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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Horse Manure Questions

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Horse Manure Questions Empty Horse Manure Questions

Post  yolos 11/24/2013, 8:52 pm

My neighbor fenced in her property, built a 6 stall horse barn, and now has 4 horses stabled there.  She uses wood chips instead of hay for the bedding.  I can get all the horse manure I can cart off.  But I have a few questions about the best way to go about this.

The back of the horse manure heap at my neighbor's is about 12 months old.  It was never turned, just piled up with lots of wood chips.  There is new manure at the front of the pile. 

So today, I carted off 36 buckets (5 gallons each) of one year old horse manure.  

Some questions:

1.  Should I put this partially aged manure in a separate bin and wait another year until it is fully decomposed.  There are still bits of wood chips that have not fully broken down.

2.  Should I add this to my hot compost pile I am building now.  After a year, is there any nitrogen left in the manure.  I have plenty of browns and don't need this for the compost pile if there is not enough nitrogen left in the aged manure.

3.  Should I just add this aged manure to my sfg boxes now and will they decompose enough over the winter to be usable and not too woody by the spring planting deadline.

4.  Would it be worthwhile to get the fresh manure and add it to my new compost pile I am building or is it better to get the one year old aged stuff.  The newest manure piles are filled with uncomposted wood chips.

Opinions would be welcome.
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Post  camprn 11/24/2013, 9:15 pm

1. Yes, that is a good idea. But if it is already composted you could use it to make compost tea too.

2. Yes you can and it will be a good addition to the pile. If you can get fresh, that is even better.

3. Yes you can, if she uses shavings as bedding, but if there are wood chips in it, it will take nitrogen to break those down.

4. Fresh is best for the compost pile.

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Post  jimmy cee 11/25/2013, 7:29 am

YOLOS
I picked up twelve 5 gallon buckets of horse manure this past spring.
It was the last of a pile that was started 8 - 9 months prior.
It looked very nice, especially after I screened it.
I just recently finished the last bucket, mixed it with my compost for MM
I started using it in June and everything that it was used on grew very nicely.
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