Horse manure on garden? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've been told you can apply horse manure on your garden and plant immediately. Is this true? If not, how long would one wait before planting?

-- Nancy (, April 13, 2002


Fresh horse manure will 'burn' your plants. It's best to let it age for a while first. Mine all goes from the barn to the 'compost' heap (manure plus kitchen scraps plus yard waste) for at least a month before I use it on the garden.

-- Kris in MI (, April 13, 2002.

We put our horse and goat manure mixed with leaves or straw etc into the garden during the winter but stop before now for the soon to be planting. Add it to the compost heap also like was mentioned before. Spread it out on the back pasture...have a lot of it. Maybe I should shovel it up and go to the big city and make my fortune. But yet again..they might just have enought manure in the city. (LOL) Have a Great Day !!

-- Helena (, April 13, 2002.

Aside from concerns about too fresh manure burning plants, you may be dismayed to find out how many weed seeds sprout from manure that hasn't been properly aged/composted. I spread some month old manure towards the end of the winter and then covered the whole area with black plastic. Even with the plastic, there are many sickly looking weeds coming up.

-- Julie Woessner (, April 13, 2002.

Julie is right on with this. Lots of very healthy weeds! Doesn't mean you shouldn't use it but composting it first sure makes it easier to deal with. I don't use it anymore although my neighbor has plenty to give away. I stick with my "used duck shavings". :) LQ

-- Little Quacker (, April 13, 2002.

I know that frsh horse manure can burn plants but last year I did not plan ahead so I went ahead and planted pepper and tomatoe plants with the fresh manure. But to guard against burning I put about a 3 inch layer of dirt between the plants and the manure. I know this is not traditional procedure but we had some of the best producing plants that we have ever seen. The pepper plants finally got to the point where I had to just cut them down because we were supplying half of our community with peppers. Take this as you wish but if you watch the amount of manure you add you can still use fresh manure with good results.

-- B.H (FIRE_RESCUE126@HOTMAIL.COM), April 13, 2002.

Certain types of manure are not too "hot" to be placed directly in the garden. Llama, goat, rabbit, sheep. Cattle, horse, chicken manure should ideally be composted to prevent burning, as was mentioned. A good rule of thumb would be when it stops stinking. Unfortunatly this is usually at least six months. To address the weeds aspect correct composting(heat) for all manure is probably best. I rarely have problems with weeds due to my manure, however. Mulch, mulch, mulch. :)

Oh, another thing to keep in mind, manure can have all sorts of meds in it. For example if you got cow manure from a dairy in all likelihood it would have a ton of stuff in it, various wormers and antibiotics, oxytocin, etc.

Hope this helps! :)

-- Patty (Not, April 13, 2002.

I use hot horse manure between my rows to warm the soil, or when I am ambitious, put it in a trench, cover with soil and plant on top of it. Dig the trench or pull weeds later, it's all work, but I love our horses and we use what we've got.

Horse, goat, chicken and rabbit poop. Now all I have to do is move it to the garden!

-- Laura S. (, April 13, 2002.

*note-sorry about the previous email thing, didn't notice the note...duh.

Also, what I meant to say was goat, llama, rabbit and sheep manure are supposed NOT too hot to go directly on a bed. :)

-- Patty (, April 13, 2002.

Another reason not to use manure that has not been composted is that the act of composting will actually draw the nitrogen out of the soil and away from the plants that need it to aid in the rotting of the manure. After the manure has finished composting the nitrogen is replaced. Or so I have read. I don't know if this applies to the manures said to be cool enough for the garden. I have seen rabbit manure used straight for worm beds. I personally make a tea out of rabbit manure and use that for the garden and put the solids into the heap.

-- Diana in FL (, April 13, 2002.

Hee Hee - an entire thread about varieties of poop! Yah gotta love it. Reminds me of a little town just north of Kingston, Ontario called Desmond. Every year this litle town instead of having a fall fair or a picnic - they have a manure fest in the spring (right on time for gardening!). Farmers large and small bring their offerings by the bag, by the bucket, by the wagon load and offer their 'wares' for sale. I never got there myself, but the newspaper I worked for covered the event every year. It may sound like a dumb idea, but it brought a smile to everyones face when you brought up the Desmond Manure Fest - just the way this post brought a smile to mine.

-- Bernie from Northern Ontario (, April 13, 2002.

Bernie, Desmond sounds like the perfect place to have political campaigning during the fest!

-- suzie (, April 14, 2002.

Then of couse if you can keep the dogs from eating it!!!! YUK!!

-- BC (, April 16, 2002.

Then of course if you can keep the dogs from eating it!!!! YUK!!

-- BC (, April 16, 2002.

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