sure it has been composted first. This gets rid of the pathogens or weed seeds that it could contain.

As far as being safe to eat vegetables that were grown with horse manure fertilizer it all depends on if the horses were pumped with chemicals or not. Some show horses are, it depends on the stable. I always make sure the fertilizers I use have been certified organic. That eliminates the worry.

As far as direction on how to use horse manure, there are some basic guidelines on the website for the stuff I use. Its called Seven Year Gold. Its under the For Best Results section. There are not a lot of details but I did find it useful to know when to fertilize my garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Horse Manure Compost


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There is no good reason to compost anything for seven years. Depending on how it is handled compost can be ready for use in 14 days or in one yeart, maximum, unless the mix is wrong or there is insufficient moisture in the mix.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

  • Posted by eno (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 15, 10 at 14:59

Hello,
Here is how I use my unlimited supply (farmer next door has 7 Belgians). When the stalls are cleaned out it is dumped in piles in the back 40. We cover these with straw to keep them warm and wet. Some people use a tractor to turn the piles, but I haven't found that it is required. Each year is a different pile. I use the oldest first currently we use a 4 year old pile. It should look black and still have some of the straw or in my case sawdust present. I then in the spring and fall mix it with raked leaves and wood chips. I use a lasagna method of layering (about 8+ layers). This creates a brag worthy mix that I can add to anything. I also use the old manure directly around my trees, bushes and day-lilies, but be warned this can encourage suckers on some varieties. On the subject of dust in the barn, wear a mask anytime you are mucking the barn. I also use biochar, green clay and ground seaweed in my bed prep. I have clay with sand soil and it needs a lot of love.
Good luck,
Eden


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RE: Use of Horse manure

  • Posted by eno (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 15, 10 at 18:22

Hello,
Here is how I use my unlimited supply (farmer next door has 7 Belgians). When the stalls are cleaned out it is dumped in piles in the back 40. We cover these with straw to keep them warm and wet. Some people use a tractor to turn the piles, but I haven't found that it is required. Each year is a different pile. I use the oldest first currently we use a 4 year old pile. It should look black and still have some of the straw or in my case sawdust present. I then in the spring and fall mix it with raked leaves and wood chips. I use a lasagna method of layering (about 8+ layers). This creates a brag worthy mix that I can add to anything. I also use the old manure directly around my trees, bushes and day-lilies, but be warned this can encourage suckers on some varieties. On the subject of dust in the barn, wear a mask anytime you are mucking the barn. I also use biochar, green clay and ground seaweed in my bed prep. I have clay with sand soil and it needs a lot of love.
Good luck,
Eden


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RE: Use of Horse manure

  • Posted by eno (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 15, 10 at 19:30

Hello,
Here is how I use my unlimited supply (farmer next door has 7 Belgians). When the stalls are cleaned out it is dumped in piles in the back 40. We cover these with straw to keep them warm and wet. Some people use a tractor to turn the piles, but I haven't found that it is required. Each year is a different pile. I use the oldest first currently we use a 4 year old pile. It should look black and still have some of the straw or in my case sawdust present. I then in the spring and fall mix it with raked leaves and wood chips. I use a lasagna method of layering (about 8+ layers). This creates a brag worthy mix that I can add to anything. I also use the old manure directly around my trees, bushes and day-lilies, but be warned this can encourage suckers on some varieties. On the subject of dust in the barn, wear a mask anytime you are mucking the barn. I also use biochar, green clay and ground seaweed in my bed prep. I have clay with sand soil and it needs a lot of love.
Good luck,
Eden


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When can I till horse manure?

I am currently adding a foot (or more if I can safely?) of fresh manure on what will be a new Asparagus patch. Can it be tilled in now or will I have to wait until spring? I have clay soil and six more weeks of warm weather here in NW Ohio. I will have a soil test done in the spring. Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you in advance.
Ron


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RE: Use of Horse manure

A side note regarding "Certified Organic" fertilizers. Only food products to be consumed by humans are "Certified Organic". A fertilizer might be Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed, but it's not going to be Certified Organic.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

I have been using what I call "horse poop soup" for many years now. I get it all mixed up in a bucket and when I want to use some as liquid fertilizer, I dilute it to about 4 units water to 1 unit 'soup'. I have had wonderful success with it, too ! Where I live now, the horses are fed on hay, sweet pellets and pasture grass. My diluted solution seems to work extremely well, and I haven't killed a plant yet using this product. Thanks for all the great answers here on this subject !

