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Fill raised beds with manure

I have access to free 5 year old manure, can I only use this fill my empty raised beds (will plant tomatoes and peppers mainly),

I have some fill dirt (clay), but I don't think it's a good idea to add,

Whats your opinion?

Greener Thumb
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Location: Brownville, Ne

Fully composted manure is OK, but what kind of manure is it? Even at five years you may get some weeds. Even if the fill soil is cay, I would mix the two together and till thoroughly. I think you need the soil and the compost for best results. Your raised beds should do very well.

Newly Registered
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thanks Paul, its horse manure

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Aged horse manure is good stuff, though as you noted in your other post at five years a lot of the nutrients have broken down/ leached out etc. I would mix it with some good topsoil and then add fertilizer or other forms of nutrients.

You are obviously not going to till raised beds, but you can shovel mix them some.

Cool Member
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:27 am
Location: New Bern, NC

Kind of a similar question; ifIi get fresh horse manure from local stalls and start to add my [dwindling] own compost/straw, how long should I wait for it to compost until I use it as compost/mulch in the garden...or raised bed in this case ?

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Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

All manures are good for the compost pile, they help heat it up. How soon it will be ready will depend on how you construct your pile and how often you turn it.

Be careful not to put too much manures in the compost. Some can be high in salt. Uncomposted horse manure can have a lot of weed seeds.

If you have time to wait to plant you can do sheet mulching and add the manure as part of the sheet mulching as long as you don't actually harvest for at least 120 days. ... lching.pdf
Composting manure in link.

Full Member
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Location: Southern Oregon

I use clay and horse manure in my raised beds. New Beds, I start by spreading the manure on the ground and then mixing it with the clay soil by using a rototiller. I fill the bed with pure horse manure and then mound the mixed soil and manure over the horse manure in the bed.

During the growing season, the mounded dirt drops below the top of the bed as the manure under it compost away. The composting manure provide the fertilizers and heat that makes the plants grow green and healthy.

The second year and each year after, I shovel all the dirt to one end of the raised bed. Fill the empty end with manure and then shovel the dirt back over the manure, then do the same with the other end of the bed. When done, I have the compost dirt mix from the previous year mounded on top of the fresh manure and it starts over.

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