Can, When And How Can Horse Manure Be Used As A Fertilizer?

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Can and when or how can you utilize horse manure as a fertilizer assuming that you can?

yankiefrankie Asked by yankiefrankie 5 months, 13 hours ago
Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F

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Answer #1 · John Heider's Answer · Hi yankiefrankie-In home gardens especially vegetable gardens it is my opinion that fresh horse manure should not be used unless well composted. There are several reasons for this but the most important reason is the fact that it can pose a serious health risk. Fresh manure contains bacteria and other harmful organisms which can contaminate your vegetable garden causing not so nice diseases such as e coli in us humans. Besides harmful organisms the fresh manure contains seeds and unless the horses were feed non germinating grains and hay you will most likely end up with a garden overrun with weeds. Composting creates enough heat from decomposing organic matter that will distroy harmful organisms and any weed seeds in the manure. Composting your manure will also help in guarding against your neighbors screaming about a funny smell coming from your garden for awhile. In many city limits, spreading fresh manure on your property is against city ordinance and another reason it is best to use only well composted manure. Horse manure more so than a good fertilizer helps to add organic matter to the soil that will decompose into humus making the soil a richer, moisture-retaining soil, making nutrients more readily available to plants. Using horse manure to continually replenish the soils organic matter I believe is its real benefit as it is fairly low in the Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium needed for plant growth. Horses are grazers mainly consuming roughage like grass and hay that produces a bulky, humus rich manure, but one that is faily low in the three essential elements.

There are many that say they have never had any problems with fresh horse manure causing any health or plant damaging problems. Cooperative Extension Services recommend using only well composted manure to always be on the safe side. Many feel if this manure is being used around edible fruits and vegetables it should be composted for at least one year. There is much that can be found on the internet and at your local cooperative extension servise regarding the use of fresh manures. Myself, I would not use it in my garden without composting it properly before spreading. I noted below a link to a good article from the Washington State University Cooperative Extension regarding composting of Horse Manure that may be interesting and helpful to you. This article explains the benefits of composting and how to compost the manure. Just click on the link to go directly to the guide and other information on composting.

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/horsecompost.htm

Hopefully this has answered your question. Please ask if you have any others.

John))

John Heider Answered by John Heider 5 months, 7 hours ago
Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F

Additional comments about this answer:

Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I agree, John. I wouldn't use any kind of manure unless it had been composted properly for at least a year. I remember not so many years ago waste treatment centers were selling raw human sludge to consumers. Finally the government came in and shut that down. In my opinion, one of the very few positive things the government has done...and maybe only because a large company like Scotts compelled them to do it because they didn't want competition:-)

4 months, 4 weeks ago ·
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John Heider

John Heider · Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
Wow, the problems using untreated humane and domestic animal waste can be huge. Glad to hear that program was shut down. I actually liked the smell of our old barn with horses years ago but not sure if I would like my neighbors spreading anything else.

4 months, 4 weeks ago ·
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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Yeah...the EPA shut evrything down several years back. Even shut down Milorganite. When it was all over Milorganite, and a couple other companies, were allowed to continue producing human waste-based products.

4 months, 4 weeks ago ·
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yankiefrankie

yankiefrankie · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Ok.....understand the problems in use but somebody needs to tell the horse's to cut back on the production end of this equation.

4 months, 4 weeks ago ·
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John Heider

John Heider · Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
Wow, quit a stockpile. Like the article I noted stated, if you dig into the middle or bottom of the pile and find something that resembles dirt more than it does manure this area has gone through the decomposition, or composting process. It can be used throughout your gardens. Manure left uncovered in large spread out piles will eventually compost. Possibly you can find some neighbors that can use some of this compost.
It may be beneficial to contact your city or county refuse company. Some may have bins available for this waste. Many cities or recycling companies will pick up this waste and move it to facilities that turn organic waste into energy which is a new but growing use for stall waste. There are commercial services in many areas that will provide containers for the waste and haul it away when the container is full. Not sure how expensive this would be. Possibly check around to see if there are any conservation or environmental groups in your area to see if there are other haul-away options. They may be able to give you farmers or facilities that will take the waste from you. Hopefully one of these ideas will work out for you.

4 months, 4 weeks ago ·
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yankiefrankie

yankiefrankie · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Kudo's for response and suggestions will have to explore these....as you can see the pile continues to grow with each passing.......err day?

4 months, 4 weeks ago ·
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