Linner


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RE: Use of Horse manure

We tilled a pickup full of manure into our 25x20 garden as the soil was very compacted. We did this in early April. My peas and most plants look sick. Poor growth and yellow. Is there anything we can do?


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Someone should try making paper from horse manure. I saw this think on Current TV about a family in India making good money selling paper made from elephant manure.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Since it is well known that several disease potentially can exist in manure, animal and human, ranging from Listeria, as pointed out in another post here, to E-Coli to Salmonella, to Cholera I cannot understand why someone would make the erroneous states that it is 100% safe to eat foods grown where manures have been used as a fertilizer.
If proper precautions are taken, if the manure is spread 90 (above ground crops) to 120 (below ground crops) before harvest, and the foods harvested are properly handled you most likely will not get on of the diseases. Even bumbling idiots do not get one of those disease very often. However, it does happen and seems to be happening much more often today.
Manures can be used to fertilize soils, if used properly, with care.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

i have just started to use one month old horse muck with a lot of shavings in it to mulch my roses and raspberry's i cut the raspberrys right down to the ground and they have just started to shoot so i will let you know next month if they burn or thrive on this stuff fingers crossed


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RE: Use of Horse manure

You have to watch the weed seeds in uncomposted horse manure. Horses pick up all kinds of field weeds in their grazing, or it can be mixed in with their hay also. They don't digest all those seeds and believe me, they will sprout like nothing you've ever seen in a garden.

I once got totally dehydrated powdered horse manure from inside a barn. I put a big handful at each plant base and then left a big 50 lb burlap bag of it standing in the garden over the winter. Near the bag where the nutrients all leached out over the winter the plants went wild. I had 6 foot delphiniums that year and a butterfly bush went to 9 feet in just one year. Near the plants where I put the handfuls of manure I grew weeds of such a nature I never want to see again. Tough field weeds that took hard digging to remove, and remove, and remove. The lesson was either compost it to kill the weed seeds, or bag it in porous bags to let it decompose by itself and kill the seeds.
Cow manure is actually better if you can get it, the 4 stomachs of ruminants do a better job of digesting seeds and the manure has a lot less solid matter in it.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

You have to watch the weed seeds in uncomposted horse manure. Horses pick up all kinds of field weeds in their grazing, or it can be mixed in with their hay also. They don't digest all those seeds and believe me, they will sprout like nothing you've ever seen in a garden.

I once got totally dehydrated powdered horse manure from inside a barn. I put a big handful at each plant base and then left a big 50 lb burlap bag of it standing in the garden over the winter. Near the bag where the nutrients all leached out over the winter the plants went wild. I had 6 foot delphiniums that year and a butterfly bush went to 9 feet in just one year. Near the plants where I put the handfuls of manure I grew weeds of such a nature I never want to see again. Tough field weeds that took hard digging to remove, and remove, and remove. The lesson was either compost it to kill the weed seeds, or bag it in porous bags to let it decompose by itself and kill the seeds.
Cow manure is actually better if you can get it, the 4 stomachs of ruminants do a better job of digesting seeds and the manure has a lot less solid matter in it.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.USA (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 10, 12 at 15:12

How much compost to add to the garden? The powers to be say add no more then 25% of your soil. Only add more when the 25% breaks down.
But I have planted in 80% compost, before the internet was here to tell me it is not a good ideal. Everything was fine, only problem was to much fruit & it was really big, but taste great.
A co worker use 100% coffee waste, not fully composted to plant his tomatoes in & had the same problem, he gave over half of his fruit away.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

This has been great reading from the beginning of the thread. We have a large pile of manure from an attempt to adopt 2 Tennessee Walker horses last year. We recently gave up, admitting too little experience and a little too late in life to be truly up to their care. We feel we adopted them out to a great home here in KY. Question: This fall, can we take all that collected manure, which has been sitting in wait for a use and proper know-how over the months, and pile it as is over the garden this fall to help control weed growth and as added nutrients through the cool/cold season after gardening this year? Then can we simply turn it into the soil for spring planting next year? Would that be an effective use of our saved manure from our horse experience?


