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Horse Manure as soil additive

Horse Manure as soil additive
Posted by Tina E from Ind on 2001-03-23 17:25:27

I have recently moved two horses to my
five acre lot in northwest Indiana,
zone 5. As the soil on my lot is quite
poor (sandy-low organic matter), I
would like to use the large volume of
manure that they generate to enrich the
soil. Do I have to compost the poop
first at this time of year before
applying it to the garden? Any advise
out there?
  • Horse Manure as Additive
    Posted by Byron from 4a/5 on 2001-03-23 17:32:43

    Horsemanure is great stuff in the

    BUT it really should be composted for a
    year. Just pile it up and let it rot.

    Haveing been involed with horses, I can
    tellyou that fresh from the horse
    manure will not burn a thing, Rest of
    the worlds critters do.

    2 problems.

    1. There are a lot of undigested seeds
    in horsemanure.

    2. Most horse folks use sawdust or
    shavings for bedding, When wood
    products rot down they "Lockup"
    nitrogen in the soil.

    It is great stuff if composted for a


  • Horse Manure as Additive
    Posted by Jeff from OH on 2001-03-23 17:31:16

    All you will need to do is pile it with
    the used bedding and it'll compost. You
    do run the risk of having two much
    nitrogen and may need a suplemental
    source of high carbon materials (saw
    dust, leaves, straw ect.) I also
    believe most people would suggest you
    let it compost at least a year before
    directly appling to a garden.

    A local horse farm here directly
    spreads the maneur on an unused
    pasture. The soil is really good there.
    But field grass is a tougher plant than
    a tomato

    Hope this helps

  • Horse Manure as Additive
    Posted by Tom from SC on 2001-03-23 17:30:07

    I don't have vast experience on the
    subject yet since I've only been
    gardening 2 years now. BUT, the first
    year I was over run with weeds and
    decided never again. I found an endless
    supply of horse manure and used it last
    year as a mulch. I started late in the
    game and didn't have anytime to let it
    compost. I applied it as a mulch on the
    plants and in the paths even as it was
    still steaming and had a strong ammonia
    smell. I made sure to water (spray)
    thoroughly after applying and
    everything worked fine. I've now gotten
    ahead of the situation and allow
    several months composting time which is
    the prefered option. If you're adding
    now and planting greater than a couple
    of weeks from now I'd say go ahead, you
    may tie up nitrogen and need to

  • Horse Manure as Additive
    Posted by Kimm from MI on 2001-03-23 17:28:50

    Composting that manure would be better
    to help eliminate the problem Tom talks
    about with weeds and the ammonia smell
    (that's nitrogen loss) and to provide a
    more balanced nutrient load for the
    soil than just applying the manure
    would. Using manure only is similar to
    you going on a high protein / low
    carbohydrate diet, not very healthy in
    the long term.
  • Horse Manure as Additive
    Posted by Karen from Mi on 2001-03-23 17:26:49

    If you use it directly on the garden,
    it could burn existing plants. The best
    time to put it on is in the fall, mixed
    with leaf litter. Otherwise, I would
    compost it for a year first. It should
    amend your soil quite fast, but you
    have to continue to add organic matter
    at least in Spring and Fall for a
    couple of years before you get the soil
    you want. ALso, if you are using it
    direct, you should have your soil
    tested. You may over fertilize, which
    is just as bad as not fertilizing
    because of the Nitrogen leeching.
    • Horse Manure Info
      Posted by RB from on 2001-03-26 20:24:46

      Here's the best info I've read on horse manure to date. Type in

      Good luck.


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