Lord Lycoperdon
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What horse manure to use??

I have the choice between two piles of horse manure. One option is to use the 4 years of built-up manure in the corner of the pasture where the horse lives. The other option is to use a large pile manure on the other side of the fence that has been sitting for four years.

I'm going to plant the garden in about a month or less so I was thinking that I'd take the more fresh stuff and put it over the garden area and then double dig it into the dirt right before I plant. Do you think the manure will still be too fresh? I'm worried that the 4 year old pile is too old. What do you guys think?

Thanks

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nes
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I'm really confused about the piles you're talking about.

Either way: if there is bedding material mixed in straw is better then shavings (straw breaks down more quickly). The 4 year old manure definitely should not be too fresh.

I'm more concerned about there being 4 years of manure piled up in the corner of a paddock :?
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

Lord Lycoperdon
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yeah I just read what I wrote and it's a little confusing. it's not a paddock it's more of a pasture. But yeah, I'm pretty sure there's four years of it over in the corner where the horse likes to do her duty.

So my options are is the pile taken out about four years ago or the pile in the corner that has manure in it from about 10 minutes ago up to four years old....

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applestar
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I think the pile that has been thoroughly composted on the other side of the fence is better for your garden to be planted soon than what can very well be fresh out of the horse poop.

In addition to manure being "too fresh" as to damage the plants or prevent seeds from sprouting, the undigested seeds IN the poop may end up as weeds all over the garden, and let's not forget possible pathogens. All of which will have been significantly, if not completely, ameliorated by the composting process.

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nes
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Agree with Apps :).

A pasture is usually a significant amount of space, where a paddock can be as small as 1/2 acre only slightly larger then a run :).

Why don't you talk to the horse owner about throwing the fresh poop over the fence after you remove the older load. You should be able to use it next spring.

The farmer told me an interesting fact the other day I have to check out: If there are shavings in the horse poo it will change the pH of your soil making it too acidic.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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Gary350
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The older the better. I wish I could get my hands on some compost like that. Lots of folks around her give manure away for free you have to shovel it out of the stalls by hand but the free stuff is not composted and it is 90% straw or saw dust. It needs to be composted several years before it can be used. I should probably make a place in my yard and start collecting free manure and let is set for 3 years before I use it. I would take 5 very large dumps truck loads if I could get it.

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