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RE: Use of Horse manure

I recently got a source for several thousand lbs of horse manure. When I went to shovel out the barn I raked off the duff at the top and then bagged it for layering on my compost, (I alternate clippings, paper, soil, manure, coffee grounds..most of the house waste goes to the chickens).

This stuff is about two feet deep! I even found a cement pad at one end that the owner didn't even know what there. The consistency ranges from large dry clumps to an almost clay-like consistency. It has to be cut/shaved with a pointed shovel and then the clumps were shoveled into a 5x8x3 trailer. The deepest stuff almost looks like a dark red clay.

So far I have bagged about 30 50lb feed bags full of duff and loaded the trailer twice and I'm about a third of the way to clearing it all. I have to assume this stuff at the bottom has been composting in the stall for years.

As the garden is fallow I filled the trenches from last year with composted raked dirt from the rows over that, limed to raise my PH a little, and now I have spread the manure, as much as it could be spread over the top.

Too much work to bust up the big clumps and it's full of big fat juicy grubs so I turned the chickens loose to bust it up and work it into the soil. Later before planting I'll till the whole mess up.

My one concern is that the my soil test show P levels that are way high, so I'm interested to see what they show after all this mess is done. I'll post the results of my spring planting and what effect all this has on my soil tests later for those who are interested and I'd certainly be interested in any comments, advice or other suggestions as I'm relatively new to this and learning as I go both through extension classes and just trying stuff out.

Thanks to all posters for the good input.

Now, to figure out what do with my separate composting of chicken manure! If someone knows a good thread on that point me to it. I know the high nitrogen content and the pathogens require it to compost at as high a heat as possible so I've basically created another heap, but any help with speeding it along would be appreciated.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

CAUTION: When applying horse manure, please, please use a mask or respirator. When mixing it in with potting soil this spring, I ended up in the hospital for almost a week with the worst stomach virus I've ever had. I had not been around anyone to catch it. My pest control man told me that horse manure contains a lot of pathogens - a well-known fact among rodeo performers.

Nancy


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Well this certainly has been a very good read, from 2005 until now. I have just obtained a trailer load of horse manure, relatively fresh, and am researching what to use it on. Hard to know from this thread, but the ones I like the most are the garlic growers who use a lot of fresh horse manure on their garlic. I would have to wonder how the previous poster got a stomach infection from inhaling manure, medically speaking, how did it get to the stomach in sufficient concentration to cause and infection there.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

I used to work at horse barns and got plenty of manure but it was stable cleanings and not so great mixed with so much shavings. Now I get pure horse manure, just one season old and love it. I know two people with horses that give me the scrapings of their paddocks and one person with cows that does the same. Pure manure is wonderful and easy to work in. I do not use manure on root veggies because they want less nitrogen.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

tagging along I guess...I just made a big 4ft pile out back of some horse manure mixed with a small amount of shaved wood bedding...most has been sitting in lawn bags for months..its already starting to break down a bit but still has discernable "apples" in it..going to compost it till fall I guess..although I ll try to mulch it thickly on some ornamentals in a test bed to see how it works out..seeing as how we have basically sand to grow in I dont think salts should be an issue...planning on growing some alfalfa and some sunn hemp as well for biomass and nit. and Ill mulch that with it as well..scared of using it on food until its at least until fall :)


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Just a note, re breathing horse manure dust... For people in certain states where the hantavirus has occurred (the Southwest, WA, UT, MT), there is significant danger in breathing dust which may have mice, as well as horse, excrement. Deer mice, more specifically, are the culprits. Those of us with horses and barns are likely to have a rodent population, so when raking downwind or inside any enclosed structure where dried manure has accumulated, be particularly careful about breathing in the dust. The hantavirus kills.


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RE: Use of Horse manure

Chop manure as fine as you can. Put horse manure in a plastic container. Cover with tight lid for 10 days minimum. It will be ready to use as a liquid fertilizer. Cow manure can be used the same way. Great results


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RE: Use of Horse manure

I just posted about using horse manure as fertilizer. Maybe I forgot to say to fill bucket with an equal amount of water. sorry about that...Lee


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RE: Use of Horse manure

What Leeolson might be attempting to make reference to is making manure tea. Just be aware that any potential disease pathogens the manure may have will be in the tea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Making manure tea


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