Birddog
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Location: Southern Maryland

spread horse manure now for new spring garden?

I'm a third-year gardener and I'm using a new space in my yard to plant corn and melons primarily. I've found a free supply of horse manure not far from me. I'm in zone 7. I'm wondering: Can I spread lots of manure over the area and just til it in after two or three weeks? Or can I til it in now and plant there this spring? If not, how should I compost it myself? How long would it take to compost?
Gettin greener. Greener all the time.

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Zapatay
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Location: 5a - Northern IL, WI border

Good post Birddog - lets see what the pros have to say ...

cynthia_h
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For a good discussion of questions to ask of the stables, see

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17261

There's also discussion in that thread re. the risk of using fresh manure in the garden. Composting it is much safer; fresh may burn your plants.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

The Helpful Gardener
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I wouldn't use horse manure straight on the garden. You are in for a weed fest if you do...

IF you compost it really hot you might get past some of the weeds, but not all. Turn until weeds stop.. THEN use it...

HG
Scott Reil

Birddog
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:05 pm
Location: Southern Maryland

Thanks

Thanks for the advice. I have concerns about composting manure because I have limited space. I already have a compost bin where I put grass, leaves, coffee grounds and scraps. This takes up the only inconspicuous place I have - behind the shed. There's an area on the other side of the house but it would be in plain view of the neighbors and myself. I think manure will smell as well, especially when it gets warmer. Maybe I can squeeze another bin in next to the existing one.
Gettin greener. Greener all the time.

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

If you are mixing enough carbon (browns, like leaves, wood chips, paper shreddings, etc.) with your manure, and turning often enough to keep it aerated, smell is not an issue. And you can manage smell with EM products or bokashi easily enough...

Why not make one pile instead of two? Consider the manure to be just another input and mix into the regular pile?

HG
Scott Reil

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